Career outlook

What can I do with a degree in criminal justice?

Students earning a degree in criminal justice will receive a foundation of critical thinking, research, writing, and analytical skills. Career options in criminal justice are virtually limitless, and many CJ majors earn careers in law enforcement, the courts, corrections, or a variety of non-profit organizations that service the criminal justice system. Additionally, many continue on to graduate school earning a master's, doctoral, or juris doctor.

Transferable skills

A criminal justice degree offers skills in:

  • Critical thinking and basic analytical ability
  • Interpersonal and cross-cultural awareness
  • Analysis of evidence-based practices

Some careers in criminal justice

Career Median salary Market growth
Law Enforcement Officer $58,320 5 – 8% 
Correction Officer/Jailer $40,530  2 – 4%  
Court Baliff $41,670  5 – 8% 
Probation Office or Correction Treatment Specialist $49,360  2 – 4% 
Private Detective/Investigator $45,610  5 – 8% 

Source: O*NET Online, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Labor, Employment & Training Administration

Graduate study

This degree also provides a solid foundation for graduate study in:

  • Master of science in criminal justice
  • Ph.D. in criminal justice, criminology, sociology and other social sciences
  • Juris doctor

Notable people with a criminal justice degree

  • Andrew Lutaakome Kayiira (leader of the Uganda Freedom Movement (UFM))
  • Pauley Perrette (American actress, published writer, singer, and civil rights advocate)