When you take the time to earn an undergraduate degree in the Criminal Justice discipline, you can become a detective, a corrections officer, a forensic scientist, or a loss prevention manager. If you currently hold a BA in Criminal Justice and you are considering advancing your career in the field, you may be wondering what types of jobs will be open to you with a graduate-level degree that are not currently open to your with an undergraduate-level degree. While a MA in Criminal Justice is not always required to qualify for upper-level jobs in the field, commitment to graduate study will help you compete with all of the applicants who have both experience and a Master’s in the field. Read on and learn about the careers that typically require candidates to possess a Master’s degree in Criminology.
When is a Master’s Majoring in Criminal Justice a Must?
A master’s degree translates into mastery. Employers in both the private and the public sector may require that candidates for upper-level positions have an upper-level degree because they need professionals, leaders, and executives must be experts and masters in the field. A master’s degree may not always be a must, but in many situations it is because of the specialized base of knowledge that professionals in this complex field need to possess.
If you want to become a college professor teaching criminal justice, you will need a degree in education and a MA in Criminal Justice at a minimum. If you would like to become a Sergeant or part of upper management within a police department, you will need years of experience and a MA. Criminal profilers, psychologists, and criminologists will also need a Master’s, but typically need to possess a Master of Science in the field.
Gaining a Leg Up on the Competition
A Master’s is not always a must, but in a competitive job environment like public policy advisory or the local police force, a Master’s can help you get an open position over applicants without a degree or with an undergraduate degree. You can edge out the competition when promotions within your department are available, or even get the job over inside employees with outside employers if you have a graduate-level degree. If you want to work for the FBI or the CIA, having a MA will ensure that your resume is seen over the others that do not have an advanced degree listed.
What Will a MA in Criminal Justice Teach You?
An MA in Criminal Justice is designed to help prepare students to become a professional in the field in an upper-level position. While some programs focus primarily on administration issues, management and social issues, other programs will have more of a focus on criminal behavior, anti-crime policies and police work. You can decide if you would like to pursue a specialty and select a concentration based on that specialty.
There are a variety of different Master’s degree programs that are accredited by recognized bodies who oversee curriculum standards to ensure that students get the best education possible. Schools with the CALEA Law Enforcement Accreditation are internationally accepted so that you can take advantage of opportunities all across the world. Choose the right program, choose the right career, and strive for professional excellence in a rewarding field.