As criminals get smarter, those that work in criminal justice and law enforcement get wiser. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that job growth from 2012-2022 is projected at 11 percent.

As director of legal services at Firearms Legal Protection, LLC, based in Dallas, Texas, it is the job of E. Allen Chandler to work with clients as head of legal defense services for gun owners across the country.

“It has opened doors of opportunity that otherwise would have been closed to me,” said Chandler who earned his law degree from Gonzaga University School of Law and his Master of Laws at The Judge Advocate Generals School.

There is a cost for going back to school and earning a master’s degree. “I experienced later my career goals and income developed much quicker with a master’s degree. You get payback so to speak for ‘putting your life on hold’ to pursue the degree,” said Chandler.

Anthony Eiland is an attorney in a private practice handling criminal defense cases. He worked for the District Attorney’s office in Dallas and said the biggest reward for earning his master’s degree was success. Eiland earned a Master’s of Laws in litigation and dispute resolution from George Washington University.

Even those that have busy lives can earn their master’s degree online. Severina Ware is a police research specialist for the Dallas Police Department. “I pursued my entire master’s degree online while working 40 hours a week, maintaining a social life, and being a wife. During the times I would want to be out with friends or a commitment for work arose, I knew that I would have to dedicate an extra hour or two for school,” said Ware who earned a master’s in applied criminology from Texas A&M University – Commerce. In her new position at the Dallas Police Department, Ware accesses and analyzes criminal suspect and offenses information, prepares special crime reports, graphics and statistical data to help keep the city safe.

Robin D. Everson is a native Chicagoan who resides in Dallas, Texas. Her appreciation for art, food, wine, people and places has helped her become a well-respected journalist. A life-long lover of education, Robin seeks to learn and enlighten others about culture. You can find her work at Examiner.com