There are a lot of criminal justice schools in Michigan that range in their curriculum that they provide for their different criminology degrees and varying levels (associate has, bachelor has, and master has).
Michigan State University was actually ranked by US News in having a top 10 ranked (#7) criminology grad school. source The rankings are from 2009 but still something to consider when looking at different educational institutions in the state of Michigan. If you look at the Michigan State University website, you can actually view their criminal justice courses which include:
- Introduction to Criminology
- Methods of Criminal Justice Research
- Law Enforcement Intelligence Operations
- Law and Forensic Science
Some of these courses are at graduate level and become more advanced throughout their list. It is important to have a rough idea of the required curriculum that each school in Michigan might include before selecting criminology as your education path. It is also important to note the statistics about the Michigan population and general education trends which we have pulled from the government census (just to help you out because we love to do that):
- 2013 population estimate: 9.87m
- Persons under the age of 18 years old: 22.8 percent
- Persons with a high school graduate level or higher: 90.2 percent
- Persons with a bachelor has degree level or higher: 26.4 percent
Insights on Michigan Criminal Justice
The amount of variety of different education institutions in a state can often be matched with the overall population of that particular state (supply and demand idea). Michigan is the ninth most populated state in the US at roughly 9.8m. source Michigan has roughly 46+ schools offering criminal justice degrees. 22+ of those offer associate has degrees or certifications and 15+ of those offer a bachelor has degree or higher. We already referenced the University of Michigan and Michigan State but there are other schools to consider as well. Ferris State University (located in Big Rapids, Michigan) offers a criminal justice bachelor degree that is competitive in acceptance and also provides a hands on internship. The internship takes place between the junior and senior years and connects the student to a criminal justice agency (giving the students more real life experience). This is just an example of one school has program but can shed more light on what to expect from a criminology degree program.
Michigan Criminology Resources and Professional Organizations
We have tried to give you as much insight to the population and education landscape of Michigan but we also want to supply you with some different criminal justice organizations in Michigan. You might be able to gain more detail from their site or even find a contact that can help provide you with more info about the profession and education path they took. Here are some of the organizations we found:
- Criminal Justice Information Center – Michigan
- Michigan Department of Corrections
- Michigan Conservation Officers
- United States Probation Officer
We encourage you to reach out to these organizations and form relationships that might be able to give you the firsthand experience you can’t get reading through text. If you’re looking to simply further a criminal justice career you’re already in, we would recommend reaching out to colleagues to see who they might know that could help you better understand the degree you’re considering. Understanding the curriculum, time constraints, and demands of the learning material can help you better prepare for embarking on this academic journey.
Michigan Criminal Justice Careers
Michigan offers a lot of different criminal justice jobs and lifelong careers in criminal justice that can vary even within specific divisions like the Michigan Police. You can actually see that they define three different career options on their site with clearly defined lines of each:
- Trooper: A Michigan State Police trooper will work different area patrols and sees some of their work being the enforcement of traffic laws and safety. The hierarchy usually puts the trooper reporting to a sergeant and requires that the trooper be certified by the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards.
- Motor Carrier Officer: These armed motor carrier officers will enforce traffic laws on commercial vehicles (like semi trucks). They will do regular inspections that often coincide with Homeland Security by checking laws and regulations on commercial vehicles carrying hazardous waste materials.
- State Properties Security Officer: This position is very specialized that provides generic law and security services for state owned land and buildings.
It is important to note that this information is specific to the Michigan Police and you will see a variety of other jobs available as you extend your search to county, federal, and other state institutions.
Top Criminal Justice Jobs in Michigan
As we mentioned, it will be important for you to have a good idea on the number of different government agencies that you could potentially look at for law enforcement jobs in Michigan. Here are some rough numbers:
- 2+ state agencies
- 82+ county agencies
- 40+ township agencies
- 379+ city/villiage agencies
- 15+ college and university agencies
- 7+ federal agencies
All of these numbers come directly from the Michigan Wikipedia page. One well known city and city agency is the Detroit Police Department. All users should look at the different agencies in Michigan and explore the different careers that fall within each one.
Michigan Criminal Justice Job Outlook
The most current ONET statistics should help shed some better light on the current and future economic outlook of the criminal justice career in Michigan (we utilize the sheriff patrol officer position when looking at these statistics). The US median average salary is $56,100 whereas the Michigan median average salary is $55,000. While that is slightly lower, it is important to note that you should also research the Michigan cost of living and other tax incentives that might exist. The United States is expected to see a 6 percent growth from 2010 to 2020 across the entire country. Michigan is expected to see a 7 percent growth in those same respective years which shows that they hare slightly above the national average. All states will see their budgets vary as these can change based on the political and budget landscape of each state and Detroit is no exception. Pay attention to these details as you look at career options.