What You Should Know About This Degree
Working in corrections can be challenging, as the job often requires working in high-pressure situations. Correctional officers and other personnel who work in correctional facilities must be capable of remaining calm and making sound decisions in stressful and sometimes dangerous situations. They must have good physical stamina, and be able to communicate effectively with a range of people. Before pursuing a degree in corrections and criminal justice, it’s important to reflect on your personal qualities, to make sure you are suited for this job.
Despite the significant prison population in the U.S., employment rates for correctional officers and bailiffs are projected to decline over the next 10 years. State and federal prisons depend on governmental funding to operate, and criminal justice reform has pushed for shorter sentences for a number of different crimes. Job prospects will be best for individuals who have a strong combination of education and experience.
The minimum education level for most correctional officer jobs is a high school diploma, although some higher-level positions seek candidates who have a bachelor’s degree. Therefore, earning a master’s degree typically does not lead to a significant pay increase, unless you are in a top administrative position at a correctional facility.
Here are some questions to ask when researching Online Master’s in Corrections programs:
- Am I eligible for this degree? Master’s programs typically seek students who have experience in the field of study, either through their bachelor’s degree, or prior work experience. When researching programs, review their eligibility requirements to make sure you have the necessary background for admission to the program.
- How are courses in this program delivered? Online courses are typically delivered either synchronously or asynchronously. Students attend synchronous courses remotely, but at set meeting times. In asynchronous courses, students can access lessons and assignments on their own time. Find out how the program delivers its courses, so you can choose the type of program that best fits into your schedule.
Other important steps to take at this point include researching programs’ application deadlines, preparing application materials, and considering your options for funding your education. If you have questions about admissions requirements, you should contact the program directly, or speak to an admissions representative.
Funding options include student loans, scholarships, assistantships, and tuition assistance benefits from your employer, when available.