Pursue a career in Criminal Justice by taking up the right courses and choosing from one of the best colleges to fulfill your dreams of being police officers, counselors, investigators and more.
Criminal Justice graduates can be found occupying several important positions across the world of law enforcement and the justice system. Some of the biggest employers of Criminal Justice graduates are the police, the court system, government agencies, insurance companies, and law firms. There are a variety of roles and career tracks available for you in this field – from investigators, to analysts, to police offers, to field agents, to negotiators and counselors.
Careers in law enforcement and the legal system are often demanding. Being employed in a Criminal Justice position is no different. Long hours, travel, and stressful situations can be the norm. Some positions might also place you in harm’s way, while other might mainly involve routine desk work.
A Closer Look
Criminal Justice is an all-encompassing term for several careers in law enforcement and the justice system. Some of the most popular job roles for a Criminal Justice graduate are:
- Police officer
- Security personnel
- Probations officer
- Private investigator
- Loss Prevention Manager
- Insurance & fraud investigator
- Corrections officer
- Jury analyst
- Victim Counselor
- Research analyst
- Government agent
This career is best suited to those with excellent interpersonal and communications skills. These ‘soft skills’ are considered critical in many careers, but this is especially true of Criminal Justice as your office ‘routine’ is likely to place you in stressful situations – and even dangerous ones. Remaining unbiased, being able to handle stress, and being a good listener are other traits that will come in handy for anyone wanting to build a successful career in Criminal Justice. This is career for someone who’s good with people, and can perform well under pressure.
Criminal Justice courses can be found at the Associate’s, Bachelor’s, or Master’s levels.
Some of the study areas you’ll focus on while in college include:
- Legal & ethical standards in law enforcement and justice
- Policing concepts
- Communications skills for interviewing
- Investigation skills
- Counseling, hostage negotiation, and interrogation
- Role of technology in justice
- Juvenile justice
- Privacy issues in Criminal Justice
Depending upon your college, it might also be possible to add a Minor. This might come in handy for those of you who know exactly where they’d like to work after graduation. For example, adding courses in accounting will improve your chances of getting hired by an insurance company.
As a graduate from a Criminal Justice course, you’ll discover a wide range of opportunities in the world of law enforcement and in the justice system. Most students opt for the public sector after completing their course, while others head towards the private sector. Police, the courts, and government agencies such as the DEA and FBI are some of the most sought-after destinations after graduation, while insurance companies and law firms are also quite popular.
You can also combine your prior qualifications and expertise to gain entry into a particular niche. For example, a Criminal Justice student who has prior work experience in Information Technology might land a coveted job as a cyber-security investigator. Those with higher degrees such as a Bachelor’s or Master’s can also find positions as analysts and researchers.