Why More Women Are Opting for a Degree in Criminal Justice

Why More Women Are Opting for a Degree in Criminal Justice

Why More Women Are Opting for a Degree in Criminal Justice
Why More Women Are Opting for a Degree in Criminal Justice

Online degrees in criminal justice are popular with students who hope to serve their community in a diverse array of criminal justice degree jobs. For decades this field was dominated by men.

Per FBI records, women make up nearly 27% of the total law enforcement officers in the U.S. In recent years, however, there has been a shift and we see more women seeking out law enforcement careers and pursuing higher education related to the field.  

Why more women? Why now? This article explores this rising presence of women who are choosing to pursue degrees for careers in criminal justice by highlighting some of the key factors that might be driving this trend.

Ever-Present Demand

One of the key draws for women to criminal justice degree jobs is the consistent demand for such professionals. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), for instance, projects a 7% growth of jobs in this sector through 2026.

The demand for more qualified professionals will only increase over time and those with a focused bachelor's degree in criminal justice will be at the forefront of this growth.

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Growing Importance for Women in the Law Enforcement Workforce

Women are sought after for the emotional intelligence they bring to the table. They often surpass their male colleagues in their ability to mediate encounters with victims or perpetrators. The National Center for Women and Policing reports, for instance, that women are substantially less likely to be named in excessive force complaints.

Additional studies show that women police officers can be more adept than their male counterparts in using their emotional intelligence to attenuate conflicts. Women are increasingly in demand for roles in cybersecurity, forensics, counter-terrorism task forces, police departments, FBI, profiling, and other related areas.

For many years, criminal justice had the reputation of being a field fueled by brute force; more recently, though, this conversation has changed, with many departments and agencies working to train their teams in conflict resolution, communication, and proactive enforcement.

This has become an increasingly important factor given the rising rates of drug addiction and mental illness, conditions that can contribute to scenarios where the skills of strong communication can often deescalate confrontations effectively.

As a result, the various branches of criminal justice and law enforcement, from police departments to correctional facilities, consider women law enforcement professionals a great asset for their respective teams.  

Larger Support Network

In the 1970s, a meager 2% of all law enforcement officers were women. Such a statistic undoubtedly contributed to the public image of the criminal justice profession as a “boy’s club.”

Furthering the problem was that, given the low percentage of women who did pursue these careers, there was little in the way of professional support and development opportunities.

Female officers of the past might have struggled to advance in step with their male counterparts under the limitations of the “brass ceiling,” resulting in frustration and leaving them with nowhere to turn for resolution.

The rise of women in criminal justice, though, has encouraged the formation of this support network. The National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives (NAWLEE), for example, was established in the mid-1990s to promote the mentorship and support of female criminal justice professionals.

These organizations have helped to level the playing field, and they have also empowered new generations of women who want to enter careers in criminal justice professions to feel that they can control the progression of their career.  

The Confidence of Excellent Academic Preparation

The promise that the field of criminal justice careers holds for women today is amplified with the confidence that an exceptional academic preparation can bring.

It is just such a stellar foundation that Central Christian College of Kansas can provide, as its criminal justice degree online program encourages all of its students regardless of gender to reach for their ultimate career goals.

Pairing faith-based principles with forward-thinking methodologies from the field in every class, Central Christian College of Kansas’ curriculum offers students a current and comprehensive education that is guided by expert faculty who may serve as a mentor or professional contact in the future.

All of this is offered in a flexible online degree program that can be tailored to the needs and schedule of a rising professional who is ready to join the growing number of women making a difference in the criminal justice world.

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“About NAWLEE.” National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives. Accessed 11 January 2019 from: http://nawlee.org/about-us/
“Forensic Science Technicians.” United States Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook
Handbook. Accessed 11 January 2019 from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/life-physical-and-social-science/forensic-scienc...
Lynn Langston, “Women in Law Enforcement.” United States Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Statistics. June 2010. Accessed 11 January 2019 from: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/wle8708.pdf
“Men, Women, and Police Excessive Force: A Tale of Two Genders.” The National Center for Women and Policing, April 2002. Accessed 11 January 2019 from: http://womenandpolicing.com/PDF/2002_Excessive_Force.pdf
“Police and Detectives.” United States Bureau of Labor Statistics – Occupational Outlook Handbook. Accessed 11 January 2019 from: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/protective-service/police-and-detectives.htm
Katherine Spillar, “How more female police officers would help stop police brutality.” The Washington Post, 2 July 2015. Accessed 11 January 2019 from: https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2015/07/02/how-more-fem...
“Women in Law Enforcement.” The Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS)
Newsletter, July 2013. Accessed 11 January 2019 from: https://cops.usdoj.gov/html/dispatch/07-2013/women_in_law_enforcement.asp