Are you working in an entry level law enforcement job and looking to expand your opportunities for career growth? Earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice (CJ) can help you move toward this goal. Such a degree can be beneficial in many ways, building your knowledge and skills, opening up possibilities for promotion within your department, and allowing you to pursue more specialized, high-level criminal justice careers, to name a few.
But investing time and money in earning a CJ degree might seem unrealistic for the working professional. Moving to a new town, giving up four years of earnings and opportunities, and going into debt for school are unattractive prospects. If these are major concerns for you, an online degree program could be a good solution.
Lamar University’s affordable Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice (BSCJ) online program allows degree candidates to continue working in the field. You can maintain a regular income and pursue career opportunities while you work toward completing your degree. Accelerated and traditional length courses give you even more flexibility in pacing your education. And working law enforcement professionals can transfer some of their prior training and experience to satisfy certain academic requirements, saving time and money.
How Do Online CJ Degree Programs Compare With Traditional Campus-Based Programs?
The quality of a CJ education depends on the degree program itself, regardless of how it is delivered. Lamar University’s BSCJ online general education and criminal justice coursework is rigorous and thorough, providing in-depth coverage on a wide array of topics.
This BSCJ degree program also incorporates internships and experiential learning. You’ll learn to apply the knowledge and skills you develop directly to the professional setting while still getting valuable academic feedback and support.
How Affordable Is Earning an Online BSCJ Degree?
The cost of online education varies greatly, just like campus-based programs. Many online degree programs are as expensive, or even more expensive, than traditional residential degree programs. Lamar University’s BSCJ online program is comparatively affordable at $248 per credit hour. With 120 credit hours required for degree completion, the total cost for your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is $29,760.
Working professionals can also shave off up to nine required credit hours for prior experience and training in the field. Plus, peace officers currently employed in Texas (as defined by The Texas Code of Criminal Procedure 2.12) can apply for the Peace Officer Tuition Exemption Program to cover tuition and laboratory fees for criminal justice-related courses.
What Are Some Other Benefits of an Online CJ Degree?
There are many more benefits of online learning, both financial and experiential. For instance, relocating to a new city for a campus-based program could mean moving expenses and, potentially, a higher cost of living (room and board, transportation, childcare, etc.). With online education, relocating is not necessary.
Continuing to work while earning a degree online means you continue to make a living, which can decrease or eliminate debt and stress during and after school. If you have a hectic family and work life, the flexibility to plan your schoolwork around your busy schedule can be extremely important. Plus, you can continue gaining experience in your profession while in school, applying what you learn and pursuing career opportunities that you might otherwise miss out on.
Lamar University’s online BSCJ program is designed to prepare you as a professional for any advanced role you choose to pursue in law enforcement. Earning a CJ degree while working full time might seem difficult, but Lamar University’s affordable, online BSCJ degree option can help you turn your education and career goals into a reality.