An online bachelors degree could help individuals to become ATF agents

posted on Wednesday, May 02 2012

Today, law enforcement personnel are more important than ever before. Students enrolling in online bachelors degree programs in criminal justice could use the skills they will learn to begin an exciting new career as an agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms and Explosives (ATF).

ATF agents are responsible for a variety of areas of law enforcement. Although the nature of their work has little to do with financial matters, the ATF is overseen by the Department of the Treasury. ATF agents routinely handle cases involving underage drinking and the illegal production and distribution of alcohol, weapon smuggling operations and more.

However, in today’s political climate, ATF agents’ responsibilities have been expanded to include human trafficking cases, anti-terrorism operations and cases involving illegal immigration. As such, individuals who want to enroll in online colleges to become ATF agents may find themselves dealing with personnel from other law enforcement agencies, including the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Border Patrol.

ATF agents will frequently liaise with officials from the U.S. Department of Justice to ensure that matters relating to jurisdiction are handled correctly. Special agents with the ATF routinely carry out investigations into criminal activity concerning alcohol, tobacco and weaponry, sometimes across several states. Individuals who want to become ATF agents should be analytical, methodical and able to communicate effectively with others.

Some online colleges offer criminal justice majors as both Bachelor of Arts and Science concentrations. Picking which qualification is right for you depends on the route individuals want their career to take, although students who want to work for law enforcement agencies such as the ATF will probably want to choose an online bachelors of arts degree. Bachelor’s of Science degree programs typically focus on topics necessary for careers in fields such as criminal psychology.

Topics covered by many online bachelors degree programs in criminal justice that could prove useful to aspiring ATF agents include the effects of juvenile delinquency and how they relate to crimes involving illegally obtained firearms. Criminal law and crime control are likely to prove especially useful, given the extensive nature of crimes handled by the ATF.

Law enforcement has never been more important to the U.S. and the freedom of its people. An online bachelors degree program in criminal justice could put aspiring ATF agents on the path to this exciting, challenging and important career. 

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