This program is designed for students who would like to earn an associate degree with a concentration in criminal justice and have the ability to transfer to a baccalaureate criminal justice program. Students complete general education, criminal justice, and elective courses in the plan of study to help prepare for careers in law enforcement, corrections, probation, or private security.
According to a 2013 employment projection by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with an associate degree earn a median salary of $785 a week compared to those holding only a high school diploma, who earn a median salary of $652 a week. Unemployment rates were also lower for those holding an associate's degree compared to high school graduates: 6.2 percent for associate's degree-holders and 8.3 percent for high school diploma-holders.
As you can see education pays. And to top it off, an associate degree in criminal justice or a related field can be completed in two years, and sometimes even less.
Graduates of criminal justice associate degree programs commonly enter professions like the ones listed below:
- Airport Security
- Body Guard
- Corrections Officer
- Law Enforcement
- Police Officer
- Private Security
- Identify effective written and oral communication skills and express oneself in a clear and professional manner.
- Summarize the basic knowledge of policing, courts, and corrections of crime and criminal justice.
- Discuss the diverse and multicultural nature of society and identify standards of ethical behavior.
- Demonstrate the ability to critically think and problem solve, and the ability to conceptualize ideas in the professional criminal justice environment.
Job Outlook and Pay Info
|Job Title||Median Wage (US)*||Median Wage (MT)*|
|Police Patrol Officer||$55,270||$46,600|
|Private Detective/ Investigator||$42,870||$43,900|
*Bureau of Labor Statistics, Office of Employment Projections; MT Dept. of Labor and Industry, Research and Analysis Bureau
Associate of Science (two years) designed to transition into the Criminal Justice Bachelor’s degree at MSU Billings
Classes will be offered in on-campus and some on-line formats at both campuses of MSU Billings.