Earning a degree in criminal justice can pave the way for several respectable occupations that are also financially gratifying and personally enjoyable. It is much simpler for graduates of criminal justice programs to choose a professional path because they have the option of working in either the public or private sector or continuing their education at the graduate level.
What Is a Criminal Justice Major?
Students who major in criminal justice are exposed to a variety of subjects throughout their studies, including not only crime and punishment but also other topics. The areas of adolescent law, criminal law, imprisonment, the court system, management theory and assessments, and preventing crime are the primary objectives of this specialization.
Students get a well-rounded education from the program because it pulls from different fields like heritage, world affairs, communication services, psychology, and sociology. Students can choose to specialize in many different parts of the field of criminal justice.
Those who are interested in specializing in law enforcement, for example, might find themselves thinking about how the police engage with the general public throughout the various stages of the judicial system.
This research topic may emphasize the ethics of law enforcement, the organizational philosophy of police departments, and the practicalities of street patrol.
What Career Path Options Does a Criminal Justice Major Have?
Some of the most interesting things about the criminal justice field are how many different kinds of jobs there are. In the field of criminal justice, ideas from many different fields, such as sociology, psychology, and criminology, are looked at. Being able to work in different fields can lead to many different kinds of jobs.
Employment opportunities for graduates can be found in the public sector, charitable groups, and law firms, among other places. They could also conduct business under their name and their terms. The following are some common professions that you might want to think about.
1. Forensic Psychologist
In one-on-one sessions with clients, forensic psychologists look for and evaluate any psychological information that can help make a diagnosis or explain why a client did something wrong.
In contrast to doing research and publishing findings, the evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment of patients who are experiencing issues with their mental health are the primary responsibilities of forensic psychologists.
2. Corrections Officer
Community members, conditions, and federal governments hire corrections officers like bailiffs and jailers to keep an eye on individuals who have been detained and are now in jail. It is required that corrections officers have completed an approved training program and a high school education at a minimum.
To work in federal prison, for instance, you need a lot of experience and a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or counseling services.
Because of the frequent direct interaction that prison officials have with inmates, they must possess outstanding decision-making and interpersonal skills. The ability to exercise self-control and restraint is another requirement for corrections officials.
Despite the fact that the BLS anticipates a slowdown in job growth, prison systems will always need additional staff members because of attrition.
3. Intelligence Analyst
An intelligence analyst is a consultant who looks into and evaluates a wide range of data sources and several come to well-thought-out conclusions. These conclusions are then shared with decision-makers through findings, lectures, and other means.
The majority of their duties consist of gathering information from a wide variety of sources and keeping an eye on various internet postings, discussion forums, and the like.
4. Security Manager
Security managers make sure that companies, stores, and even charities’ assets are safe. As the security officer, it will be up to you to make and enforce the company’s policies and procedures to stop theft and stock loss. You will be responsible for recruiting security officers and managing the finances of your division, so you will have a big impact on the organization as a whole.
5. Homicide Detective
Detectives specializing in homicide conduct investigations into offenses that result in death. Investigations are documented in written reports that detail the evidence gathered at the scene of the crime, the individuals who were questioned, and the proof against them.
During a homicide investigation, the district attorney and the homicide investigators work together closely to file charges. For jobs in law enforcement, such as homicide detective, you usually need a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, or a similar area, as well as a few years of experience in the field.
6. Crime Lab Analyst
Those who specialize in forensics examine crime scenes, gather evidence and run tests to figure out what took place. The information that law enforcement uncovers is put to use in the process of building cases against criminals, as well as in the identification of potential witnesses and suspects.
Toxicology testing, DNA analysis, a full blood count, and biometric identification are just a few of the forensic methods used by crime lab analysts. In the field of forensics, a bachelor’s degree is the basic minimum, however, companies like the federal government generally prefer candidates with advanced degrees.
It is necessary to be analytically astute and creatively inventive in many areas of a forensics laboratory. Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not anticipate any growth in the field, there is a continuing demand for trained crime lab analysts to assist with law enforcement.
What Is the Average Salary for a Criminal Justice Major?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary in this area of criminal justice seems to be more than $62,000 per year. In 2021, the most successful people in their fields made six figures or more.
A bachelor’s degree in the field of criminal justice might open up a lot of doors for potential employment. Earning a degree in criminal justice can pave the way for work in a variety of fields within the public sector, including those dealing with police departments, imprisonment, rehabilitative programs, and the legal system.
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