Master of Arts in Criminal Justice: Career Outlook

Match your career with your passion for justice.

Earning an online Master of Arts in Criminal Justice degree from Michigan State University (MSU) can put you a step ahead of other criminal justice professionals and open doors that take you beyond the rank and file.

  • Average annual salary of $71,000 for crime intelligence analysts, security managers and federal agents1,2,3

  • Strong MSU partnerships with leading criminal justice agencies in the U.S.

  • An extensive network of alumni who are employed by the Michigan State Police, security service organizations, the U.S. Secret Service and more

In a field as diverse as criminal justice, earning your master’s degree can put you on the path to becoming an instructor, policymaker, security manager, crime analyst, or consultant.

Through our alumni network, career fairs, internships and other events, we connect our students with employers like the Michigan Department of Corrections, the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, the U.S. Secret Service and more.

Completing your graduate degree at MSU will help you gain access to this growing network of unique opportunities.

Crime Intelligence Analyst


Review daily police reports to identify recurring short-term problems like a string of robberies in a neighborhood, and long-term problems such as drug-dealing areas or crime in a city park. Extract data, uncover trends and inform corrective action to keep your community safe.1

Security Manager


Create a safe environment for employees of an organization through security guard management and policy development. Design and implement procedures in case of an emergency such as a building fire or an active shooter crisis.2

Federal Agent


Engage in investigations pertaining to the violation of federal laws. Question witnesses, gather evidence, and collect and analyze data to assist prosecutors and keep communities safe.3

Additional roles with a master’s in criminal justice degree include:

  • Anti-Money Laundering or Fraud Investigator
  • Correctional Officer Supervisor
  • Criminal Profiler
  • Criminologist
  • Director of Emergency Management
  • Forensic Examiner
  • Supervisor of Police and Detectives
  • Supervisor of Law Enforcement Personnel
  • Security Consultant

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Further Your Criminal Justice Career with New Skills

When you complete this program, you will be able to:

  • Apply analytical skills to better understand crime and criminal justice issues

  • Understand the management and operation of criminal justice organizations to accomplish goals

  • Evaluate the quality of research methods and how such influences confidence in research findings

  • Identify a crime or justice problem and a policy to address it

  • Communicate effectively through writing

Build Your Career Network

MSU offers many options for students to find and prepare for future careers in criminal justice:

Alumni Connections

Connect with a vast network of alumni to get a glimpse of the different careers available after earning your degree.


Work as an intern at an approved criminal justice agency and receive academic credit.

Criminal Justice Career Fair

Join your criminal justice classmates and 70–80 criminal justice agencies at MSU’s annual career fair.

Career Advising

Leverage career advice from experts before you graduate so that you’re prepared to take that next step.


1PayScale (n.d.). “Average Crime Intelligence Analyst Salary.” Retrieved December 20, 2018, from
2PayScale (n.d.). “Average Security Manager Salary.” Retrieved December 20, 2018, from
3PayScale (n.d.). “Average Federal Agent Salary.” Retrieved December 20, 2018, from