Online Criminal Justice Degrees in Delaware

With a population of approximately 960,000 people, Delaware's contribution to the U.S. economy is small at 0.4% of GDP. Over the next few years, the state is projected to improve upon those numbers. An analysis provided by the Bureau of Economic Analysis indicates that Delaware has the 22nd fastest growing state economy in the country.

More than 14 federal authorities work out of the state, which provides excellent opportunities for graduates of criminal justice degrees in Delaware to explore a field outside of traditional law enforcement.

While the state's three-year GDP growth is just below the national average, employment growth is substantially higher. Over the last three years, the state saw a 9.5% employment growth, which is the second largest state increase in the nation. This is promising for graduates looking to enter the Delaware workforce in the coming years.

For graduates of online criminal justice degrees in Delaware, the economic outlook is even more hopeful. Even though the state's employment numbers in protective services and the annual mean wages rank slightly lower the national average, the long-term projections for the field rank higher than the U.S. average.

Currently, Delaware is experiencing dramatic shortages in the field of corrections, and aggressive recruitment efforts seek to fill the void. More than 14 federal authorities work out of the state, which provides excellent opportunities for graduates of criminal justice degrees in Delaware to explore a field outside of traditional law enforcement.

While many Delaware colleges offer on-campus criminal justice training, both out-of-state online degrees and Delaware online criminal justice degrees provide additional opportunities for students to find the ideal program that fits their goals.

Many colleges and universities now offer certificates, courses, and degrees online. For students in small states like Delaware, where the in-person options are minimal, online schools provide learners with more options. There's also the convenience factor. Asynchronous online criminal justice degrees in Delaware allow students to maintain employment and study during the hours that fit their schedules. Many schools even offer hybrid programs, which combine on-campus courses with online study.

One of the greatest benefits of online criminal justice degrees in Delaware is the affordability. Not only do some schools offer lower tuition rates for online programs as a result of lower operating costs, but many also offer in-state tuition rates to all learners, regardless of where they live. Students earning online criminal justice degrees in Delaware typically save a significant amount of money and time by limiting housing, textbook, and travel costs. Add in the additional money earned by working while studying and the cost differences can be substantial.

One of the most important features for any institution or any program is regional accreditation. While the U.S. Department of Education (ED) oversees education as a whole, it is the regional accrediting agencies that grant accreditation and ensure that each institution meets certain educational standards. States are divided into regions, and the colleges and universities within them fall under the respective agency's authority. Delaware institutions are governed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. To verify if a school is accredited, check the ED database.

Delaware institutions are governed by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Regional accreditation ensures that students will qualify for federal funding and scholarships. Most regionally accredited schools will only accept transfer credits from institutions with the same status. Many employers, particularly in the field of criminal justice, seek applicants from accredited programs. Other forms of accreditation, such as national and specialized accreditation, rarely come in to play in the criminal justice field. Since laws and regulations vary by state, most programming does as well. Though national law enforcement agencies, such as the National Security Agency and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), provide helpful affiliations and recognitions for certain programs, these are not necessarily required for employment.

Educational requirements vary extensively depending on the position and career. Many positions, particularly in the protective services field, require physical training. For these positions, an associate degree in criminal justice provides students with a head start on the legal aspects and the eventual written testing portion. Associate degrees also provide students with a foundation for more advanced degrees.

A bachelor's degree in criminal justice is required to become a probation officer or counselor. Specialized law enforcement agencies, such as the DHS, typically require applicants to hold at least a bachelor's degree as well.

Master's degrees and doctorates in criminal justice prepare graduates to obtain supervisor positions and other advanced careers in the field. Most protective services positions in Delaware, and throughout the U.S., require applicants to have earned a certain degree.

Aspiring professionals usually have to complete training courses and acquire proper licensing. Some of the most common settings that require training courses include law enforcement, corrections, and security.

Since many criminal justice professionals handle weapons and deal with challenging situations, the professions are regulated and governed. Regulations demand that professionals register with the proper authorities and obtain licenses and certificates as proof of their training. While these requirements vary by state and profession, Delaware closely tracks its criminal justice professionals. Each student in a Delaware online criminal justice degree program should verify what licensure or other documents are required and that they will be eligible to obtain these after graduation.

Like a degree, a certificate demonstrates that an individual met certain training standards in a specific field.

Some criminal justice professionals in Delaware have to get on a registry. This is a common requirement for security guards and private investigators. By registering with the state (or industry authority), the government can track and manage the individuals and the profession. Other professions will require licensure. In Delaware, professional licenses are required for security guards, investigators, and alarm employees. These licenses, especially in careers that require the employee to be armed, ensure that the individual is not only allowed to carry a dangerous weapon but that they understand how to safely operate one.

Certification provides a way for professionals to expand their expertise. Like a degree, a certificate demonstrates that an individual met certain training standards in a specific field. The Delaware Police Academy offers many optional training certificate programs that can provide graduates with an advantage over their competitors. Delaware's gun regulations are considered strict compared to most states, so verify that your existing gun license transfers over. For out-of-state students looking for employment in Delaware, check with the state authority for specific transfer guidelines. In regards to policing, Delaware does not guarantee that police training completed in another state will transfer over.

The field of protective services boasts a strong outlook for new and future graduates of online criminal justice degrees in Delaware. For such a small state, Delaware provides excellent opportunities in many protective services professions.

The mean annual wage is $43,150, and the hourly mean wage is $20.75, which are both lower than the national averages of $47,190 and $22.69 respectively. In the metropolitan areas, wages are considerably higher. The city of Dover provides annual mean wages of nearly $49,000, and the city of Wilmington boasts an employment rate that surpasses the national average.

The projected job growth throughout Delaware is strong, which includes the protective services field. Across the board, the state's protective services professions are projected to grow at rates faster than the national average. The table below provides wage information for specific criminal justice professions, as well as the state's employment numbers for that career.

Protective Services Occupations in Delaware

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Firefighters 440 $22.41 $46,610
Fire Inspectors and Investigators 140 $24.71 $51,400
Detectives and Criminal Investigators N/A $44.12 $91,770
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 1,840 $32.99 $68,630
Private Detectives and Investigators 70 $26.66 $55,450
Security Guards 3,280 $13.40 $27,880
Source: BLS, May 2017

Court and Corrections Occupations in Delaware

Occupation Employment Average Hourly Wage Average annual Wage
Lawyers 2,410 N/A N/A
Judges, Magistrate Judges, and Magistrates 120 $67.18 $13,974
Paralegals and Legal Assistants 1,350 $26.50 $55,120
Court Reporters 60 $28.72 $59,730
Source: BLS, May 2017

When exploring financial aid options, it's important to look at all the various types of funding. After applying for federal financial aid, students should research what scholarships are available to them. National scholarships provide opportunities for all students across the country, but state-specific scholarships are offered as well. Criminal justice students also benefit from program-specific scholarships, which are only offered to those pursuing a career in the field.

Criminal Justice Scholarships

My Alarm Center Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: My Alarm Center offers scholarships to high school seniors with plans of majoring in criminal justice or a related field. Applicants must submit a minimum 500-word essay on a topic submitted by My Alarm Center. View Scholarship

Ritchie-Jennings Memorial Scholarship Program $2,500-10,000

Who Can Apply: This scholarship program is open to students in the field of criminal justice with plans to pursue a career in fraud examination or a similar profession. Applicants must be enrolled in a four-year college or university. View Scholarship

Irlet Anderson Scholarship Award $2,500

Who Can Apply: The National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives offers a scholarship to a high school senior pursuing a criminal justice major or a related field. Applicants must post a minimum 3.8 GPA and demonstrate financial need. View Scholarship

NASSLEO Past President Scholarship $2,000

Who Can Apply: The National Association of School Safety and Law Enforcement Officials presents several scholarships to high school seniors with plans of pursuing a career in security. Applicants must post a minimum 3.0 GPA and take a criminal justice or related major. View Scholarship

Brian Terry Foundation Scholarship Program Varies

Who Can Apply: The Brian Terry Foundation presents various scholarships to students majoring in criminal justice or related fields. Applicants must enrol in a criminal justice program at an accredited college or university and submit a personal essay. View Scholarship

Scholarships for Delaware Residents

Student Ethics Essay Scholarship $2,500

Who Can Apply: The Better Business Bureau Foundation of Delaware presents two scholarships annually to students that best demonstrate ethics through leadership and community service. Applicants must be Delaware high school seniors and submit a personal essay. View Scholarship

Diamond State Scholarships $1,250

Who Can Apply: The Diamond State Scholarship is available to Delaware residents that plan to enroll at a university. Applicants must post a 1290 SAT score, rank in the upper quarter of their class, and submit a 1,000-word personal essay. View Scholarship

Horatio Alger Delaware Scholarship $5,000

Who Can Apply: The Horatio Alger Scholarship Program presents scholarships to Delaware residents in honor of John W. Rollins. Applicants must enrol at a four-year college, demonstrate financial need, and post a minimum 2.0 GPA. View Scholarship

James A. McCarty Memorial Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: The Delaware Lions Foundation Inc. presents a scholarship to graduating high school seniors living in Delaware. Applicants must demonstrate financial need, community involvement, and exceptional academic achievements. View Scholarship

Delaware State Federation of Women's Clubs Scholarship $1,000

Who Can Apply: The Delaware State Federation of Women's Clubs offers scholarships to high school seniors that demonstrate financial need, excellent academic abilities, and community leadership. View Scholarship

Law Enforcement Agencies in Delaware

Professional Organizations

Joining a professional organization can provide many benefits. For criminal justice students, professional organizations provide scholarship opportunities, industry resources, and job search assistance. Even veteran criminal justice professionals benefit from the professional development opportunities, access to networking events, and the ability to stay current on industry news. Many of the following organizations provide additional member benefits, such as insurance, discounts, and training opportunities.

Correctional Officers Association of Delaware

COAD represents members by improving career conditions, advocating for its members interests, and providing training and educational opportunities.

Delaware State Troopers Association

This association strives to improve the state trooper career and ensure its members' safety. In addition to advocacy efforts, the association provides networking and educational opportunities.

Delaware Police Chiefs' Council

With a member base of high-ranking and executive law enforcement officials advocating for the profession, this association aims to improve all areas of law enforcement in the state.

Delaware Paralegal Association

By providing learning opportunities, access to networking events, and delivering industry news and resources to its members, this association helps to improve Delaware's paralegal profession.

The National Guard Association of Delaware

Part of the National Guard Association of the United States, this state chapter fights for better training, benefits, and equipment for its members.

Association of Retired Delaware State Police, Inc

The association provides retired members of the police force with a family of like-minded people. It also offers a nonpolitical and safe environment for members to connect with each other.

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