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What to Know if You're Considering Studying Criminal Justice

by Jared Newnam
November 16, 2016

Keeping our communities and our country safe is a key focus of everyone in criminal justice. Of course, what that looks like in practice depends on the career you pursue and whether it’s in law enforcement, correction, politics, or law. Across the board, however, a few things hold true for those exploring a bachelor’s or master’s degree in criminal justice.

Education and Experience Can Help You Stand Out

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), numerous careers in criminal justice may see 4% job growth in the coming years. This includes, Detectives and Criminal Investigators and Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists. Others, like Private Detectives and Investigators, Bailiffs, and Police Patrol Officers, will experience an average growth rate around 5% to 8%.

As with any job and depending on location, applicants may face competition for desirable positions. (Median annual salary for criminal justice roles mentioned above ranges from $41,000 to over $77,000.) The BLS especially anticipates strong competition for Private Detective and Investigator roles.

In competitive job situations, a candidate with a criminal justice degree and work experience may be most likely to catch the eye of a potential employer. For example, for Police and Detective positions, the BLS says that “applicants with a bachelor's degree and law enforcement or military experience, especially investigative experience, as well as those who speak more than one language, should have the best job opportunities.” For Probation Officer and Corrections positions, as well as employment within federal agencies, a bachelor’s degree is often required.

Technology is Increasingly Important across Professions

If you’ve been researching or studying criminal justice online, you likely know that technology has a drastic impact on the field.

On one side, there’s an array of valuable technologies. These take many forms, including connected database systems, automated license plate readers, and handheld biometric scanners used to identify suspects. In some locations, criminal justice workers currently carry tablets and smartphones that make it easier to access and distribute information. Such tools will only improve in the years to come.

Criminal justice professions under increasing scrutiny are also turning to technology like social media to build trust and demonstrate transparency in their communities. Although privacy concerns are still being debated, GPS systems and body cameras are also being introduced to support both safety and accountability in criminal justice professions.

Meanwhile, others apply technology for harm, with the The Department of Justice describing cyber crime as "one of the greatest threats facing our country" and Business Insider reporting that “the frequency and sophistication of cyber attacks are at an all-time high.” When it comes to jobs, cyber crime is driving employment trends, with the BLS noting that “Internet scams, as well as other types of financial and insurance fraud, create demand for investigative services.” Such crimes are expected to continue at local, national and even global levels.

What to Look for in Criminal Justice Programs

While we’ve already noted that a criminal justice degree can help when applying for jobs, it’s also essential that students select the right program.

Your criminal justice degree program level (bachelor’s, master’s, etc.) will determine program length and curriculum, but all criminal justice degrees should share some foundational elements. First, anyone considering criminal justice courses or comparing criminal justice curriculums should look for programs that explore the importance of technology in this field. Equally valuable are criminal justice courses that address ethics and topics related to race, class, and gender. Finally, soft skills like leadership, problem-solving, communication, and conflict resolution should also be taught throughout a criminal justice curriculum.

Whether you prefer studying criminal justice online or on-campus, South University offers bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminal justice that can prepare you for working in today’s changing field. Explore our criminal justice programs online or contact us today to learn more.

by Jared Newnam
November 16, 2016
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10 Tips to Get the Most from LinkedIn

by South University
March 16, 2015

There’s a good chance you already have a LinkedIn profile, but are you getting the most from it? LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network, with more than 347 million members in over 200 countries and territories.

LinkedIn connections

If you’re not actively using the site to boost your professional presence, build a network and start looking for jobs, you’re missing out an incredible opportunity to get ahead. The site offers countless resources for students, to help you make a name for yourself while still in school. Use the 10 tips below to make your profile stand out from the crowd.

1. Choose an Appropriate Profile Photo: LinkedIn isn’t Facebook, so don’t upload a profile picture you wouldn’t want your (future) boss to see. Opt for a headshot of you alone, dressed in a professional manner. No party, vacation or group pictures belong on this site.

2. Write a Catchy Headline: Your headline appears right below your photo in search results, so write something memorable that says who you are and what type of opportunity you’re looking to find. For example, instead of writing “Nursing Student,” opt for “Nursing student looking for a pediatric care internship.”

3. Complete Your Profile: The more employers know about your educational background, the better! List South University as your current school and also include any other colleges or universities you’ve attended. Update your profile with the classes you’ve taken, notable projects you’ve completed, campus organizations you belong to and any past work experience you have.

4. Create a Dynamic Summary: The Summary section is your opportunity to speak to potential employers and tell them about your professional skills, experience and interests. Use this area to really sell yourself as a motivated candidate who is excited to get to work!

5. Update the Skills & Endorsements Section: Include as many relevant keywords and phrases as possible that describe your skills, experience and characteristics of the types of jobs you want. Not only do recruiters use this section to find qualified candidates to fill open positions, people can also endorse you for your existing abilities, which further boosts your credibility.

7. Make Connections: Often times it’s who you know that can help you find your dream job. Connect with your peers, former colleagues, family friends and anyone else you know on the site to start building your network.

8. Join Relevant Groups: Make your interest in your future profession clear by joining a few industry-relevant groups. Any you choose to join will be displayed in your profile for employers to see. Plus, this is a great way to start making industry connections and maybe even learn about job opportunities.

9. Share Status Updates: Get yourself on the radar of hiring managers by regularly sharing status updates on news, trends and other interesting information pertaining to your field of choice. If you’re currently reading a book, attending a conference or working on project relative to your future career path, let your network know!

10. Customize Your URL: Increase your appearance in search results by customizing your unique URL to match your name. For example, if your name is Jane Wilson, it would read www.linkedin.com/in/JaneWilson.

Want to learn more about LinkedIn? Attend the “Using LinkedIn and Social Media as Proper Professional/Personal Marketing Tools” webinar on 3/16/15, presented by South University, Online Programs instructor Cathy White. Visit the events calendar in the Campus Common to register!

by South University
March 16, 2015
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Join us for the Holiday Treasure Hunt!

by South University, Online Programs
December 22, 2014

Happy Holidays from all of us at South University! We wish each of you a joyful holiday season and a New Year full of happiness and success! As a present to our students, we're sponsoring the Holiday Treasure Hunt from December 26 to December 31, 2014.

Holiday treasure hunt logo

If you're a student at South University, Online Programs, jumpstart 2015 with this exciting scavenger hunt where you could earn some great prizes!

How to Participate:

December 26 - 31, 2014 ONLY!

1. Visit our Facebook page and find our Holiday Treasure Hunt status update to get the daily clue.

2. Follow the clue to find the daily keyword.

3. Once you find the keyword, return to Facebook and answer the question posted in our Holiday Treasure Hunt status update.

4. A panel of judges will review all answers and choose 4 winners--one for each day of the contest.

You'll have the chance to win one of four Chrome Books!

Read the official terms and conditions here.

Good luck!

by South University, Online Programs
December 22, 2014
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Twitter is More than Just a Fun Networking Service

by South University, Online Programs
July 11, 2014

By Guest Blogger, Ruth E. Roberman, Online Program Director for Mathematics

Do you have a Twitter account? Perhaps you follow your favorite baseball team, weather reporter, or newspaper, or maybe you use Twitter for your daily dose of cute puppy pictures. There are plenty of terrific sites that give you a quick blast of information and even a smile. Plus, you can read a lot of short tweets without writing or retweeting anything. However, have you also considered the career benefits of having a Twitter account? You never know what tweet might give you the next big idea for a paper, business, proposal, or job!

Twitter convo

As a way to really expand your Twitter feed each day, check out who you follow and see who they follow. Here are some ideas. Who do you recommend following?

Business and IT

Business Law Section of the ABA (@ABABusLaw)
Wall Street Journal Business News (@WSJbusiness)
Shark Tank (@ABCSharkTank)
Entrepreneur Wiki (@EntWiki)
Harvard Business Review (@HarvardBiz)
Yahoo Finance (@YahooFinance)
Smashing Magazine (@smashingmag)

Health Sciences and Nursing

Mayo Clinic (@MayoClinic)
Dr. Mehmet Oz (@DrOz)
Nurse Jobs (@Nursing_nursemp)
Nurses Association (@ANANursingWorld)
Cleveland Clinic (@ClevelandClinic)
American Cancer Society (@AmericanCancer)
NursingBuddy (@NursingBuddy)
Society for Science (@Society4Science)
RN Action (@RNAction)
Mental Health NIMH (@NIMHgov)

Legal and Criminal Justice

Above the Law (@atlblog)
American Bar Association (@ABAesq)
Legal Aid Service (@LegalAidService)
The National Law Journal (@TheNLJ)

Job Searching

Interview Success (@InterviewSuccess)
Yahoo Jobs (@YahooCareers)
Consider following companies you may be interested in working for some day.

Miscellaneous

South University (@SouthU)
South University, Online Programs (@SuCampusCommon)
Astro Pic Of The Day (@apod)
Popular Mechanics (@PopMech)
Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson)
Cute Emergency (@CuteEmergency)
Quote Soup (@Quote_Soup)
Veterans Affairs (@DeptVetAffairs)
TED Talks (@TEDTalks)
Graphic Design Junction (@graphicdesignju)
My Modern Metropolis (@mymodernmet)

South University is not responsible for the content or accuracy of any social media site linked to this Web site. The links are provided for your information and convenience only. South University does not endorse, support or sponsor the content of any linked social media sites. If you access or use any third party sites linked to South University’s Web site, you do so at your own riskSouth University makes no representation or warranty that any other social media site is free from viruses, worms or other software that may have a destructive nature.

by South University, Online Programs
July 11, 2014
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Have Researchers Linked Social Media and Narcissism?

by South University
October 4, 2013

Have you ever suspected that some of your social media contacts may be a little more self-obsessed than is healthy? Now, a recent study suggests that a relationship exists between high levels of social media use and narcissism.

Social Media likes

Could this be a reason to break your social media habits before it does permanent damage to your personality?

Studying Social Media and Narcissism

Published in Computers in Human Behavior, this study examined the psychology of adults in various age groups, and looked for correlations between narcissistic traits and excessive use of social media. One finding that stood out strongly from the research was the fact that young adults who scored highly on narcissism tests posted more often on Twitter than those whose scores fell in the normal range.

Middle-aged narcissists, meanwhile, chose a different outlet for their social media outpourings, preferring to post status updates on Facebook. However, the general trend remained the same - the more narcissistic individuals updated more often than those with more typical psychologies.

What is Narcissism?

The researchers conducting this study used a personality assessment to evaluate the participants' levels of certain traits—including superiority, exhibitionism, authority, willingness to exploit others, and self-sufficiency. These traits are typically associated with narcissistic personality disorder, in which individuals fixate on their own power and prestige.

Could use of social media be linked with narcissism? Researcher Elliot Panek thinks so. He describes how Facebook allows individuals to curate and control their online image, and to gain approval from others within their social circle. Meanwhile, Twitter acts as a platform for narcissistic individuals to broadcast their opinions to a wide audience.

Correlation or Causation?

Before you rush online to shut down your social media accounts, note that the researchers did not draw any conclusions about social media causing narcissistic tendencies to develop. It is not clear from this one study whether narcissistic people are naturally drawn to social media as a way of broadcasting their own thoughts and opinions, or whether excessive use of social media leads to the development of narcissistic traits.

This research was one of the first studies to look at the relationship between narcissistic traits and patterns of social media. Future research in this area of study could probe more deeply into this relationship to find out how different aspects of social media usage, such as posting status updates, reading posts by others, or commenting on content posted by other users, correlates with or even contributes to narcissistic psychology in adults of all ages.

Read more on this study here: You're So Vain: Study Links Social Media Use and Narcissism. Or, learn about our Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Program today! 

by South University
October 4, 2013
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