The Associate in Science in Criminal Justice program is designed to prepare those who want to make a difference in their communities by helping people. This degree program can position you for a career in the criminal justice field in a number of ways. It can provide you with the foundational knowledge needed to enter the field or, if you're already employed in the field, help enhance your résumé, heighten your profile, and advance your career. This program also prepares students for study at the baccalaureate level. Furthermore, a Penn State degree is renowned throughout the industry, giving you a recognized and respected credential to add to your résumé.
Many career possibilities exist for graduates of the Penn State Harrisburg Criminal Justice program. Graduates have pursued opportunities with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Marshals’ Office, sheriffs’ offices, municipal and state police departments, security and loss prevention programs, court administration, legal aid/paralegal, delinquency prevention programs, juvenile court personnel, youth shelters and other juvenile residential institutions, victim advocacy services, and probation and parole offices. Graduates may also apply for jobs in shelters for abused women and children, rape crisis centers, drug and alcohol programs, jails and prisons, halfway houses, and a wide variety of crime prevention and diversion programs.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in criminal justice professions are projected to grow through the year 2026. In addition, the 2017 Occupational Outlook Handbook reports that employment opportunities for substance abuse, behavioral disorder, and mental health counselors are expected to grow 20 percent through the year 2026, much faster than the national average for all occupations. Police officers have the highest rate of projected openings each year in the criminal justice field.