Angelo State University confers a cheap law enforcement master's degree that focuses professional on preparing for a career in government law enforcement. The MSCJ is open to all students but preference is placed on working professionals with a bachelor's degree in criminology. This is a 100 percent online program that can be completed in around two years. Courses are designed and taught by working professionals who also teach on campus. Both asynchronous and synchronous courses are delivered through the school's online portal, which keeps to the traditional 16-week term schedule. Students will be expected to complete 36 credit hours of coursework, a capstone seminar, and a comprehensive exam. Sample courses include Criminal Justice Agency Ethics, Critical Analysis of Justice Administration, and Legal Aspects of the Criminal Justice System.
10 Most Affordable Master’s in Law Enforcement Online
Professionals are clamoring for more online Master’s in Law Enforcement degrees to be made available. That’s because as America’s law enforcement departments and agencies evolve, the need for adept professionals in the field is becoming clear. Many agencies are facing a shortage of viable candidates for necessary positions and therefore there is a call for online graduate education in this field to become more available.
Many people speculate as to why an online degree in criminal justice is so attractive to professionals. Flexibility, affordability, and the fact that there are no residency requirements are just some of the many reasons working professionals prefer the online format. Employers are also finding that online degrees are just as high-quality as a traditional program, so the stigma is gone and professionals pursue these degrees with rigor.
This ranking was created using the National Center for Education Statistics and its College Navigator database. From an initial pool of 40 schools, 10 were selected based on their affordable in-state graduate tuition rates. They are listed below in descending order.
Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Law Enforcement Online
|1||Angelo State University||San Angelo, TX|
|2||Missouri Southern State University||Joplin, MO|
|3||Sam Houston State University||Huntsville, TX|
|4||University of North Texas||Denton, TX|
|5||University of North Alabama||Florence, AL|
|6||University of Cumberlands||Williamsburg, KY|
|7||Texas A&M International University||Laredo, TX|
|8||Lamar University||Beaumont, TX|
|9||Delta State University||Cleveland, MS|
|10||University of Houston Downtown||Houston, TX|
Accredited Online College Programs
Ranking Low-cost Law Enforcement Master’s
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the Career Options for an Online Master’s in Law Enforcement Degree?
With an online Master’s in Law Enforcement, professionals can work in just about any court, correctional system, police department, intelligence agency, or government department. These professionals are in high demand, especially from the government sector, and can find work as:
- Police Officers
- Foreign Intelligence Agents
- Counterterrorism Analysts
- State Trooper
- Corrections Officer
- Probation Officer
- Chief of Police
Nearly every position in the government can be held by someone who has a degree in law enforcement. It is possible to find even more career options, but these are just a few. Professionals who wish to seek a specialized position are encouraged to research that position to see if there are any other requirements associated with that position.
How Much Can You Earn in this Field?
Law Enforcement professionals make anywhere between $29,000 to over $125,000 a year. The range takes into account working for the private or public sector, all career positions, the area of residence, and level of work experience.
Most professionals will begin their career by making anywhere between $45,000 to $55,000. There are several exceptions, including truancy officers, social workers, and probation officers. Women also make substantially less, often averaging $20,000 less than their male counterparts when education and work experience were equal.
It is possible for a professional to earn up to $125,000 a year, but this is after years of work experience and choosing a high-paying position. In the end, actual salaries are dictated by the employer and the nature of the work. Professionals interested in specific jobs and their salaries are encouraged to do more research.
What are the Various Disciplines of Law Enforcement?
Law enforcement is a field that requires a vast knowledge of psychology, criminology, sociology, law, government, and more. It can be incredibly complex and depending on a professional’s actual career path, can require specific knowledge in one or more of the following areas:
- Foreign Affairs
- Forensic Science
- Computer Science
What Other Things Will Help a Professional Get a Job in Law Enforcement?
There are several things that professionals can do in order to prepare for a job in law enforcement besides earning a graduate degree. While these are all optional, they can be beneficial when searching for employment.
Many law enforcement positions require a professional to be proficient with a gun. If a professional wishes to be a police officer or an agent with the federal government, it may be useful to learn how to use a gun prior to entering the workforce. It is not necessary to become a marksman, but a few lessons with a trained instructor may make training easier once a job offer is in place.
Something else that is useful is to participate in volunteer work. While law enforcement, as a rule, does not accept volunteers, it may be beneficial to work with a nonprofit organization or a local agency that works with underserved populations or who may provide legal assistance to those going through the criminal justice systems. Community outreach is also a great choice because many law enforcement agencies are looking for people who have experience in working with different populations within their community.
Physical training or sports is also a good idea. Because many professionals work as law enforcement officers, whether as police officers or special agents, they are required to be in good physical condition. Staying fit or even joining a sports club can look good both on a resume and also help with training later on in a professional’s career.
Finally, many law enforcement officers have worked in the military before or serve as reserve or auxiliary officers. While this can be a time commitment, it looks great on a resume. It also demonstrates a commitment to serving the community and the country.
Is it Necessary to Take on an Internship While in School?
No, it is not necessary to take on an internship while in school. However, if it is available as an option in an online program and a professional has the time to participate, they should.
Internships are a great idea because, in the law enforcement field, work experience is necessary in order to be considered for employment. Unfortunately, experience in the field is hard to come by while in graduate school unless a student is already actively working in the field. It becomes especially difficult if a professional graduates with absolutely no internship or work experience to provide evidence they can do the job.
Internships are generally one semester long; some schools require a year-long, part-time internship. This provides students with the job experience they need. It can also lead to job offers from local and federal agencies; both the CIA and FBI offer full-time paid internships that often come with an exit interview. If the professional has done well, they may be invited to work for the agency.
Do All Law Enforcement Jobs Require Training After Accepting the Position?
Yes, all law enforcement agencies and departments require some sort of training after a professional has been hired. For some professionals, it could require attending an academy and field training and for others, it could be on-the-job training. It simply depends on the nature of the position.
For example, CIA and FBI agents, police officers and ATF officers all must attend their respective position’s training academy. This culminates with field training. Most of the time, a professional isn’t considered truly hired until they have successfully completed all training. Training times range from agency to agency and may include additional specialized training.
Another example would be that of a probation officer. Physical training is encouraged, but not required for this position. Most training happens on the job and under the supervision of a superior. On-the-job training can last anywhere from a couple of weeks to six months.
Ongoing training is normal for law enforcement professionals and may even be compulsory for many positions. It is important to remember that as threats emerge and technology advances, professionals will continuously need to train in order to be at their best.
Law enforcement is a big issue in America; with over 500 million residents and 2.3 billion acres of land to protect, it’s no wonder why the country strives to educate law enforcement officials. With so many different crimes to think about and various law enforcement agencies to manage, professionals who wish to advance in their career often go to graduate school. With an online Master’s in Law Enforcement, professionals will be prepared to take the next step in their career.
This concludes our ranking of the Top 10 Most Affordable Master’s in Law Enforcement Online.
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