Most people that consider becoming a correction officer often wonder what type of educational requirements are necessary before they can begin their career in corrections.
Generally, the only education required to become a corrections officer is that you have a high school diploma or a GED, although continuing your education in subjects related to criminal justice, law enforcement or corrections could certainly prove to be beneficial.
Although in for most entry-level positions, having college credits or even a certificate in corrections would not be needed, but if you are located in an area where the job market is more competitive, or if you are looking to advance in your current career in corrections, you may want to consider applying for a corrections certificate or diploma program.
There are numerous options on where you apply to take classes either locally through community colleges and universities, or perhaps you might want to consider taking some classes online if your time is limited but still want to pursue your educational goals. Many of the programs that are offered online provide similar content, so you might want to check them out to determine which one best fits your needs.
For those who are seeking career advancement as a correctional officer, completing a certificate program is a great step in the right direction. Most, if not all of the positions that become available the officers seek for promotion will require an increased level of experience in corrections as well as an increased level of training and education, primarily college education of either an associate or bachelor level degree.
An added benefit of taking some classes related to Criminal Justice or Law Enforcement is that it looks great on your resume that you taken the initiative to pursue higher education in a related field.
The courses that you complete for a correctional certificate or diploma program through an accredited college or university are generally the same basic courses and classes that are required in the first years of an advanced degree in Criminal Justice.
In fact, for those who may be interested in some day seeking employment with the Federal Bureau of Prison’s, one of their qualifying requirements is that you successfully complete a full 4-year course of study in any field leading up to a Bachelor’s degree, with advanced positions requiring at least nine semester hours of graduate study in either Criminology, Criminal Justice, or any other field of study that is related to the position of being a correctional officer.
So in conclusion, do you need college classes to become a correctional officer? Yes and No, just to get you foot in the door for a basic corrections officer position, you might not need school at that level, but as you progress in your career, and want to move up the employment ladder, receive employer educational bonuses, and generally advance as a correctional officer, then you should strongly consider enrolling into college classes as a part of your correctional officer training.