As technology becomes more prevalent in society, many criminal justice facilities across the country are turning to the internet to provide better services for inmates.
For example, a jail in New Jersey recently became the first correctional facility in the country to install the software needed for online visitation programs, Shore News Today reports. Using this technology, Sheriff Gary Schaffer said that the institution will be safer and more cost-effective. Additionally, if inmates are able to easily contact family members, it can help them recover more quickly, he told the news outlet.
As the internet has become a widely-used tool in the criminal justice system, it may be an appropriate option for students to research various college programs online so that they can earn a degree in the field and also gain technology skills.
Many students across the country have already turned to online education to earn criminal justice degrees, as well as a variety of other credentials. According to the 2010 Sloan Survey of Online Learning, in the fall 2009 semester, there were approximately 5.6 million people enrolled in at least one web-based class.
Students who decide to pursue this online degree will see many benefits in their careers aside from additional technology exposure. Increasingly, more police officers are required to have at least some post-secondary education, with many opting to pursue a bachelor's degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Additionally, jobs such as FBI agent, probation officer and correctional treatment specialist require higher education.
Working professionals who want to enroll in a criminal justice degree program online should speak with their employer. The BLS reports that because many police agencies see the value of education, they may pay all or part of the tuition if officers want to work towards a degree in the field.
Police officers and related professionals should be prepared to continue their education throughout their careers in order to improve job performance. Employees in the criminal justice field may be required to attend police academies, regional centers for public safety and training facilities in order to develop their skills, the BLS states.
Professionals who decide to enroll in a criminal justice degree program online will not only have the opportunity to advance in their careers and learn new skills. They can also increase their salaries. According to PayScale, while police officers who have an associate's degree earn up to $51,886 annually, a bachelor's degree can boost this salary to $78,073 per year.