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What Can You Do with a Career in Criminal Justice?

Criminal justice is a program in which crime is exposed and dealt with. Although this degree is akin to the criminology program, it is different in several aspects as it is the practical application of the theories studied in criminology programs. If you have a degree in criminal justice, you might say that you will probably end up being a law enforcer or an investigator. But law enforcement is just one of the fields; there are actually many other career options which you can choose from.

Law Enforcement

Although a lot of law enforcement jobs may not require you to have a college degree, having one before starting a career is very helpful. A degree in criminal justice prepares individuals for work as police officers, dispatchers, detectives, and investigators. Aside from these, crime scene investigations and forensic science are just some of the areas where a degree-holder of criminal justice can get a job in. But to qualify, you should have a minor in biological or physical sciences. Criminal justice graduates also get employed as park rangers, animal cruelty investigators, or highway patrol officer.

Federal Law Enforcement

You may also get a chance to a federal law enforcement career as CIA agent, immigration officer, or FBI agent. FBI special agents handle national security investigations that are especially sensitive in nature. Their works entail dealing with a wide range of issues such as terrorism, organized crime, cyber crime, and other such violations of federal statutes. Aside from a four-year degree from college or university, all FBI agents are trained further at the FBI Academy located in Quantico, Virginia.

Court System

The court system has also a number of jobs for those with a degree in criminal justice such as clerk, legal secretary, bailiff, and prosecutor, among others. For instance, a bailiff is responsible for maintaining security and order in the courtroom. But some of the high ranking jobs such as prosecutor, defense lawyer, or jury consultant, require you to obtain advanced studies or a law degree in addition to a criminal justice degree.


Criminal justice graduates can also get a job in correctional facilities, on incarceration or probation. A correctional counselor, for instance, works with offenders to prevent them from getting involved further in criminal activities. One may also be assigned in collecting and processing of fines. A more specialized career, forensic psychology, is also available in corrections but would require one to have a graduate level qualification. Forensic psychology is the practice of psychology with respect to the criminal justice system and the law in general.

Private Security

You can also choose to work in the private sector as security officer, insurance investigator, or a private detective. Security has become a huge business nowadays. Firms outsource security services to competent security services firms. Security personnel are in great demand for securing business premises, nuclear facilities, and transportation hubs. Although a college degree is not required as agents are normally provided with extensive training, a degree in criminal justice will be a huge plus in your credentials.

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