Corrections degrees are quickly increasing in importance. This is tied mainly to the fact that there is an ever increasing need for corrections officers. However, there are a variety of things you must know and achieve first before you can get your corrections degree.
The steps involved in getting a Corrections Degree
One of the first requirements to help you along your way towards earning a corrections degree is a training course. After you have successfully completed the training course, you are then generally assigned to a facility in which you will be taught the particular required job skills to make you an ideal candidate for a corrections degree. The extent of education differs from facility to facility so the amount of time it takes to earn this degree may vary based on location and could differ greatly from that of another person.
What's the difference between a state, federal, and county agency?
When it comes to a state and county level, they simply require that you have already completed high school and received your diploma, which makes it an ideal job to consider. However, for a proper corrections degree on a federal level you will need an actual college degree or a good amount of work experience. When speaking directly in relation to the education requirements, generally a Bachelor's in Criminal Justice is the most beneficial which can strongly impact your chances of getting hired. Of course, each employer is different and that means requirements will differ depending on the employer you work with.
What kind of requirements should I expect to have?
The requirements do differ depending on your employer but in almost all cases, you must have a high school diploma, or that of a General Equivalency Diploma GED. Depending on the particular position you want to apply for can change the requirements as well. If you want to get into a career as an entry-level officer in the Federal Bureau of Prisons, you will need at least a Bachelor's degree, and preferably at least three years of full-time experience in a similar or related field or in some cases, a combination of both. What would be considered a related field would be one where you could assist, supervise, or counsel others. When it comes to the establishment of these guidelines, it's usually left up to The American Jail Association or the American Correctional Association. This is true at the state, federal, and local levels.
How long will it take to complete?
Generally the time-frame of which to get a corrections degree will be at least four years in college, after which the training program will follow which can take another 6 to 12 months.
Is there room for advancement?
If you are one that can prove themselves in the job and have a good amount of previous work experience, there is plenty of room for advancement beyond that of a correctional officer which could lead to potential administrative and that of supervisory positions. In some cases, you will even have a chance to become warden.
Obtaining a degree is always something you should consider and is very helpful to the growth of your criminal justice career whether online or if you go to a campus-based college.
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