An Overview of Careers in Criminal Justice
Television shows like Law and Order and CSI make careers in criminal justice look exciting. It’s all about investigating crimes and bringing the “bad guy” to justice. While investigating crimes is a major part of criminal justice careers, the field is much broader than most people realize.
A criminal justice degree opens the door to a wide range of careers for all kinds of people. For example, someone who loves animals and has a degree in this field may become an animal cruelty officer. They are responsible for removing animals from dangerous situations and gathering evidence for the potential prosecution of the animal’s owner.
It can also lead to a career path in corrections. Correctional officers are responsible for the safety of prison inmates, fellow guards, and themselves. They also oversee people who have been arrested and are awaiting trial. Correctional counselors are both criminal justice and mental health professionals. They help rehabilitate inmates and help them prepare for reintegration into society. Careers with the Department of Corrections are usually state positions and salaries can vary from state to state.
People with a criminal justice degree can also obtain positions in the courts or police departments directly. Bailiffs are responsible for ensuring everyone’s safety in the courtroom. A criminal justice degree can open the path to being a private investigator or police investigator. Both of these career paths require some college, but on-the-job training is also provided in most situations. Of course, this degree path would also be a great choice for a person interested in policing, whether that looks like becoming a police officer, Transportation Security Administration Agent, or border patrol, to keep citizens safe.
There are a wide range of careers in criminal justice. These are just a small selection. Rather than staying stagnant or declining (like jobs in so many fields), the number of jobs available in criminal justice will increase in the future, partly due to the prevalence of technology. Technology is causing entire fields to be created. For example, cybersecurity and cyber policing are new fields within criminal justice that are developing because of the spread of technology. Additionally, it is a very resilient field, nearly immune to hard economic times, which make it a great choice for a person looking to enter the workforce for the first time. Criminal Justice is a great field for someone who wants to make a difference in the world and have what they do for a living impact the world around them.
The wide field of criminal justice has a specific career for nearly everyone. Depending on the school, a degree in criminal justice may be either 2 or 4 years. Some schools even have a master’s level degree. This just shows the size of the field. The specific degree type needed varies with the job, so don’t hesitate to find out more about different careers you’d enjoy. From animal cruelty investigator to transportation security agent, there is a career for you. Check it out today!