Criminal Justice: Do You Have What It Takes?

By Beth Dumbauld

Are you looking for a career in public service? If so, earning a degree in criminal justice can have you moving quickly into your field of choice. Whether you ultimately want to work in law enforcement or in the government, there are a variety of career entry points into the criminal justice sector. No matter if your educational destination is an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or even a law degree, earning criminal justice credentials offers you an excellent career outlook and a variety of career options.

What Do You Do with a Degree In Criminal Justice ?

Take a look around your community. Each day you probably interact or benefit from the actions of someone whose journey began by taking a course in criminal justice. Perhaps for you, it’s a neighborhood police officer, a lawyer committed to your community, or someone who works tirelessly behind the scenes to keep your neighborhood safe.

There’s no doubt – individuals working in the criminal justice field make a difference. If you are also looking to make a difference with your career choice, there are a variety of career pathways available in criminal justice. And each one of them has the potential to have a measurable impact on your life and the community at large.

Here’s a listing of popular careers in criminal justice:

  1. Police Officer, Detective, FBI Agent
  2. Probation Officer
  3. Private Detective or Investigator

There are also careers where it is helpful to have a background in criminal justice in addition to other advanced degrees or certifications. These may include: forensic psychologists, lawyers, judges, mediators, hearing officers, counselors, and tax collection agents.

For the adult learner looking to go into a career in criminal justice, online colleges and universities can provide an excellent pathway towards earning your degree. And as you gain experience in your field, taking online classes can also help propel you towards earning additional educational requirements from your master’s and beyond.

If you are ready, you can take your first steps towards a degree in criminal justice today – but how do know if career in criminal justice is right for you?

How Do You Know If a Criminal Justice Career is Right for You?

For many who enter the criminal justice field, there is a deep sense of commitment to the community around them. How do you know if you are called to public service? Depending on which area of criminal justice you are interested in, you will encounter a different set of educational requirements, skill sets, and job duties.

Furthermore, as you look to advance in your career, you may find yourself seeking educational qualifications in addition to your work. The fact is: a career in criminal justice rewards both experience and education.

Let’s explore which qualities and job duties are associated with the most common careers in criminal justice. As we spotlight each category, you will be able to assess where your career goals and interests lie, and determine what level of education is required for the criminal justice roles that interest you most. As you do so, you will be able to evaluate if you have what it takes to earn a degree in criminal justice – and gauge if you are prepared to take the next steps towards earning your college degree.