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Criminal Justice Schools in California

California is the third largest U.S. state by area after Alaska and Texas. It is home to 8 of the nation's 50 most populated cities including Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Fresno, Sacramento, Long Beach, and Oakland.

There are a number of schools in the state that offer post-secondary academic programs and equip students with the skills to potentially enter the job market. California has a wide range of criminal justice colleges as well that offer a variety of programs ranging from associate to PhD programs. Criminal justice schools in California play a major role in putting graduates on the front lines of combating crime.

Why pursue a criminal justice education in California?

Working in this field can be suitable for those who have good analytical, stress management and communication skills. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 3,207,790 people employed nationwide in the field of criminal justice in 2012. California is among the states that have the highest annual salary for criminal justice professionals.  

What types of programs are offered at the criminal justice colleges in California?

Offering a wide range of programs aimed at helping students learn how to investigate, understand, and solve social problems related to crime, the criminal justice schools in the state of California prepare candidates for a variety of possible career paths. You can pursue a degree such as:

  • Bachelor in criminal justice
  • Master in criminal justice
  • Doctorate in criminal justice

Certificate programs are offered in this discipline that may be useful for people who want to improve their skills and stay updated with the latest developments in this field.

You can focus your degree choosing from numerous areas within criminal justice such as:

  • Applied forensics
  • High-tech crime
  • Emergency services administration

These programs are interdisciplinary in nature, and provide knowledge in law, criminology, sociology, psychology, philosophy, and related fields. Going through the criminal justice courses will help students learn about:

  • Ethical decision making
  • Investigation techniques
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Communication abilities
  • Firearms and the use of force

What are the career prospects for criminal justice graduates in California?

The crime rate in California is about 6% lower than the national average, according to the National Institute of Corrections. According to the California Attorney General's office, there was a considerable drop in property crimes in 2009 from 2008 and a slight decline in violent crimes during the same period.

There are 127 jails and 99 prison facilities in California with a combined capacity of more than 250,000 prisoners. Besides, more than 325,000 individuals are on probation and almost 121,000 are out on parole, leading to a demand for those who can manage and oversee such individuals.

A variety of career opportunities may be found in the criminal justice sector in California. Your work may include street-level experience as well as more advanced-level positions. Possible careers paths with a criminal justice degrees include:

  • Police officers and sheriff's deputies
  • Corrections officers
  • Security officers
  • Investigators and evidence technicians
  • Parole, probation, and court officers

Programs offered at criminal justice schools in California may be beneficial for those who want to play a role in addressing the crime rate in their respective areas.


Frequently Asked Question(s)

Q:How to become a cop in California?

A:To become a police officer in California, individuals must meet certain requirements set by law enforcement agencies in the state. A candidate must be a US citizen and over the age of eighteen (some agencies have a higher age requirement), should have a high school diploma, should pass the reading and assessment test, and should have a valid California driver's license. Apart from this, candidates must have a clean criminal record. All candidates who fulfill this criteria must undergo a rigorous training at a police academy during which they learn various skills and receive fire arms training etc. Once the training is complete, they must pass a State sponsored test known as the California Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training POST.

Q:How to become a police officer in California?

A:Certain police departments may want you to complete a Basic Academy before applying. You must have at least a high school diploma. Some police departments hire candidates and then send them to academies as cadets. Background, psychological and medical checks will be conducted along with interviews, before you are allowed to work as a police officer. The exact requirements will vary from city to city.

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