Earning your criminal justice degree is the ideal way to begin your career in law enforcement, forensics, security, or justice.
It’s wise to prepare in advance to match your courses to your career goals.
For example, a career in computer forensics will require several courses in Information Technology, along with legal classes, and a career in homeland security may require more specific knowledge of federal laws.
You might be asking yourself, “what I can you do with a criminal justice degree.” Well you can do almost anything you can dream of with a criminal justice degree to build a long and successful career for yourself.
What can you do with a criminal justice degree – Four different fields
Law Enforcement Degrees
With local, state, and federal budget cutbacks and layoffs affecting nearly every law enforcement organization, your criminal justice degree will give you an edge over law enforcement officer candidates who have not earned this distinction.
Check with the agency that you hope to join after earning your degree before planning your course of study to determine which specific skills and training they are seeking. If you want to become a city, county, or state police officer, a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is what you should have if you want to compete, and the entity that hires you will train you further for their specific needs.
Here is a list of what you can do with a criminal justice degree:
Forensic Science Degrees
Every criminal justice field is evolving quickly, but perhaps none so quickly as the field of forensics. Criminal forensic specialists use the latest computer and technological techniques to analyze crime scenes, including computers themselves, to reveal valuable crime scene evidence.
Your course of study for a criminal justice degree in forensic sciences should include all of the science classes tailored to your specific interest. If you want to be a crime scene investigator, for example, you will take more biology and chemistry classes than will someone who wants to specialize in computer forensics.
Security Degrees in Criminal Justice
Preventing crimes is just as important as solving them—perhaps even more so. Large corporations need security management officers, as do Homeland Security and other local and federal agencies. Within the field of crime prevention, your criminal justice degree can prepare you for a career in the growing field of computer and information security or premise security.
Either way, you will need to learn how computers work. You may also need courses in electronics to help you maintain building security, as well as traditional criminal justice classes. Decide what type of security you are interested in, and then work with your school to tailor your courses to match your goals.
Criminal Justice Degrees for the Legal Field
Perhaps you want to work as a criminal defense or prosecuting attorney, or a paralegal in the criminal justice field. In any case, earning your criminal justice degree will put you on the right path.
A criminal justice course of study will teach you about constitutional, state, and local laws, as well as how to conduct legal research and apply it to your job. You will learn why a simple clerical mistake can free a dangerous criminal or send an innocent person to jail, and how to work effectively for justice in your future career. These basics are essential for anyone working in criminal law. If you find yourself still searching for what you can do with a criminal justice degree, you might consider contacting your local law enforcement agency and see if they will spend some time with you, perhaps over a cup of coffee.