If you’re a New Jersey resident who is interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice, then you’ll be happy to know that the state has a lot of different and wonderful options for those who are serious about working in criminal justice. Your first step, however, shouldn’t be able to enroll in a school or a training program.

In fact, doing that is a huge mistake and often equals a total waste of time, money, and your hard work if you haven’t done your research first! It’s incredibly important for prospective criminal justice employees to spend time learning about the field in general and about the many, many different jobs available in the field.

Then, they must also spend time researching the requirements for the jobs that are interest to them, and considering how much time and energy of their own they are willing to devote to their career goals. If you can do this, and find a matchup between what you want to do for a career and what you are willing to do for a career, then and only then should you think about enrolling in educational and/or training programs and starting down the path to your dream career in criminal justice.

The good news for you is that, no matter what you choose to do in the field, you can likely find a training program for it in the state of New Jersey. New Jersey is proudly home to a number of higher learning institutions and other institutions offering training and top of the line education in criminal justice and many different aspects of it. It’s just a matter of spending some time exploring your options and coming to a decision about which one is right for you.

Common choices made in the state include Atlantic Cape Community College, located in Mays Landing, which offers associate’s degree programs in general criminal justice, criminal justice with a focus on corrections, and paralegal; Bergen Community College, in Paramus, which has associate’s degree programs in correctional studies, law enforcement studies, paralegal, and general criminal justice, as well as a certificate of achievement program in homeland security and emergency management.

Berkeley College, located in West Paterson, which offers a certificate in paralegal; Brookdale Community College, in Lincroft, which has associate’s degree programs in paralegal, corrections, and general criminal justice; Burlington County College, in Pemberton, which has an associate’s degree program in criminal justice, as well as a certificate in paralegal.

Caldwell College, in Caldwell, which offers a bachelor’s degree program in general criminal justice, as well as a certificate program in criminal forensics; Camden County College, located in Blackwood, and offering associate’s degree in forensic science, paralegal, and general criminal justice, as well as a certificate in emergency disaster management.

Centenary College, in Hackettstown, offering a bachelor’s degree program in criminal justice and a certificate in criminalistics; The College of New Jersey, located in Ewing, which offers a bachelor’s degree program in criminology; County College of Morris, in Randolph, with an associate’s degree program in human services; Cumberland County College, in Vineland, which has associate’s degree programs in general criminal justice, criminal justice and corrections, forensics and technology, homeland security, paralegal studies, paralegal studies in Spanish, and a certificate in homeland security.

Essex County College, in Newark, with associate’s degree programs in criminal justice and paralegal studies, as well as certificates in both legal secretary and paralegal studies.

Fairleigh Dickinson University, in Teaneck, offering bachelor’s degree programs in general criminal justice, forensic psychology, security operations, management and administration, as well as certificates in disaster and emergency management, security and terrorism studies, and security operations, management and administration, and also graduate certificates in computer security and forensic administration, correctional administration and leadership (offered online), emergency management administration, forensic accounting, global security and terrorism studies, and a master’s in forensic psychology.