criminal justice careers

Interested In Enrolling In A Criminal Justice Degree Program? Here’s What You Need To Know

It is a tedious job to find the right career for you. However, if you have a slight clue what you want to do, it is easier to get on the right track. If you like working for the community while building cases against criminals, there is a suitable degree available for you. Perhaps, you may enjoy studying for a criminal justice degree. As a criminal justice professional, you will investigate, prevent and research crime. As a criminal justice major, you can work either with the local police force or enjoy a decorated career with the FBI. You can also venture down many roads.

These roads can lead you to forensics or cybersecurity. If you feel intrigued, then you should explore this degree further. Once you get into this degree, it’s only a matter of aligning your academic goals with your career. So, here’s how you can kick start your career:

1. Know The Course Work

As a criminal justice major, you will study psychology, criminology, political science, and sociology. Your job will also make you deep dive into law enforcement, sociology, and social research. As you gain momentum through your coursework, your profession will pair you with more advanced coursework. It will take you on a journey through social psychology, constitutional law, civil liberties or self-defense law.

After getting a fundamental understanding of what you’ll learn in school, you may pursue a criminology degree online to get you where you need to be. Moreover, with the added flexibility and self-paced learning, you cannot deny the benefits of eLearning.

2. Know The Judicial System

Part of your job is knowing what the law is. Your job also stretches in knowing what the judicial system is. It is when you have a deep comprehension of the two you can apply them to work. It means you will understand how cases get worked. How do cases get transferred? And what stands as evidence in front of the law? You will also understand what your role is in the judicial system.

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The best way to get an understanding is to put yourself out there. As you go through your degree, don’t forget to intern and shadow senior criminologists.

3. Extend Your Knowledge Beyond Law

While your degree may be demanding, don’t forget to polish your personality. You may need to work on your soft skills as well as academic knowledge. It means don’t forget to brush up on your critical thinking, public speaking, and multitasking abilities.

You may also need to pick up statistics and learn about the fundamentals of criminal investigation and criminal procedures. In addition, you may need to draft and write research papers on criminal justice.

4. Work On Getting Experience

Like most careers, you will need to put yourself out there. It means while you may know, working as a criminal justice professional requires you to see cases first hand. It will also benefit your resume greatly if you have the experience to back up your degree. It will be easier to find a job. You can gain experience by doing voluntary work, conducting interviews, and even shadowing senior professionals.

Most criminal justice careers are public service positions, so it is easy to find your place. Internships and voluntary work can help you get substantial experience. They are also an excellent way to show your dedication to the field and commitment to your profession.

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Prospective Careers in Criminal Justice

Once you have your degree, you need to decide how to use it. Numerous jobs are waiting for you, some of which are as follows:

1. Criminologist

As a criminologist, you will study and analyze the motive behind crimes. The steps you will take are going to be purely clinical. You will need to lean towards psychology, biology, and even social studies to draw a picture of criminals. When you have an idea, you will need to evaluate the motive, follow any patterns and possible demographics who may commit a crime. The profile you draft will be helpful for police and even FBI agents. You may also need to draft a report for a more comprehensive understanding of why you came to this conclusion.

2. Lawyer

Before you can become a lawyer, you need to pursue an additional step. After you have your criminal justice degree and want to pursue a prestigious career, go to law school. As a criminal defense lawyer, you represent your clients as defendants in the criminal court system. You may work at the federal, state, or local level. This profession also requires you to tap into your multitasking skills.

You may need to balance several cases while counseling your clients on the best course of action. You will also need to dedicate time collecting evidence and finding eyewitnesses that can make your case concrete. There is also immense deep divining necessary into police reports so that you can stand before the court.

3. FBI Agent

If you like working in the field dealing with serious cases, then you should consider becoming an FBI agent. Once you graduate, you need to get additional training to join the force. As an FBI agent, you will look into sensitive matters, including terrorism, white-collar crime, and even extortion. Your job may also push you towards research, undercover investigations, and even testify in court.

criminal justice careers

So the job is quite intensive, and you may need to stomach some gruesome cases and cover explicit crime scenes. While you may get tougher with every case, consider joining the force if you can work through cases without it affecting you.

4. Judges

It is by far one of the most demanding professions in the legal world. Once you acquire your criminal justice degree, you will need to go to law school and work your way to a judgeship. Your career will require you to oversee the legal process in court for convicting a criminal. The job is not just tedious but highly demanding. You will need to sit for extended periods and listen to individual cases.

5. Forensic Psychologists

Forensic psychology is in close association with criminology. You will use your knowledge as a psychologist to understand human behavior to gauge crime scenes. You will also try to find patterns in the way criminals behave to decipher a routine to their tactics. You may also need to use your expertise to predict a crime and even interview criminals and their families.

Since this is a highly investigative field and requires you to be highly analytical, you will need to be research-oriented. Before you turn in any evidence, you also need to investigate the evidence before you deduce their part.

Wrap Up

If you wish to pursue a career in criminal justice, you need to get the degree first. Your coursework is quite extensive, and you will study the intricacies of the judicial and legal system. Once you get your knowledge, don’t forget to gain relevant experience to stand out among other applicants. Don’t forget getting your degree is only scratching the surface. The next step is finding your career. If you choose to enroll in law school, you can become a judge or a lawyer. You can also become a federal agent or find yourself working in forensic psychology.

Salman Zafar

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