Asking if going back to college is worth it is similar to asking if you should invest in a new business venture. It might be—it might not be—but ultimately, there’s more to the question. Should you invest all of your life savings into your friend’s startup candle brand? Possibly, but your chances of seeing a return on that are likely on the low side. Should you buy a house when you have savings to repair it and the market is low? Probably! That is an example of an investment that has a likely high rate of return.
In general, college is essentially a business investment. If someone came to you with a business proposal and wanted you to take out a loan and invest, would you do it? Well, that’s what college is—an investment with a potential opportunity. Degrees and other business ventures can have great lifelong returns. But they have to be calculated.
If you get a degree, you’re investing in yourself – YOU are the business venture! Are you ready to take that seriously? Do you have a plan AFTER college?
Some people may tell you that “it doesn’t matter what degree you get as long as you have one!” That advice may have been more true in the past, but with shifting job markets, the supply/demand ratio has changed depending on the field a student is aiming for.
Most criminal justice employers are looking for skills that are specific and are focusing on solving their needs. Do you aspire to work in Criminal Justice management, human resources, compliance, forensics or social services? General Criminal Justice training (and the program) focuses mostly on general field skills, but a Criminal Justice Professional learns field skills as well as business, social service, leadership, and management skills. These are the details most Criminal Justice Departments are looking for today.
A quality career path should have a goal in sight!
That leads to the final point:
If you return to college to get a bachelor’s degree, you are investing in yourself. Are you ready to take yourself seriously as a business investment?
Let’s look at the job outlook for a Criminal Justice Professional Degree. PayScale and the Bureau of Labor Statistics show us the following data:
The median salary of an individual with a Bachelor’s in Criminal Justice is $56,000 according to payscale.com
Job prospects for the Criminal Justice field are projected to grow at about 10% from 2018-2028 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
One of the best ways to find a quality career is to be an expert in an expanding market. A lot of doors can be opened for those looking to lock into this profession for the long run.
Yes, degree completion programs can be worth it! But it’s important to do the math and find out about ACTUAL outcomes once you’re in the workforce.
If you want to talk to someone who specializes in making sure adult professionals have a clear path to degree completion, make sure to give our admissions director a call!