The field of law enforcement is vast and evolving. To learn how to tackle crime effectively, you might want to invest in a criminal justice degree. The following is a comprehensive list of the top criminal justice degrees in San Jose.

Featured Programs and Schools

The San Jose State University

The San Jose State University offers multiple programs for those interested in the field of criminal justice. It offers undergraduate and graduate degrees under its Department of Justice Studies. The undergraduate program in criminal studies at the San Jose University offers a broad, research-based approach that addresses the rapid changes in criminal studies. The Justice Studies Department is a member of the Consortium of Undergraduate Law and Justice Programs. The graduate programs offered at the San Jose University include the MS Justice Studies and MS Criminology, which are both 2-year long programs. Upon graduation, students are well-equipped to proceed to a PhD degree.

The Evergreen Valley College

The Evergreen Valley College offers a variety of associate’s degrees in Administration of Justice. Typical coursework includes Introduction to Administration of Justice, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedures, Contemporary Police Issues and Introduction to Criminal Investigations. These associate-level degrees cover the history of criminal justice, legal frameworks, criminal justice agents, classifications of crime, case law and constitutional provisions etc.

The San Jose City College

The San Jose City College has a stellar Department of Justice which offers an Administration of Justice Degree. The program offers both practical and technical knowledge, meant to meet the increasing demand of criminal justice majors. You can choose from courses such as Criminal Law, Court Operations, Legal Studies and Criminal Investigations. These programs are offered at the associate degree level and can lead to careers in the city police department, sheriff department and the highway patrol department. Students may also be able to find employment as corrections officers, community service officers and crime scene investigators. The university also offers certificate programs in Administration of Justice.

The Ohlone College

The Ohlone College is located near San Jose and offers an Administration of Justice for Transfer A.S. Degree. The college also offers multiple certificate programs along with a Vocational Training program, which is meant mainly for working professionals. Students enrolled in these degrees are taught subjects such as Administration of Justice, Cyber Crime, Criminal Law, Criminal Evidence, Murder in America, Introduction to Forensic Anthropology, Drug Enforcement and Basic Police Policy etc.

The De Anza College

The De Anza College is a community college near San Jose that offers an Administration of Justice program. This prepares students for careers in law enforcement, corrections, private security and probation and parole. The program has been offered at the De Anza College since 1967 and today, it teaches students the most updated technologies and methods in crime fighting. Courses you will be taught here include Concepts of Criminal Law, Women in Crime, Youth and the Law, Crime, Correction and Society, Law and Social Change etc.

Jobs in San Jose for People with Criminal Justice Degrees

If you have a degree in Criminal Justice, there are numerous career opportunities in San Jose, California, where you can apply your skills and knowledge. Here are some job roles you might consider:

Police Officer: The San Jose Police Department is always on the lookout for qualified applicants. A degree in Criminal Justice can prepare you for the rigorous application and training process.

Probation Officer: Probation officers work with individuals who have been convicted of crimes but are serving out their sentences in the community. The Santa Clara County Probation Department could be a good place to look for these opportunities.

Correctional Officer: You could work in a local jail or state prison, managing inmates and ensuring the safety and security of the facility.

Private Investigator: You could work for a private investigation firm or start your own. A Criminal Justice degree can equip you with the investigation and critical thinking skills necessary for this role.

Paralegal: Many law firms hire Criminal Justice graduates as paralegals, where they can assist lawyers in preparing for trials, hearings, and corporate meetings.

Security Manager: Companies in the technology sector, which are abundant in San Jose, often hire security managers to protect their physical and intellectual property. Your degree can provide a strong foundation in security principles.

Court Clerk: Court clerks work in courthouses, assisting with the administrative functions of the court. Santa Clara County Superior Court might have opportunities in this area.

Victim Advocate: Advocacy organizations hire victim advocates to support individuals who have been victims of crimes. This can include providing emotional support, helping them understand their rights, and navigating the criminal justice process.

Forensic Science Technician: These professionals analyze evidence collected from crime scenes. A background in Criminal Justice can be beneficial, particularly if combined with scientific training.

Fraud Investigator: Many insurance companies, banks, and financial institutions employ fraud investigators. These professionals use their knowledge of criminal justice to identify and investigate instances of fraud.

Remember, some of these roles may require additional training, certification, or experience. Start by identifying the roles that interest you most, then research the qualifications required to see if you need to do any additional training or gain specific certifications. Always remember to network as well, reaching out to professionals in these roles to gain insights and advice.

Career Options with a Criminal Justice Degree in San Jose

Following are some options for you in California if you have a degree in criminal justice. The salary figures have been obtained from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the growth rates have been taken from O*Net Online.

OccupationAnnual Mean Salary (2020)Growth Rate (2018-28)
Detectives and Criminal Investigators$110,3202%
Forensic Science Technicians$93,63015%
Correctional Officers and Jailers$84,520-7%
Paralegal and Legal Assistants$76,08015%

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