Online degrees in criminology prepare individuals to enter careers in which they will help to protect communities and the people who live within them. Through coursework that examines the complexities of law enforcement, aspiring criminologists are equipped with the professional ethics, cultural fluency and critical thinking skills necessary to meet the demands of the field. Criminology students develop and strengthen their abilities to communicate and to problem-solve through classes rooted in both theory and the practical application of these concepts in real-world settings. Moreover, their understanding of criminal behavior and how best to confront it will position criminology online degree graduates as leaders in security-related occupations.
Internet studies for degrees in criminology accommodate all learners by providing flexibility that aligns with their schedule demands, as well as afford them the opportunity to work full-time as they pursue their credentials. In addition, online degrees in criminology allow learners to:
Individuals may enroll in Web-based programs through accredited colleges and universities to earn online degrees in criminology at the Associate, Bachelor, Master and Doctorate levels. The requirements, including length of program and mandated prerequisites, vary for each degree.
Coursework for online degrees in criminology is highly interdisciplinary, integrating subject matter from psychology, political science, legal studies and computer science so that students acquire a deep understanding of the intricacies of the field. Internships that demonstrate the practical application of textbook teachings may also be required.
Students who pursue online degrees in criminology may enroll in classes such as:
Depending on the credential attained, graduates who earn online degrees in criminology are prepared for either entry-level occupations in the field, e.g., security officer, court clerk and loss prevention specialist, or mid- to advanced level positions that necessitate supervisory responsibilities, e.g., crime scene analyst, child protection investigator and probation administrator. For those already employed in the field, the degree can lead to on-the-job advancement.
Because salaries are contingent on the occupational choice and geographic location of the online criminology degree graduate, earnings will vary. To provide an estimate of how wages vary according to specific criminology careers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports national earnings data for professionals in the field. On average, a security officer earns $26,000 annually; a corrections officer, $43,000; a police officer, $55,000; and a criminal investigator, $66,000.