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Guide to JD, PhD, and DBA Degrees in Law and Criminal Justice

If you’re interested in upholding the security of the locals as well as effecting a positive change within our justice system, there are many academic pathways to take a person to the peak of his or her area. Regardless of whether you engage in one of the numerous specialties associated with criminal justice or even concentrate on law, a doctoral degree can assist you to work at the greatest position and produce tremendous transformation.

PhD along with other advanced degree programs for any field call for commitment as well as many years of studying, however the investment decision usually pays off due to better earnings even more gratifying career. Based on the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average pay throughout 2008 for people wielding doctoral certifications was $80,860, compared to $50,856 with regard to employees having simply a 4-year college education. Graduate school is a commitment really worth undertaking, and several on-campus and internet based PhD courses makes it feasible.

A PhD in Criminal Justice Paves the Way to Making a Difference

A PhD in Human Services, or a PhD in Criminal Justice at some institutions, can forge you to be able to address crime avoidance, the penal system, public policy and criminal behavior at the highest levels. There are various academic paths and careers within the criminal justice umbrella and thus you should feel free to research on them all.

What Does Earning a PhD in Criminal Justice Entail?

To qualify for a Doctor of Philosophy in Criminal Justice degree program, you need to have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in a similar field. Length of duration of completing this degree program takes an average of five years but it varies from institution to institution. Here are the requirements for completion.

Coursework – Virtually all criminal justice PhD programs require a core set of classes on academic writing, research methods, crime theory and policy analysis. Elective Courses/Specialization – After enrolling for the core courses, the doctorate students then focus on a particular field in criminal justice. They vary from one college to another but usually include:

  • Corrections – This specialization allows the graduate to concentrate on the country’s penal and corrections system and get a career as an overseer in the correctional system or corrections specialist.
  • Criminology – Doctorate degrees with a bias on criminology helps you land a career working for the government as a specialist who creates effective policy or widen the scope of criminology by research at an institution.
  • Justice Administration – Graduates who specialize in this field conjure their careers by being in charge of police departments or working for the FBI.
  • Juvenile Justice – This specialization assists doctoral students to prepare for research careers or working hand in hand with the government to set legitimate standards on how the justice system deals with minors.
  • Crime Scene and Forensic Science – These specialists are critical in nature and are charged with the responsibility of analyzing the physical evidence left at a crime scene.

Research – A paramount milestone of any PhD program is to equip the graduate with extensive research skills in their particular area of interest. The doctoral candidates learn advanced research methods and statistics in order to make discoveries during and after the PhD program.

Comprehensive Examination – on completion of coursework [within 2 – 3 weeks], candidates are expected to pass an oral and written exam administered by faculty members to ensure that the student has mastery of the subject.

Dissertation – In order to pass the final examination of a doctorate degree program the potential graduate requires to conduct an original research that later develops into a dissertation or thesis. A dissertation is defined as a book-length work that the student defends in front of a faculty panel.

Degrees in Security and Loss Prevention

Closely related to the field of criminal justice is the ever growing security and loss prevention one. The Department of Homeland Security and corporations both depend on experts with this degree to secure goods and information. Owing to the huge networks of security personnel managed by heads of security and loss prevention heads, a Doctorate of Business Administration (DBA) in Security and Loss Prevention can be pursued in addition to a PhD.

A Juris Doctor (JD) in Law Opens the Door for Lawyers and Judges

The JD degree is mandatory for anyone with the intention to practice law; without it, one cannot take a state bar exam for licensing. Statistics show that roughly 30% of lawyers work for themselves in private practice with the remaining percentages working for nonprofits, government, law firms or corporations. Earning a Juris doctor is a doorway to many a rewarding careers in the law practice.

What Does Earning a JD in Law Entail?

Securing a position into law school is highly competitive and thus, applicants should have a bachelor’s degree in addition to excellent reasoning and communication skills as well as a good score on the Law School Admissions Test (LSAT). Most if not all the law schools offer online or evening law degree programs in order to allow people in the job industry already to earn their JD. Upon reaching law school, the first 1-2 years are spent taking core courses like property law, legal writing, civil procedure, contracts, constitutional law, and torts. They then choose their specialties and respective courses. Specialties vary from school to school but basically we have the:

  • Criminal Law – Criminal lawyers usually get into private practice or work in the district attorney’s office, defending or prosecuting suspects.
  • Civil Law – Civil lawyers usually secure employment in nonprofit or private practices and offer legal counsel on contracts, mortgages, wills, trusts and litigation.
  • Corporate Law – Corporate lawyers have a mastery of business law and work for corporation’s legal departments.
  • Environmental Law – Environmental lawyers assist businesses to work within stipulated guidelines of the United States Environmental Protection Agency among other government groups.
  • Family Law – Graduates with this certification work in private practice or law firms coordinating custody, adoption, divorce and other family issues.

Online PhD Programs in Criminal Justice, Law, and Security & Loss Prevention Provide Flexibility to Working Professionals. If you want to take on a doctorate program, career options and specializations shouldn’t be your only considerations. You ought to ask yourself basic questions prior to deciding where you apply. They include:

  • Is there a college or university nearby that offers the program I’m interested in?
  • What will my work schedule be like over the coming years?
  • Would an online PhD program or JD programs make more sense for my lifestyle?

There is no clear cut distinction as to whether an online doctorate degree program is better than the on-campus one. They both have their advantages. Online programs offer flexibility in class ‘attendance’ that many busy professionals need while the on-campus ones grant students instant access to campus resources and cohorts. With introspection and dedicated research, you can find an ideal online or on-campus doctorate program that will get you where you want to be in no time.