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Get to the Bottom of Things as a Private Investigator

Crime is always a problem in society, and law enforcement officials are there for us to help keep us safe. But what about investigating personal matters that wouldn't pertain to public law enforcement officials? Private investigators are used in this case, and do things from surveillance to background checks. Earning a private investigation degree or certificate will be the first step in a career in this area.

Private investigators do confidential investigations by gathering as much information as they can by telephone, e-mail, surveillance, background checks, Internet databases and interviews in person. They may work undercover and act a part to observe suspected illegal actions. They work with businesses, attorneys, individuals and the public. They may work on legal, financial or personal issues. They work on domestic cases such as investigating parents to help a court establish their backgrounds in child custody cases. In a divorce case they may be hired to spy on, photograph and document a spouse's activity.

Private investigators give evidence and testimony when called to court. They also are hired to do pre-employment validation and background checks. All jobs end with a complete and confidential report.

Private investigators have to keep up with changes in the law that affect their jobs. Even though they are not working as police officers, they work closely with law enforcement officials and make sure evidence is correct and admissible in court. They are not authorized to make an arrest; they are only licensed by the state to investigate.

Private investigation training can vary from short term certificate programs to bachelor's degree programs. Course work in this field will likely involve criminal justice, police science and an introduction to the judicial system. The more in-depth your program is, the further you will delve in to the world of law enforcement.


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Founded in 1946 and located in the heart of central New York, Utica College is a regionally accredited, independent, private institution that features many of the advantages of a large university — such as undergraduate and graduate degree options, excellent academics, and outstanding faculty — with the intimacy and high degree of personal attention more closely associated with smaller private institutions.


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  • Bachelor’s and master’s programs in Criminal Justice available
  • Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2017
  • Concentrations include Forensics, Homeland Security, and Cybercrime and Security
  • Students study law enforcement operations, corrections, and criminal investigation
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  • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
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  • Offers associate and bachelor-level programs in Criminal Justice.
  • Program topics include criminal investigation processes and ethics, criminal law, juvenile justice and more.
  • A B.A.S. in Criminal Justice program is also available for students who already possess an A.A.S.
  • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
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An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

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  • For the 12th consecutive year, Cal U was named one for the best schools in the Northeast by The Princeton Review 
  • Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017
  • Quality Online courses at Cal U have the same objectives, content and learning outcomes as campus-based programs and are taught by the same expert professors.
  • Offers private school amenities at a public school cost. Student-to-teacher ratio of 20:1
  • CAL U online programs complete an annual assessment of student learning to ensure outcomes are focused on your success in career entry, advancement or enhancement!
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  • The M.S. in Cybersecurity provides the necessary foundations for the design and development of systems that are assured to be secure
  • Founded in 1901, the school has maintained its reputation as a leader in the field, offering a curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application with a worldwide community of over 20,000 engineering and computer science alumni
  • Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) since 2001 and as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2009.
  • Designed and taught by Syracuse faculty, the curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application.
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  • In Walden’s online PhD in Criminal Justice program, you’ll explore contemporary theory and practice as well as national and international issues in the administration of criminal justice.
  • Our PhD in Criminal Justice program gives you the opportunity to integrate scholarly research with your experience to create effective solutions to real-world problems.
  • Participate in four academic residencies designed to enhance both your development as a scholar-practitioner and your ability to effect positive social change.
  • Our program coursework focuses on criminal behavior theory along with technology, homeland security, and management skills applicable to the challenges facing the law enforcement community.
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  • Criminal Justice degree programs include BA in Social and Criminal Justice, BA in Law Enforcement Administration, and more.
  • Coursework covers areas such as forensics, criminal psychology, crime prevention, and terrorism.
  • Degree programs are 100% online, and can fit with any schedule.
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  • Has students attend one four-week class at a time and take their final exam before moving on to their next class.
  • Offers 24/7 online tech support, with a typical response time of 4 hours or less.
  • Has online help centers that offer assistance with writing, statistics, medical assisting, and more.
  • Provides job placement assistance to all its students and alumni.
  • Researches trends for growing fields to tailor a more effective curriculum.
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