We See Greatness

Criminal Justice (AAS)

The Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice is designed to provide academic preparation in criminal law, legal procedure, court systems, law enforcement, and other related fields such as the fundamentals of law.

Graduates are trained for entry-level jobs such as:

  • Private Detectives
  • Government agencies
  • Criminal Investigators
  • Probation Officers
  • Correctional Treatment Specialists
  • Retail Loss Prevention Specialists

If you are driven by making a positive impact on the lives of individuals and the wellness of communities, you may already have a start on some of the skills needed for a successful entry-level career working in settings such as:

  • Federal government agency
  • State government agency
  • Local government agency
  • Private industries

In our 24 month program, you will gain knowledge of:

  • Relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
  • The law and the legal system, decision-making in the criminal justice process, the social and the political context of the legal system, important constitutional issues, and how criminal law differs from other forms of law.
  • The overall problem of crime in the United States, in terms of being familiar with different types of crimes committed in society, as well as possessing knowledge.
  • Issues related to crime prevention and the rehabilitation of offenders.

Note: Completion times vary by individual.

Employers Look for the Following Skills and Abilities:

  • Attention to Detail — requires being careful about detail and thorough in completing work tasks.
  • Integrity — requires being honest and ethical.
  • Business and Management Principles – requires beinginvolved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership techniques, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
  • Customer and Personal Services – Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Administrative and Clerical Procedures and Systems – Knowledge ofword processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
  • Personnel – proceduresfor recruitment, selection, training, compensation and benefits, labor relations and negotiation, and personnel information systems.
  • Speaking — talking to others to convey information effectively.
  • Problem Solving — using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Judgment and Decision Making — Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.

Graduates from Vista College’s Criminal Justice program will learn employer work activities including:

  • Understanding the nature and causes of crime and the factors that drive criminal behavior
  • Responding to crime and criminals while ensuring due process is followed
  • Promoting community safety and restorative justice
  • Dealing safely and humanely with individuals who have mental health and addiction issues
  • Being an advocate for vulnerable populations
  • Preventing and investigating crimes and process offenders
  • Ensuring proper legal procedure is followed at all stages of an investigation
  • Advocating for the rights of victims and increase community confidence in institutions of justice
  • Taking steps to combat the root causes of crime

Wages & Employment Trends

(Bureau of Labor Statistics 2018 wage data)

Median wages (2018) $ 13.72 hourly, $ 28,530 annual

Median wages data collected from Security Guards and Surveillance Officers

There’s a wide range of earning potential for qualified people in this career field. Vista is here to help you receive the training you need to be qualified to join this profession.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2017 wage data.

Employment is projected to grow from 2016 to 2026 at the average rate for all occupations.

Average (5% to 9%)

Related Occupations:

  • Correctional Officers and Jailers
  • Probation Officers
  • Criminal Investigators
  • Retail Loss Prevention Specialists
  • Private Detectives

Note: Salaries provided are the median for all employed in the profession nationwide. New graduates should expect entry level wages and the pay may vary according to location and other factors.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics 2016-2026 employment projections .

“Projected growth” represents the estimated change in total employment over the projections period (2016-2026).

Source:  https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/33-3051.01