masters degree in criminal justice

Why Should You Consider A Master’s Degree In Criminal Justice (MSCJ)

As technology continues to advance, the threat of terrorism and more advanced criminal activities is also growing. The need for more advocates of justice is clearer than ever. The criminal justice field keeps improving as it attempts to counter these criminal threats. As a result, there is a wider range of career opportunities in criminal justice than ever before.

For many people, getting a degree in criminal justice offers an opportunity to become valued in their country and community and an opportunity to make a difference in their society. While it’s common to assume that having a degree in CJ leads to law enforcement careers, that is just the tip of the iceberg. There are many in-demand jobs available for criminal justice degree holders.

Having a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice might not be enough to land your perfect career. This is why it is an added advantage to go for a more advanced program in criminal justice, such as a program for MSCJ (Master’s degree in criminal justice) at any reputable institution. This often positions you better for the careers of your dreams than having just a bachelor’s degree.

You may wonder: is it compulsory to go for an MSCJ? Isn’t my bachelor’s degree enough? Let’s discuss the reasons you should go for an MSCJ and the career opportunities you can only access with this degree.

Reasons to Pursue a master’s degree in Criminal Justice (MSCJ)

The following are some vital reasons to consider this:

Better Opportunities

Having access to employment opportunities is vital, and many job openings today always request the applicant to have the highest level of education. An applicant with an MSCJ is more likely to be employed than a candidate without one in such situations. Also, in some openings, a master’s degree is equivalent to having valuable work experience.

Career Satisfaction and Mobility

People with advanced degrees, like a master’s degree, are more likely to be promoted to higher leadership and management positions than others. Those with masters often achieve career satisfaction and personal growth quickly.

Higher-Paying Jobs

The average salary of people with a master’s is estimated to be $17,000 higher than their bachelor’s degree counterparts. Criminal justice in particular pays about 0.6% more than other careers per year. Getting high-paying jobs can help you grow financially. For more benefits of high-paying jobs, you can check here.

Career Opportunities in Pursuing a master’s degree in Criminal Justice (MSCJ)

The reasons for going for an MSCJ are endless. You get to choose the career of your dreams. Now, let’s discuss some of the jobs that will require this degree:

DEA Agent

A DEA agent investigates drug-related crimes, enforces drug laws, and actively fights against the production and distribution of illegal drugs. According to the DEA, the starting salary for an agent is solely based on location and the federal law enforcement officer base payment. These factors make the starting pay vary greatly in many states, but an estimate of the salary can be around $50,000 and above in a year. However, people with an MSCJ start at a higher salary than others.

Criminal Justice Professor

One of the most overlooked careers is in the academic field. Having a job in academia offers an opportunity to grow and help others grow. Professors are responsible for lectures, instruction, research, and the giving and grading of examinations in colleges. On average, professors earn more than $75,000 a year.

Choosing this career path is rewarding. Not only will you be paid well, but you will get to share insightful knowledge and create more interest in criminal justice with your students.

Case Manager

A case manager is also called a correctional treatment specialist. A case manager must evaluate the progress of inmates in a prison. He or she also develops, analyzes, and evaluates program needs and other important information about the inmates. The duties of a case manager are numerous, and although a bachelor’s degree might be enough to meet the entry requirements, having a master’s is vital for getting a federal job.

A Criminal and Intelligence Analyst

Both analysts work together with the government or contractors to access security and criminal threats. Having just a BA or BSc might initially qualify you for this position. However, for better pay, it is wise to get an MSCJ. Governmental agencies like the DEA, CIA, and FBI all require the services of these analysts. If you would like to know more about what these analysts do, you can read this article.


The work of these professionals is to understand crime, its causes, and its impact on others. The work of criminologists is research-based. They conduct research and create strategies based on their findings. This research helps them understand and find ways to prevent the issue from happening again. The career is relatively new, so there might be more positions available for other degrees like BSc later in the coming years.


Having a master’s degree in criminal justice can provide a rewarding career for you. Although the program can be mentally and physically demanding, the rewards outweigh the risks. Choosing a reputable college for this program will make a huge difference in your education.

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