Criminal Justice


Western Dakota Tech’s Criminal Justice program can give you the skills and experiences you need to be successful for a wide variety of career fields. And since it’s a two-year Associate of Applied Science program, you will be in the workforce quickly, ready to make our communities better.

As the population grows, so does the need for trained workers in a variety of criminal justice fields. This program will graduate skilled workers who are able to bring value to those employers in multiple ways because they will have a broad understanding of the criminal justice system and will be skilled enough to fill a variety of roles.

This program has been designed to be broad in nature and to include coursework in a wide variety of criminal justice fields. Students will complete classes in criminal justice, corrections, juvenile justice, criminal law, criminal investigation, ethics in criminal justice, forensics and crime scene investigation, probation and parole, security, terrorism and counter-terrorism, border security, and more.

Graduates of the program will be able to accomplish the typical duties of criminal justice professionals in many fields, including:

  • Certified law enforcement officer (WDT also offers a Law Enforcement program)
  • Corrections officer
  • Border patrol agent
  • Probation officer
  • Parole officer
  • Private investigator
  • Gaming officer or investigator
  • Security guard
  • Child protective services officer
  • Transportation security screener
  • Emergency services dispatcher
  • Other related occupations

Labor market information for South Dakota indicates that the demand for workers in criminal justice career fields is strong now and will be in the future. Through 2020, the number of workers in the following fields will grow:

Occupation Percentage Growth
Probation Officers and Correctional Treatment Specialists 15.7
Correctional Officers and Jailers 1.9
Police and Sheriff’s Patrol Officers 6.4
Private Detectives and Investigators 15.6
Gaming Surveillance Officers and gaming Investigators 4.8
Security Guards 7.5
Transportation Security Screeners 21.4
Forensic Science Technicians 20.0

Contact the WDT Admissions Office today to learn more and get started on the road to an exciting and important career in Criminal Justice.