Full guide to Criminal justice certificates

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Certifications and licenses for criminal justice degree holders

After earning your degree in criminal justice and having gained some experience in an area that you wish to focus your career on, you might consider seeking additional training by obtaining a professional certification. Certificates are useful additions to an associate, bachelor’s, or even master’s degree in criminal justice as you pursue your career, strengthen your skills and resume, and boost your earning potential.

Certifications are available in several areas of the criminal justice field, and we list some of the most respected below. Generally, all require recertification every few years to ensure the practitioner’s ongoing commitment to, and participation in, training and professional development.

Popular certificates and licenses for criminal justice degree holders:

Certified Information Security Manager (CISM)

The Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) offers the CISM certification for information security managers and IT consultants who manage, design, and assess information security systems. The CISM certification is recognized as one of the most desirable IT credentials, and holders are among the highest paid in their field. Applicants must have 5 years of verified experience in the field of information security and pass a 200-question multiple-choice exam.

Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)

Professionals working in security operations and risk management may qualify for this information security certification. It is granted by the International Information Security Certification Consortium (ISC). The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is the most globally recognized certification in the information security market.
The CISSP verifies an information security professional’s in-depth technical and managerial skills and abilities in security operations and risk management to be able to design, engineer, and manage the overall security posture of an organization. Applicants must have 5 years of relevant full-time work experience, provide their criminal history, and pass a multiple-choice exam.

Certified Criminal Justice Addictions Professional (CCJP)

This credential is the most widely recognized and respected among those who work in addiction counselling and provides the specialized training required to deal with the mixture of criminal thinking and addiction. There are different levels of experience needed to start CCJP certification depending on the type of criminal justice degree applicants hold. A criminal justice degree can also reduce some of the coursework and internship hours stipulated.

Global Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA)

This certification is for professionals working in computer forensics, information security, and incident response. The GCFA confirms that holders have the skills, knowledge, and ability to carry out incident investigations and deal with internal and external data breaches, ongoing cyber threats and conduct complex digital forensics.

Corrections Certification Professionals (CCP)

The American Correctional Association (ACA) oversees a range of certifications for corrections professionals based on their role: corrections officers, supervisors, managers, or executives and whether they work with adults or juveniles. Certification allows the holder to demonstrate their knowledge and awareness of the most up-to-date and effective approaches in the corrections field and to improve their employment prospects.

Certified Juvenile Services Practitioner

The National Partnership for Juvenile Services offers a juvenile services practitioner certification which recognizes that holders have the education, training, and experience to deliver effective and quality services in the field of juvenile justice and to juvenile services and youth work.

Certified Private Investigator

Education and experience licensing requirements for private investigators vary from state to state. Typically, they include at least a year of related work experience, a passing score on a private investigator examination, and a background check and be at least 21 years old. Some states require the possession of an associate degree or higher in criminal justice or a related major.

Board Certification in Forensic Psychology

The American Board of Professional Psychology certifies several different fields of psychology. The forensic psychology certification which is for psychologists working in criminal justice, requires individuals to complete a credential review process and pass a written and oral exam. The board also votes to approve each candidate for membership. Typically, licensed criminal psychologists must hold a doctoral degree and state licensure.

National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA)

The NCJA provides assistance to federal, state, local, and tribal justice agencies to increase the effectiveness of criminal justice agencies and programs. The organization provides members with updates to legislation, an online member community, access to free webinars and conference and training discounts.

Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS)

The ACJS is an international association that fosters professional and scholarly activities in the field of criminal justice. Members may join a variety of sub-sections within the ACJS: including corrections, juvenile justice, and law and public policy. Members receive a monthly newsletter, journals, and discounts on the annual ACJS conference. Experts and mentors are also available to provide advice and evaluations to members.

Crime and Justice Research Alliance

CJRA is a centralized resource for research on crime and criminal justice issues. Policymakers, students, and the public can access research on crime and criminal justice issues via their website.