For college students, choosing your degree major is one thing, but it’s quite another to decide what you’re going to do with your degree after graduation. With popular crime-based television shows such as CSI, Law and Order, and Criminal Minds on the rise, it’s no surprise that an increasing number of students are attracted to degree programs in criminology and criminal justice. Studying for a major in a related field can make for some very interesting learning, but what can you do after graduating with a degree in criminology? Let’s take a look at some of the most popular career options.
Unlike in the movies, criminology graduates tend to go into more academic, rather than hands-on career positions. As a criminologist, you’ll view crime as a social problem, studying all aspects of crime and its effects on society as a whole. As a researcher, you’ll be looking at various crime issues in society and coming up with fact-based solutions to decrease crime rates, rehabilitate offenders, support victims, and more. Many researchers are based at colleges and universities, so you’ll also spend some time studying for a doctorate or teaching undergraduate and postgraduate lectures, depending on your own educational achievements.
#2. Corrections Officer:
If you’d prefer a more hands-on job in the criminal justice system, you might want to think about using your criminology degree to work as a corrections officer. Although it’s often one of the least recognized career options in criminology and criminal justice, corrections officers are some of the most important people in the system and are essential for maintaining correctional facilities and prisons. As a corrections officer, it’ll be your job to stand guard between the general public and some of the most dangerous criminals in the country. Duties will include booking, searching, and guarding prisoners, whilst preventing fights and potential riots in the facility. You may also be responsible for transporting prisoners to and from court and working closely with inmates to support with rehabilitation.
#3. Police Officer:
If you chose a Laurier Criminology degree program to help you pursue a career on the front line of law, becoming a police officer could be the perfect choice for you. You can apply to become a police officer with a bachelor’s degree in criminology, and you will be provided with an intensive training program to help you get ready for life as a cop. There are several options that you could consider if you want to pursue a career in law enforcement. For example, local police and sheriff departments, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) or U.S. Marshalls may be some employers to consider. You may also want to think about working with the U.S. Military as a member of the Department of Defense civilian police force. Duties include patrolling on foot or in a vehicle, investigating traffic accidents and enforcing traffic laws, investigating misdemeanors and domestic violence reports, and providing security.
#4. Forensic Psychologist:
If you want to get deeper inside the mind of criminals, you can use your bachelor’s degree in criminology to launch yourself into an interesting career as a forensic psychologist. Forensic psychologists work in a variety of different settings within the criminal justice system, with potential career roles including jury consultant, expert witness, criminal profiler, psychological investigator, or prison psychologist. As a forensic psychologist, you may be asked to assess individuals on trial to determine mental capacity before a sentence is handed down. To become a forensic psychologist, you’ll need to take on further study – a master’s or doctorate degree in psychology or forensic psychology is usually required on top of your bachelor’s degree.
#5. Private Investigator:
If you have an eye for detail and pride yourself on your ability to find things out, you might want to consider starting a career as a private investigator after graduating with a degree in criminology. If you are hoping for a career role that allows you to work for yourself, this could be an ideal option, with many private investigators being self-employed. As a private investigator, you could be hired by a range of individuals to investigate a variety of different situations. For example, you could be finding a cheating spouse, investigating petty theft, or working together with the police to bring serious criminals down. No two days are the same!
#6. Social Work:
Since crime impacts almost every aspect of society in some way, your degree in criminology can provide the perfect foundation for a wide range of different career options. With some further study after graduation, you might want to consider training to become a social worker. As a social worker, you’ll be responsible for working with vulnerable people in society, many of whom may be past criminals or victims of crime. For example, you could be responsible for children who have been taken from criminal parents by Child Protective Services, or helping ex-inmates make a success of life after serving their sentence.
#7. Probation Officer:
Your criminology degree will give you the wide range of knowledge and skill necessary to become an effective probation officer. In this role, you’ll be working closely with individuals who are currently on probation to ensure that they are abiding by the rules and offer support to them where needed. Probation officers are required to regularly check in with suspects who are currently out on bail, for example, to ensure that they are abiding by the bail terms. You may also work with ex-inmates who have been released from prison on probation, to get regular updates on their progress and determine whether they are ready for life outside bars.
#8. Prison Counselor:
Lastly, you may want to consider undergoing further training to work as a prison counselor. Statistics show that a huge percentage of prison inmates are more likely to experience or develop serious mental health problems when compared to the general population, which is why understanding, supportive counselors in prisons are so important to rehabilitation.
Are you interested in pursuing any of these careers? Let us know in the comments.