Why You Should Consider a Career in Criminal Justice

It’s easy to get started; with the right school, you can finish your degree in criminal justice quickly and at an affordable rate.  

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Are you thinking of pursuing a career that will not only add meaning and purpose to your life but also be financially advantageous? Do you have love for justice or want to make a difference in your community?  If this sounds like you, then a degree in criminal justice is what you need.

A degree in criminal justice will prepare you for a field that has many perks, including excellent job security, contributing to the community, and opportunities to develop your skill and advance in your career.

In this article, we’ll venture deeper into criminal justice to help you figure out if the right career choice for you.  

What Does a Criminal Justice Career Entail?

If you have a Criminal Justice Degree, you can pursue numerous career options. Depending on your ability, training, and preference, you can work at your local FBI headquarters, a prison, police precinct or forensic lab.

Also, you can carry out most of your work in government offices or outdoors collecting evidence, tracking suspects, checking up on parolees, or even providing protection.

Here’s a list of advantages of working in the criminal justice field:

  • A steady salary, great health and retirement benefits, and opportunities to advance your career.
  • A clear sense of purpose that comes from having the chance to help others.
  • Intellectual stimulation and excitement resulting from challenges criminals throw your way.
  • Flexibility attained from developing essential skills related to a variety of careers.

How to Start Studying Criminal Justice?

Even though some criminal justice jobs might only need a high school diploma, it’s wise to get a bachelor’s degree.  A degree will make you more competitive and open you to great opportunities such as receiving a promotion or a salary boost.

Also, a Criminal Justice degree will help your career prospects.  A bachelor might not be necessary for all criminal justice jobs, but it can provide you with vital knowledge and signal your dedication to the field.

We recommend you supplement your criminal justice degree with a second major in chemistry, biology, computer science, or accounting. These fields will come in handy in different jobs relating to forensic science and analysis.

Furthermore, they set you apart from other people and gives you an edge in different criminal justice jobs. For instance, if you’re aiming for a digital crime agent or detective, you might land the job if you have a deeper knowledge of computers.

If you’re perusing a criminologist or police detective career, psychology coursework will come in handy.  Usually, detectives depend on psychological insights when interviewing a suspect and figuring out intentions. Psychology coursework is also important for correction treatment specialists who rehabilitate prisoners.

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You can also further your career by pursuing a master’s degree or doctorate in criminal justice. This will increase your chances of higher pay and career advancement. You can also become a lecture or head of a research team.    

Different Criminal Justice Career Paths

If you’re asking yourself, “What jobs can I secure with a degree in criminal justice?” This list of options is endless. Here some few career options:

Lawyer – Attorney, counsel, barrister or solicitor are all various names given to lawyers. A lawyer is licensed to practice law, and is obligated to uphold the law while also protecting their client’s rights. Some duties commonly associated with a lawyer include: providing legal advice and counsel, researching and gathering information or evidence, drawing up legal documents related to divorces, wills, contracts and real estate transactions, and prosecuting or defending in court.

Police patrol officer – As a police patrol officer, you’ll handle several duties, including responding to criminal activities, disturbance, and emergencies. Also, you can patrol neighborhoods, arrest lawbreakers, assist detectives or agents with criminal investigations, and offering the public important information.

Forensic scientist – As a forensic scientist, you get to analyze different crime evidence.  You’ll work in a lab where you must carefully handle evidence, conduct various tests with great accuracy, write a comprehensive report, and appear in court to provide testimony.

Youth correctional counselor – Youth correctional counselors work with young offenders in youth correctional centers.  They offer underage offenders guidance and protection, track progress, assess needs, and help them transition to a normal life.

What Type of Salary Can You Receive?

When you have a criminal justice degree you don’t have to worry about landing a job that will pay your bills.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, police and detectives receive a median salary of $62,960. First-line supervisors like police sergeants can as much as $87,910 per year.

Forensic technicians, lab scientists, and crime investigators earn an average of $57,850.  According to Glassdoor, FBI agents can earn a sizeable salary of $188,000.

However, these salaries defer depending on the location, your rank, years of experience, and qualifications. For example, an injury lawyer may make well over $1 million dollars a year while helping to win big settlements for their clients.

Getting Started on Your Criminal Justice Career

Considering there are many career paths in the criminal justice field, you should start by assessing your needs, preferences, and skills. To get things into perspective, ask yourself the following question:

  • What job will I enjoy?
  • What training will I need?
  • What degree program will I pursue?
  • How long will I take to complete it?

It also helps to talk to other individuals in the same field. Talk to professionals in the areas you’re considering. Also, research for more information online, and attend meetings organized by agencies and schools.  If you do your homework, we’re sure you’ll find a career path in criminal justice that will meet your needs.

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