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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.

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Must-Have Mobile Apps for Nursing Students

by South University
January 9, 2014

Do nurses have time to use mobile apps on the job? They may not have time to go without. Medical mobile apps have grown in popularity, and now, professionals can carry one tool for taking chart notes and measurements as well as taking calls. A recent study showed over 70 percent of nurses use their smartphones for professional management. Join the crowd and improve your efficiency with these handy mobile applications!

Using Mobile App

Best Calendar

Jorte is an Android-based personal organizer with an ultra-easy-to-use interface offering Google Calendar and Google Maps integration. The application has a number of helpful widgets invaluable to busy health professionals working on the road or in a traditional setting. Many users report how easy this app makes it to synch their schedules with those of their spouses and children.

Best Medical Calculator

Epocrates/MedMath used to be the forerunner for mobile-based medical calculations available, but a young gun has arrived on the scene with more features and easier usage. MedCalc offers three times the calculations, is searchable by keyword, notifies you of potential errors in your entries, allows you to set favorite calculations and lets you reset your values just by shaking your phone.

Best for Students

With over 100,000 words of learning content and medical information, the Pocket Anatomy app has something to offer novice and experienced nurses alike. This full body app allows you to view nine different layers of anatomical content, from muscoskeletal to neurovascular to internal organ imagery, for both males and females. Better still, you can add your own notes and take quizzes to test your expertise. Plus, all content is contained within the app, so there’s no need to contact to wifi.

One Caveat…

If you work for an older employer or with coworkers who aren’t technologically advanced, make sure they realize what you’re checking on your phone when you’re dealing with work tasks. A simple, “My phone is a life saver, literally. I love this new drug guide,” can prevent office gossip over how often you’re supposedly texting, playing games or checking your social networking pages.

With the number of amazingly helpful health applications available, everyone working in a clinic should know about them. Fortunately, just sharing your experiences can be enough to encourage people to check mobile applications out. Soon you’ll have the whole office benefiting from these affordable and effective resources!

Explore our programs offered in the College of Nursing and Public Health.

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4 of Our Favorite Mobile Apps for Students

by South University
October 14, 2013

Looking for mobile apps that can make your busy life a little easier? Mobile apps can help students like you quickly access online resources while you are on the go. Here are four of our favorite apps for online students.

Mobile Apps1. Get Pocket

Get Pocket is a mobile app that allows you to save websites, blog posts, videos and just about anything else you can think of to your device so that you can access it later. What makes this app so special is that it will save the information to your device, which allows you to access everything whether you are connected to the Internet or not. This is a great way to save research materials or supplemental reading assignments while you are out and about.

2. Dropbox

Dropbox lets you easily save and store all your files from your computer--videos, photos, documents, you name it! You can then quickly share these files or access them from your mobile device no matter where you are. Plus, when you sign up, you get 2GB of free space.

3. Dragon Dictation

Dragon Dictation allows you to create text messages, blog posts, social media posts, notes and more through your own speech. It records whatever you say and converts it into text. It is a great app to use to brainstorm and save your ideas for assignments, no matter where you are.

4. Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha is basically Google on steroids. It is a search engine that allows you to search for almost anything and will provide you with precise and comprehensive information. For example, if you ask “What is the unemployment rate in Los Angeles?,” it will give you a correct number and links to other related sources. It allows you to use natural language to find information easily and quickly.

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How Students Benefit from Learning with Ebooks

by South University
October 7, 2013

Today, the online learning environment is a popular alternative for those without the time or desire to sit in a traditional classroom for hours on end. Now, the increased availability of ebooks (short for electronic books) has made online study even more convenient and affordable. Here are a few reasons why ebooks are becoming the educational standard for students.


Ebooks can be delivered instantly.

You can download ebooks right when you need them. There's no need to worry about falling behind because a textbook is out of stock or hasn't arrived yet. {Plus, you can store your ebooks on your computer in one convenient spot, so that losing or forgetting your book somewhere is no longer an issue.

They're easily portable.

You don't have to worry about hefting around a full book bag or having huge texts cluttering up your desk. You can keep your class materials organized digitally, and access them with a number of devices. From a PC to a tablet to your cell phone, you can access your books on the go and on your own schedule.

Digital books accommodate more learning styles.

For students who thrive on watching video, looking at infographics or diagrams, or following along with a narrator, ebooks allow for a more enriching experience than plain text. In this way, they expand learning opportunities to students who may not have done as well using traditional materials.

The search feature is hard to beat.

All by itself, this one benefit makes ebooks the preferred format for many students. How many times have you scanned every page in a chapter looking for a quick answer? This functionality of ebooks makes them extremely convenient when it comes to studying and completing homework. Plus, you can bookmark pages and takes notes just like in a traditional textbook.

Affordability reigns supreme.

According to NBC, the average student spends $1200 annually just on books. Luckily, ebooks are substantially less expensive than traditional textbooks. It's true that with some ebooks, you may only have access to them for a limited time, but despite this, digital text books still offer tremendous savings. Some classes may even take advantage of electronic books that have been posted online for free.

Experience Online Learning at South University

We at South University work hard to make obtaining your goals a reality, and our online programs put a premium on affordability and convenience. In fact, many of our online classes utilize our Digital Bookshelf, which gives you all the required digital texts you'll need to complete your coursework—without the hassle and high cost of textbook purchasing.

Learn more about the student experience at South University, or request to speak with an admissions representative today.


- NBC News: Required Reading - As Textbook Prices Soar, Students Try to Cope
- Should College Students Buy Ebooks?
- The Beginners Quick Guide to Ebooks in Education/

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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! 

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