Recently, we discussed what criminal justice is, how to get into the field, and whether or not it's a good career

Here, we'll explore the widely held belief that criminal justice is a difficult major and a difficult industry to work in.

Like many other disciplines, criminal justice is often thought of as being overly challenging, and some people give up on pursuing a degree in it before they’ve looked into this question. The thing that’s important to realize is that criminal justice may have challenges, like any other profession, but it’s not more difficult than other similar fields.

In this article, we'll talk about why people might think of criminal justice as being uniquely difficult, we’ll dispel those concerns, and we’ll explain why you should think about considering a degree and career in criminal justice.

After learning everything you need to know about whether or not criminal justice is worth studying, we think you’ll agree that it’s a great option. If that's the case, fill out our information request form to receive additional details about our 100% online Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice or our online Master's Degree in Criminal Justice.

Ready to get started now? Submit your application today! 

Why Do People Think Criminal Justice is Difficult? 

Just like any other field, the main reason that many people consider criminal justice to be hard is that they don't know much about it yet. 

They assume that criminal justice is overly complex, technical, and difficult, but without actually looking into what criminal justice is and what criminal justice professionals do, they’re forming an opinion that isn’t based on fact.

As with any subject or degree program, criminal justice might be more difficult for someone who isn’t particularly interested in it, or who lacks some of the basic foundational skills needed to achieve success in the industry, but these obstacles are easy to overcome by getting your degree in criminal justice!

The topics you’d study during a criminal justice degree program will train you on everything you need to know in regards to criminal justice itself, as well as why criminal justice is so important in today’s society. 

If you have an interest in or aptitude for any of these skills, then working in criminal justice may not be overly difficult, and it’d likely be something that you’d enjoy!

With that in mind, let’s look at what it takes to become a criminal justice professional.

What Do You Need to Learn to Become a Criminal Justice Professional?

As with any field, there are a variety of skills that you will need to learn before you can launch a successful career in criminal justice. 

Some of the most important pieces of knowledge, skills, and abilities that you should focus on developing include:

  • Communication - Criminal justice professionals are required to handle sensitive issues on a regular basis and will communicate with a wide variety of different stakeholders including government agencies, media outlets, detainees, and many others. Ensuring you have strong communications skills will be extremely important in finding success in this complex, challenging industry.
  • Writing - As a criminal justice professional you will be required to write in-depth reports for a variety of different audiences. Having well-developed writing skills will help you present critical information in clear and concise ways. 
  • Policies and Laws - Criminal justice professionals must be up to date with current criminal laws and other important policies. Keeping abreast of changes and updates is crucial for advocating for policy changes and keeping communities safe.
  • Strategic Decision-Making - Criminal justice professionals play an important role and are often in charge of updating legislation, enforcing laws, and helping the public, so they have to be capable of making strategic decisions. They must know how to evaluate laws and regulations and determine when they need to intervene if there’s a problem. Knowing how to address these tasks relies heavily on excellent decision-making skills.

These are just some of the skills you will need to learn to become an effective criminal justice professional, but they’re also one of the reasons why criminal justice has a reputation for being difficult.

It will take time, effort, and training to develop these abilities, but you’re likely to find the investment worth it because criminal justice offers an excellent career opportunity. 

Who Should You Consider Becoming a Criminal Justice Professional?

It's worth taking some time to find out if criminal justice might be the right field of study and career path for you.

If you're on the fence because you’re concerned that criminal justice may be too difficult, then you might find your fears allayed by the following details.

Anyone who is naturally good at the following skills, has these personality traits, or is interested in cultivating them, is likely to be uniquely suited to studying and working in criminal justice:

  • Great Communicators - As mentioned before, a primary part of any position in criminal justice is communication. Communication skills come in handy for a criminal justice professional when interviewing detainees, relaying policy changes or information from government agencies, resolving conflicts, or facilitating interactions between individuals. If you’re a great communicator or interested in developing your communications skills, criminal justice might be the perfect field for you to study.
  • Conflict Managers - Have you always had a knack for being the "peacekeeper" in a given group? If so, you might be uniquely suited to succeed in criminal justice. Conflict management is a crucial part of de-escalating intense situations, keeping people safe, and upholding the law – critical parts of criminal justice. Since conflict often leads to unfortunate and unsafe situations, managing conflict is of the utmost importance. If you’re interested in making a positive impact in communities then this could be a great opportunity to deploy those skills. 
  • Organizers - Criminal justice professionals work with a wide variety of different kinds of people in different situations and must be able to stay organized under stress. If you’re a detail-oriented person who is well-organized, then criminal justice could be the perfect field for you.
  • Trustworthy People - Criminal justice professionals are responsible for holding sensitive conversations with inmates, detainees, judges, lawyers, and other stakeholders. As a criminal justice professional, you are expected to keep this information safe and private. 

If you feel that you possess one or more of the above characteristics, then you might be well-suited for a position in criminal justice.

Don't forget that this is just a small sample of skills and traits that indicate you could make a great criminal justice professional. In reality, there are many other desirable traits not listed here that would make you a great candidate. 

And while we’ve explained that criminal justice may not be as difficult as some people think, that doesn’t mean it’s “easy”. If you’re serious about breaking into the industry, then it’s important to invest the time and resources needed to develop the skills you’ll need to succeed in criminal justice.

Getting your degree in criminal justice is the best way to ensure that you can do just that. 

Do You Need a Degree to Break Into the Field? 

It is possible to find a position in criminal justice without a degree, especially in an entry-level role, but this could be challenging considering how competitive it is.

If you're aiming to launch your criminal justice career in a traditional law-enforcement setting then you’ll almost certainly be able to achieve better results by obtaining a criminal justice degree, as this is likely to be a requirement for most government agencies. 

Of course, obtaining a degree also provides another significant benefit, which is to ensure that you will be thoroughly prepared to serve as an effective employee from your first day on the job.

If you’re serious about working in criminal justice, then the best way to improve the chances of launching a successful career in the industry is to first obtain your degree.

Which Type of Degree Should You Get? Bachelor's vs. Master's Programs

Knowing that getting a degree may be vital to landing a great job in criminal justice, you might be wondering which type of degree you should pursue.

To pick the right degree, review your current education credentials, you’ll need to review and consider your:

  • Current academic credentials 
  • Industry experience
  • Long-term career goals

If you don’t already have a bachelor’s degree (in any subject), then you should aim to complete our Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, as this is the perfect place to start building your career.

However, if you already have a bachelor’s degree, then you’d be a better fit for our Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice instead.

This program will improve your understanding of criminal justice best practices, while also preparing you for a more senior, leadership-level role in the industry.

If you’re having trouble choosing between a bachelor's or a master's degree, please contact one of our Enrollment Counselors by calling 1-800-462-7845 or emailing enroll [at] for assistance, as they can help steer you in the right direction.

Whatever degree you choose to pursue, you can rest assured that completing new academic credentials with CSU Global will help advance your career in criminal justice.

Should You Get Your Degree in Criminal Justice Online?

Yes, you should consider getting your degree in criminal justice online, especially if you have work or family responsibilities that you'll need to manage alongside your studies. 

Getting your degree online means you'll be able to do your coursework at a time and place that suits you. You'll be able to make your own schedule and work around other duties, all without having to worry about missing out on important information from in-person classes. 

Our 100% online programs were designed specifically for online learning, and offer several benefits, including:

  • No set class times or physical locations
  • Monthly class starts
  • Accelerated eight-week courses

If you're ready to develop the skills needed to launch or advance your career in criminal justice, then you won’t find a better option than studying online with us.

Why Should You Consider Studying Criminal Justice at CSU Global?

Both of our online degrees in criminal justice are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission, the most respected accreditation body in the country.

Both programs were also specifically designed to provide students with the foundational knowledge and skills needed to build a successful career in criminal justice, and all of our faculty have recent, real-world experience in the industry.

Each program has earned excellent rankings, including:

For our Bachelor’s program:

For our Master’s program:

  • A #1 ranking on 25 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice for 2020, Best Masters Programs.
  • A #4 ranking on Best Online Master's in Law Enforcement Administration Programs of 2022, Intelligent.
  • A #4 ranking on The 20 Best Online Master’s in Criminal Justice Degree Programs 2020, Online Course Report.

Furthermore, CSU Global itself has also recently received several distinguished rankings, including:

  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
  • A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges.
  • A #10 ranking for Best Online Colleges for ROI from OnlineU.

Finally, we offer competitive tuition rates, and a Tuition Guarantee to ensure your rate won’t increase for as long as you remain enrolled at CSU Global. For details on how our costs stack up against the competition, be sure to review our Cost Comparison Sheet.

Simply put, getting your Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice from CSU Global is the best way to advance your career by ensuring that you’re prepared to provide valuable public service.

To get additional details about our fully accredited, online Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, or our online Master’s Degree in Criminal Justice, please give us a call at 800-462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.

Ready to get started today? Apply now