Criminal Justice at WGU
Are You Looking to Get a Criminal Justice Degree?
While a criminal justice degree program isn’t currently offered at WGU, there are other online bachelor programs that are similar and can still help you achieve your educational and career goals. A Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity or a Bachelor of Science in Accounting can be applied in the pursuit of a career in criminal justice. Graduates of these online programs can go on to have careers in cybersecurity, forensic accounting, intelligence analysis, and more.
Pathways to a Career in Criminal Justice
Although entry-level positions such as security officers, dispatchers, and others require a high school education, many jobs in the criminal justice field call for a bachelor’s degree. Students who choose a criminal law or criminal justice program can go on to get jobs in traditional law enforcement positions, like a police officer or corrections officer, or even higher profile positions in Homeland Security or other government organizations focusing on criminal law. However, there are many other online programs to consider that can give you the skills needed for a career in criminal justice. For instance, a growing number of positions in law enforcement require specialized education in areas like finance, accounting, computer science, or cybersecurity. This is where a degree in accounting or cybersecurity can be useful.
Bachelor of Science in Accounting
With so much money changing hands online, the need for people with financial competency has never been greater—especially in the world of law enforcement and within the criminal justice system. If you have a knack for numbers and an interest in solving financial crimes, an accounting degree program can prepare you for a future as a criminal justice professional.
This kind of online bachelor's program will give you a great overview of essential accounting principles, giving you important skills that can make you a great asset to an employer. You’ll cover a wide variety of topics such as auditing, business law, financial recording, and taxes, all of which can prepare you for the growing field of investigations and financial crimes.
Career options in criminal justice for graduates with an accounting degree include:
- Financial examiner
- Fraud investigator
- Forensic accountant
- Forensic accounting manager
If you're interested in working in the criminal justice system, an online bachelor's degree in accounting could help you pursue the kind of career you're looking for.
Careers in Criminal Justice
Criminal justice is a diverse field that can open doors to jobs in law, national security, forensics, criminal law, and more. Many law enforcement jobs offer salaries above the national average, and a bachelor’s degree can certainly help you make even more money. What’s more, the demand for professionals in the criminal justice system is only getting greater. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the number of criminal justice job openings is projected to grow by 5% from now until 2029, which is faster than the national average.
If you’re interested in some of the more specialized roles in law enforcement, it’s important to understand the kind of education you might need, as well as the tasks and responsibilities you’ll be carrying out day-to-day.
Why Choose WGU?
Why should you choose a WGU online accounting or cybersecurity degree over a degree program somewhere else? For starters, we’re dedicated to helping our students achieve their educational goals by providing flexible online degree programs that fit their lifestyle. But that’s just the start. Here are several reasons a WGU degree is a great fit for students.
- We make it affordable to earn your degree. Our tuition is charged per six-month term, not per credit, so graduating faster costs less.
- Along with our already-low tuition, our scholarships and financial aid make college even more affordable for even more students.
- Thanks to our competency-based education, you can pass courses by proving what you know, meaning you can accelerate your program and graduate faster.
- Our degree programs are designed with your employment and success in mind, so the skills you learn will translate directly to your work post-graduation.
Which Degree Should You Choose?
Both a cybersecurity and accounting bachelor's degree at WGU can prepare you for a future career in criminal justice. Choosing either degree is a great alternative to a criminal justice degree program and can make sure you have training and credentials that will help you succeed.
Accounting – B.S. Business Administration
Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?...
Have a knack for numbers or fine-tuning finances?
- Time: 70% of graduates finish within 42 months.
- Tuition: $3,755 per 6-month term.
- Courses: 41 courses in this program.
Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:
- Accounting manager
- Financial director
- Vice president of finance and operations
- Chief financial officer
- Forensic accountant
Take your first step toward CPA certification and learn how to use GAAP, ledgers, and journals.
Cybersecurity and Information Assurance – B.S.
Protect your career and earning potential with this degree....
Protect your career and earning potential with this degree.
- Time: 70% of graduates finish within 21 months.
- Tuition: $4,265 per 6-month term.
- Courses: 34 total courses in this program.
Some careers and jobs this degree will prepare you for:
- Cyber crimes investigator
- Director of cybersecurity
- Chief of cyber counterintelligence
- Cybersecurity engineer
- Cyber operations planner
Certifications included in this program at no extra cost include:
- Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) - Associate of (ISC)2 designation
- Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) - Associate of (ISC)2 designation
- ITIL® Foundation Certification
- CompTIA A+
- CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst Certification (CySA+)
- CompTIA IT Operations Specialist
- CompTIA Network+
- CompTIA Network Vulnerability Assessment Professional
- CompTIA Network Security Professional
- CompTIA PenTest+
- CompTIA Project+
- CompTIA Secure Infrastructure Specialist
- CompTIA Security+
- CompTIA Security Analytics Professional
Frequently Asked Questions About Criminal Justice Careers
If you decide to enroll as a full-time student in an undergraduate criminal justice degree program, it will take an average of four years to complete the degree requirements.
The trends in job growth and salary all point to the worthiness of a degree in criminal justice. However, depending on the kind of criminal justice career you want to pursue, an accounting or cybersecurity degree could be a better fit and provide you with more specialized skills.
The criminal justice field offers a number of high paying career options. As with any job, salary will vary greatly depending on your education and experience. According to Indeed.com, lawyers have the highest paying jobs in criminal justice with an average annual salary of $96,989.
Here are some of the most common jobs for criminal justice majors:
- Police officer
- Court reporter
- Forensic technician
- Private investigator
- Corrections officer
- Psychological profiler
- Parole officer