If you are thinking about pursuing a career in juvenile corrections, you may be wondering if you need a criminal justice degree to work in juvenile corrections. These facilities are located across the country, and they are largely staffed by juvenile correctional officers. Because of the projected increase in population in this age group, there is a projected increase in the demand for correctional officers in the near future. In order to position yourself for a lucrative and rewarding position in this line of work, you want to spend time researching the job requirements for a correctional officer.
The Educational Requirements
The educational requirements for a juvenile correctional officer will vary from location to location. It is important to research the requirements for several different departments that you may apply to before you begin your education, and this is because you may not be offered a job in the first department that you apply to. According to the Houston Chronicle, many juvenile correctional facilities require job applicants to have at least 60 college credit hours. Many do not require you to take course work related specifically to criminal justice. Some departments do require its juvenile correctional officers to have at least an associate’s degree, and some positions require a bachelor’s degree. Even those positions that require a bachelor’s degree may not require a degree in criminal justice.
Other Related Skills Requirements
It is important to note that the educational requirements for a juvenile corrections officer are not the only requirements that a hiring manager may look for when making a hiring decision. There are often numerous other skills and traits that a hiring manager may seek in a qualified candidate, according to Olivet College. Some of these traits and requirements may be enhanced or strengthened by seeking a degree in criminal justice even when a degree is not required. For example, you may be required to show that you have a solid understanding of the criminal justice system and juvenile laws, the nature of crimes, social problems, juvenile behavior and more. Even when a degree is not required, a hiring manager may have a greater understanding of your knowledge base in these areas when you do have a degree in a related field.
The Benefits of a Degree
In addition to showing a hiring manager that you have relevant knowledge in the criminal justice system and the law, there are other benefits associated with seeking a degree. For example, when you have a criminal justice degree, you may appear to be a more desirable job applicant than another individual who does not have a degree. In addition, you may qualify more easily for career advancement opportunities within the field. While a starting position as a juvenile corrections officer may not require a four-year degree in some cases, a managerial position within the facility may have this requirement.
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With juvenile correctional officers in increasing demand in locations across the country, you may be interested in pursuing a career in this field. While you may not need a criminal justice degree to work in juvenile corrections, you can see that there are many benefits associated with pursuing a degree before or while working in the field.