I have my BA in Criminology and I'm not really looking to get another Bachelor's - I am more interested in getting either a certificate or a Master's. However, I'm not really sure how to distinguish legitimate certificate programs from ones that are just scams. I don't feel comfortable doing an online certificate program, but if there are any that are really good, I would give it a shot. When it comes to a Master's, the issue is often that I don't have an undergrad degree in a scientific field, so I can't even find any schools to apply to. I'm really committed to this path and it is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Can anyone recommend any good schools for a certificate and/or Master's programs? I currently live in MA but I may move to (southern) CA soon - is one location better than the other when it comes to programs in this field? Thanks for your help, everyone.
The requirements? Well, you need basic computer ware to take distance courses. You must own or have regular access to:
1. A Computer
2. An Internet Service Provider
3. A telephone ( In addition you may wish to have a dedicated line such as phone, cable, DSL etc.---for your Internet connection.)
4. A TV and VCR ( Some courses use videotapes.)
I don't think that location is a factor. I personally believe it's more on the individual. So just make the most out of the program. Earn a master's degree that will advance your career.
I had the same issue about six years ago. I obtained my bachelor's degree in Computer Systems and Criminal Justice but I wanted a concentrated degree in Forensic Science. Being a poor recent college graduate I could not afford a Master's Degree program.
I went online and found a Forensic Science certification program through the Professional Career Development Institute (www.pcdi.edu i think it was) and enrolled in its two year forensic science online program. It was an inexpensive, accredited program. I finished it in four months and received my diploma soon after. It may sound like a cheesy scam program (it did to me at first), however, a year later I was hired with a police department's crime lab as a field based CSI and am still in that position today.
I can't guarantee that the certification program was the reason but it definitely didn't hurt. As long as you have the diploma and the organization is accredited you should be fine.