Degree Description: Ivy Bridge offers students a criminal justice degree program that prepares students to jumpstart a career in all sectors of the law, including law enforcement, supervision, criminal investigation, and corrections. This program is also especially designed for those who want basic foundational knowledge and plan on furthering their education. Students will be required to take 25 credit hours of knowledge skills/liberal education core courses such as English, college mathematics, communications and psychology. To earn an Associate in Law Enforcement specifically, students must take 33 credit hours of coursework that will teach them the operations and policies of the criminal justice system. Courses will include juvenile justice systems, police and society, computers in law enforcement, criminal procedures, and fundamentals of criminal investigation. In total, students must earn 61 credits to earn this degree, the remaining credits earned from an elective. This degree should take full-time students about two to three years to earn. The cost of tuition is $4,725, which averages about 12 to 16 credit hours per term. Many students are also eligible for financial aid, which can help reduce tuition costs.

Degree Outlook: Most bachelor’s degree holders typically find careers in police departments and correctional institutions. While some positions, especially higher ranking jobs like detectives and investigators, require additional training and several years of field experience, most law enforcement graduates find career opportunities as police officers. Since increasing crime rates will make need for more policing and security, this industry is expected to be stable within the next coming years, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the Bureau predicts that those who work for police departments will experience a 10 percent growth rate during the 2008–18 decade, creating 84,700 new jobs in the market. Those who possess the proper training, education and physique will have better opportunities, the Bureau states. While salary can depend on a variety of different factors such as place of employment and region, law enforcement workers can earn anywhere from $46,000 to $92,700, according to the Bureau.

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