What Kind of Jobs Are Available to Someone With a 2-year Criminal Justice Degree?

Upon graduating from college, many young adults are unsure exactly what they want to do with their degrees. Fortunately, criminal justice is a broad field that is ideal for an adult who is unsure about the future. A two-year degree in criminal justice, also known as an associate’s degree, is helpful for adults looking to work directly with the public.

Police Officer

One of the first careers that recent criminal justice graduates turn to is that of a police officer. An associate’s degree is usually the minimum requirement for police officers today, depending on the community. Additional requirements include excellent communication skills, knowledge of psychology and the ability to perform physical tasks. The department will require a physical fitness examination and graduate from police academy. Police officers may work on the city, county, state or federal level. Some officers are also assigned to specific locations, such as a college campus or event. An officer’s main goal is always to protect and serve the public, and the main line of defense for the typical civilian is an officer.

Private Investigator

While most training a private investigator undergoes is on the clock, most companies want their investigators to posses at least an associate’s degree. This is especially the case for states with licensing requirements. Private investigators are often used to find people or to obtain information. They must have excellent communication, computer and problem skills with the ability to act resourcefully. In recent years, having great technological skills has become imperative to working as in investigator.

Correctional Officer

Officers who guard jails, prisons and juvenile facilities are typically required to obtain associate’s degrees, while some jurisdictions require only a diploma. Correctional officers are responsible for watching over prisoners, ensuring that they follow the rules. They also assist in the rehabilitation of inmates by providing counsel and reporting improper conduct.

Airport Security

Many criminal justice graduates work in airport security, a field that has increased its number of employees since 2001. These officers contribute to national security, ensuring that dangerous items do not make their way onto airplanes. Like other security guards, these officers are responsible for overseeing property and ensuring that nobody is getting hurt.


A bailiff works as an assistant to the judge, keeping the courtroom in order. If anything improper happens in the courtroom, this officer ensures that things do not get out of hand. He or she clears the courtroom and ensures that the room is prepared for the proceedings. The bailiff also provides assistance with jury selection. An associate’s degree is enough to secure this career, though an emphasis on legal and criminal work is helpful.

Each of these careers is available to criminal justice graduates, though there are many other options available. Criminal justice is a broad field and public safety is essential to living in a healthy society, meaning there are many opportunities for graduates to work in their desired field. It is important to look for a solid career that inspires passion, dedication and happiness.