Justice Administration Degree Overview
A degree in law enforcement administration typically is obtained at the associate or bachelor level. A program in law enforcement administration prepares individuals with the skill and knowledge to take on leadership positions within a law enforcement administration. Law enforcement professionals generally pursue the degree when seeking promotion within a given agency or department. Study in law enforcement administration will require individuals to learn management techniques, budgets, and other administrative tasks that may be unique to a law enforcement setting.
A curriculum in law enforcement administration may include:
- Criminal Justice
- Organization and Administration
- Legal Aspects of Homeland Security
- Criminal Procedure
- Constitutional Law
- Policing and Corrections
- Forensic Science
- Crime and Mental Health
- Homeland Security
- Database Management
Online Degrees in Law and Justice Administration
Learning online has become the fastest growing segment within higher education in recent years for many reasons. Colleges and universities have been able to organize quality curriculum at scale and students gravitate to the inherent benefits of learning online. To learn more about online learning, visit our resource page with dozens of articles and resources to help you determine if earning an online college degree is right for you.
Online college degrees in law and justice administration span from associate-level programs through doctorate programs. Examples of specialties in bachelor’s degree programs, master’s degrees and, doctorate programs include such concentrations as in Criminal Justice, Cybersecurity, Homeland Security, Criminology, Security Studies, and Crime & Mental Health. Many accredited colleges and universities also offer the opportunity for qualified students to earn graduate certificates in programs like domestic violence prevention, leadership & public policy, security studies, victim studies, and forensic criminology. Learn more today by requesting information from the schools below.
Careers within Law and Justice Administration
Criminal Justice – One of the most popular tracks within the law and justice administration college degree program is criminal justice. In short, criminal justice is the system of policies, practices, and procedures of states and governments to maintain social order, mitigate crime, enforce punishments, and rehabilitate. Students earning a traditional classroom degree or online degree in criminal justice will have the opportunity to continue their education with an advanced degree or join the workforce in a number of possible sectors. You will have the opportunity to earn a general degree in criminal justice or elect to earn a degree within a specialization such as corrections, police, crime & mental health, violence, or homeland security.
Security & Cybercrime – A college degree in security and cybercrime is designed to prepare students to defend networks, data, software, and operating systems from nefarious attacks. Professionals within the security and cybercrime industry can work for government agencies, non-profit organizations, public institutions, as well as private corporations. Depending on the college or university, you may see these degree programs listed under computer science or cybersecurity with specialized degree tracks in computer forensics, computer systems analyst, information science, information technology, counterterrorism, or homeland security.
Forensics – The forensics college degree track includes the various techniques, procedures, and science-based tools used to analyze and deconstruct a crime scene. The technological advances in the field of forensics has made this degree program a popular choice for students and a very dynamic area of study. Courses in forensics may include: research methodologies, forensic analysis, forensic psychology, forensic serology, forensic chemistry, forensic medicine, forensic taphonomy, forensic anthropology, forensic entomology, and forensic law.
Human Services – Human services area of study prepares students to be a conduit to help others in a variety of outreach organizations. Human services graduates are professionals that help direct, plan, and coordinate client activities in conjunction with medical professionals, forensic psychologists, detectives, social workers, and similar specialists to help clients manage challenging situations. The emphasis of the human services degree is in communication, writing composition, psychology, and leadership.
Homeland Security – The homeland security college degree program is one of the fastest growing programs in the country. As a robust government agency, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is a rapidly growing entity with substantive resources and responsibilities. The homeland security degree program provides a curricular design to provide students with an understanding of the DHS and its associated laws, directives, agencies, and procedures. The rigorous coursework in this program typically includes specializations in domestic issues, financial security, international threats, criminal activity detection, crime prevention, disaster management, cybersecurity, and emergency preparedness.
Emergency Management – Students graduating from college with a degree in emergency management will work in public institutions, private corporations, non-profit organizations, or government agencies. While these organizations have different legal structures, their goals of public service are tightly aligned. Students will learn to understand the interplay between public policy and leading-edge management practices to develop protection and mitigation preparedness plans for both natural and human-derived threats.
Careers for Law & Justice Administration Majors
After earning a traditional classroom-based degree or an online associate degree in a specialized justice administration field of study from an accredited college or university, you will be prepared to launch a career in several industry sectors. These jobs will vary from state to state but may include a police officer, corrections officer, security officer, or firefighter. A bachelor’s degree in justice administration and graduate degree may open additional career opportunities given the extra academic preparation involved in these programs. Examples of jobs you may qualify with a bachelor’s degree in a field of justice administration may encompass:
- Homeland Security Officer
- ATF Agent
- State Parole Officer
- Homeland Security Officer
- Digital Forensic Specialist
- Probation Officer
- Private Investigator
- Air Marshal
- Systems Security Analyst
- FBI Agent
- Customs Agent
- Risk Analyst
- Sheriff's Deputy
- Secret Service
- Border Patrol Agent
- Industrial Control Systems
- International Terrorism Analyst
- Immigration and Customs Enforcement Officer
- Drug Enforcement Agent
Careers in law enforcement administration are expected to grow steadily over the next decade as the demand for law enforcement in various forms increases. Many positions will open due to the retiring of professionals and the expanding of responsibilities within a department or agency. Law enforcement administrators will require previous experience in law enforcement, and a degree is not necessarily required in order to be promoted, though the likelihood for promotion, especially at the state and federal level increases with a degree.
Individuals pursuing a career in law enforcement administration will be responsible for officers and agents. As such, and individual pursuing such a position should understand the methods for maintaining morale, fostering an atmosphere of cooperation, have a strong background in law enforcement, and demonstrate leadership ability. Due to the administrative nature of the position, individuals will also be required to have a deeper understanding of the law, bureaucracy, and the criminal justice system.
The average salary of a law enforcement administrator will vary based on agency or department, years of experience, and employer. For example, federal law enforcement typically makes more than local law enforcement, though administrative positions in a large city may offer more than those at the federal level in a smaller city.