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Law & Criminal Justice
Although popular television shows like Law & Order, Southland, and The Shield are clearly fictional, they still shed some truth on the exciting and rewarding field of criminal justice. Though the actual jobs are markedly less glamorous than their glossy television counterparts, there is still drama and a strong sense of duty. Those who enter into criminal justice are typically not after large paychecks or fame, though many positions do pay well. Typically, those who pursue a career in criminal justice are passionate about protecting the integrity of the community, enforcing laws and regulations that keep people, property, and the environment safe, and helping others who may not be able to help themselves.
Those with an associate degree can find highly challenging and rewarding jobs within the law and criminal justice industry. One of the most rewarding positions an associate degree-holder can have in law and criminal justice is in police work. Becoming a police officer is something to take great pride in, as police officers actively protect residents and property of a local area from harm. Their work helps keep the streets safe so that residents may live in peace and without fear of malicious criminal activity. Becoming a fish and game warden is another exciting opportunity open to associate degree-holders. Although it is not a well-known occupation, fish and game wardens play an important role in protecting wildlife and the environment from detrimental human activity. They regulate the amount of wildlife that a hunter or fisher can kill so that the wildlife population is not irreversibly decimated. Other positions available to those with an associate degree in the law and criminal justice field include paralegal work and court reporting, both of which help others in their own ways.