Juvenile Justice Degree

In the United States justice system, a juvenile is considered to be in a continual state of development. For this reason, juveniles receive different treatment than adults, and juvenile delinquency is recognized as separate sector within the U.S. criminal justice system. Many criminal justice professional pursue career opportunities in juvenile justice because it gives them the opportunity to make a difference in life of someone who has the chance for a better, more productive future. Students of juvenile justice explore the many difference between the juvenile and adult criminal justice systems, and will learn how the juvenile justice system is designed to help trouble youth make a new start.

Ready to get started on the path toward a career in juvenile justice? Earning a degree in juvenile justice is the most sure way to prepare a career in this growing field. Earning a degree in juvenile justice will prepare students for various career opportunities and positions withing the field of juvenile justice - which we'll explore in more depth below.

Many entry-level juvenile justice related jobs can be obtained with a bachelor's degree. Those interested in management or supervisory jobs should earn a master's degree. Students enrolled in juvenile justice degree programs will be required to complete courses in judicial processes, juvenile justice, law, and criminology. Many accredited colleges and universities are now offering juvenile justice degree programs that can be completed online, making it easier for working professionals to return to school.

Associate's Degree in Juvenile Justice
Earning an associate degree in juvenile justice will prepare students for entry-levelop positions within police agencies, the courts, private security and corrections. Earning an associate degree in juvenile justice from a regionally accredited community college will allow students to transfer their degree and apply their credits toward a four-year bachelor's degree at major college or university. Many students will complete an associate degree in preparation for higher education opportunities.

Students serious about a long-term career in juvenile justice should consider earning a bachelor's degree, or even a master's degree within the specialty.

Bachelor's Degree in Juvenile Justice
A bachelor's degree in juvenile justice, or a closely related discipline, is typically the minimum requirement for entry-level jobs in the U.S. juvenile justice system. Either a bachelor's degree in criminal justice with an emphasis in juvenile justice, or a juvenile justice bachelor's degree will prepare students for careers in the following fields and/or positions.

  • Arbitrators, mediators, and conciliators (some employers require a master's)
  • Alternative sentencing specialist
  • Corrections recreation leader or program supervisor
  • Deputy prison warden
  • Justice program specialist
  • Juvenile/youth counselor
  • Parole/probation specialist
  • Social worker
  • Victim's advocate

Many colleges with strong criminal justice programs will offer stand alone degrees in justice administration or criminal justice degrees with tracks in justice administration. Either educational path will prepare students for a myriad of career opportunities in justice administration.

Master's Degree in Juvenile Justice
A master's degre in juvenile justice is similar to a bachelor's degree program but allows students to study more in-depth in their area of interest. In addition to the career opportunities listed in the section above, a master's degree in justice administration will prepare students for the following career positions.

  • Juvenile/youth residential director
  • Lawyer, prosecutor, defense attorney (bachelor's plus a law degree)

Earning a master's degree is also recommended for those seeking managerial, supervisory, administrative or any other position of leadership. In order to apply to master's degree programs, students must first earn a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited higher education institution.

Online Juvenile Justice Degree
Many colleges and universities that offer degrees in juvenile justice allow students to earn their degree entirely, or partially, online. Online degree programs in juvenile justice are designed for working adults, non-traditional students and advancement-oriented criminal justice professionals unable to attend a full time, campus-based program. The online degree offers students the flexibility of earning their degree when and wherever is most convenient for them.

Juvenile Justice Degree Programs

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