Career Paths to Explore
Crime is a serious problem in countries around the world, but thankfully there’s an engaging career field through which you can help address it. Criminal justice is the field concerning the idea of controlling crime and social problems related to them. Most people in law enforcement or rehabilitation look for individuals with this degree when they want to hire someone. Earning a degree in criminal justice will help individuals be better informed when working with law enforcement, among other positions. Let’s take a look at the career possibilities you have with this type of degree.
Types of Criminal Justice Jobs
With a criminal justice degree, you have a wide variety of jobs available to you. Unlike many other majors, a criminal justice degree often opens the door for widely varying positions. While many people often join the police force after earning their degree, you can also do work as a private investigator, public safety officer, or as a park ranger. Your degree can also get you on the path of a FBI or CIA agent, but usually requires more specialization and top-notch grades. Some criminal justice jobs prepare you for a job in crime scene investigation, forensics, or other related behind-the-scenes fields. Of course, this is also a great path to consider if you’re interested in becoming a lawyer. Below are a few other career options to consider:
- Criminologist – This exciting job involves the studying of criminals and reasons they commit crimes. Additionally, the job examines the thinking patterns of criminals to best develop ways to stop crimes before they happen.
- Substance Abuse Counselor – Many individuals struggle with drugs and alcohol and this can lead to questionable decision-making, among other problems. This job helps people get back to living their lives and attempting to rid themselves of the detrimental effects of addiction.
- Witness Protection Worker – People go into witness protection for all sorts of reasons, but it’s very common to enter following testifying against someone else. This job works on ensuring individuals can lead a safe life following testifying against someone dangerous.
- Drug Enforcement Agent – Every country is tasked with addressing drug trafficking problems and this job puts individuals on the ground level to detain criminals and clean up questionable activities taking place on our streets.
- Coroner – This job tasks individuals with determining the cause of death, be it drug related, natural causes, violence, or other ways. It’s a great position needed to help tie up loose ends in cases.
- Deputy Marshal It’s important to maintain a stringent protocol regarding protection of the justice system, which is why this job plays such an important role. Not only are U.S. Marshals tasked with protecting judges, attorneys, and jurors, but they also work in tracking down fugitives on the run, protecting witnesses, and collection of assets.
What Kind of Criminal Justice Degree Do You Need
For most work involving a criminal justice degree, you simply need a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. However, opportunities can be increased should you decide to pursue further academic work in a master’s degree or a doctorate. With a higher degree comes better understanding of the topic, and proof that you are deep in the criminal justice field. The more education you have, the more jobs that will be open to you. Additionally, while pursuing a criminal justice degree, it’s very useful to try to specialize in an area that you feel most passionate about, as this will separate you from the large number of other individuals pursuing the same degree.
Getting a Great Criminal Justice Job
Some of the best tips for landing a good job involve engaging in extracurricular activities, which is possible even if you get your degree online. Assist professors with work such as lab prep and consultations and, if possible, do internships with police and other investigative firms. This will already give you experience and a leg up for when you officially join the workforce with your degree, not to mention get your feet wet in what you want to do.
Degrees in Criminal Justice
Criminal justice degrees are very versatile and can open new career opportunities in a variety of related fields. It is important to note that curriculum can vary greatly from school to school. It is essential, therefore, to find out as much as possible about each program before applying. Considerations when choosing a degree include:
- Length of time to complete the degree
- Subject focus of the program such as forensics, criminal justice, homeland security, etc.
- Job opportunities and career outlook after graduation
- Availability of online classes
For your convenience, accredited schools offering criminal justice degres are listed below: