How to Become a Criminologist

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There are numerous career options in the field of criminology, ranging from law enforcement to social workers. Continue reading to find out which job opportunities might interest you and what prerequisites and prior experience are required.


What Is Criminology?

The study of crime and criminals through the lens of modern society and philosophy is known as criminology. This broad field of study includes a variety of aspects of crime prevention and public safety, ranging from on-the-ground law enforcement to victim advocates.

A criminologist will usually conduct research on criminal behaviour to better understand why a crime was committed so that they can prevent future crimes from occurring. Forensic scientists, for example, use advanced technology to study crime scenes and compile reliable evidence for law enforcement agencies.


Why Pursue a Career in Criminology?

Careers in criminology are typically stable and rewarding, with a high average salary. Many criminology career options are government jobs with generous benefits packages, including health care and pensions. Positions in the private sector, such as private investigators, can also be lucrative.

Criminology attracts people who want to make a difference in public safety and the reintegration of incarcerated people into society. Parole officers assist people after they have been released from prison with resources for employment, housing, and drug treatment plans.


Roles and Requirements of a Criminology Career

Many law enforcement positions do not require a degree. A high school diploma or GED is all that is required for police officers and border patrol agents. These criminology jobs are typically attainable through education and hard work. Depending on the needs of the individual prison, correctional officers may have a criminology degree. Forensic psychologists, for example, need a bachelor's degree in criminology or another related field, such as psychology or sociology.

Criminal profiler jobs necessitate detailed knowledge of criminal behaviours as well as sharp critical thinking skills, which are emphasized in most criminology degrees. Some criminology jobs also require a doctoral degree. To practice criminal law, for example, you must complete law school and pass the bar exam in the state in which you wish to practice. Paralegals and legal assistants typically have a bachelor's degree but are not required to attend law school or pass the bar exam.

Master's degree holders could return to academia and teach undergraduate criminology classes. Intelligence analysts for government agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI are typically criminology graduates at the highest levels.


How to Begin a Career in Criminology

Consider which career paths in criminology pique your interest. Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Consider whether your skills would be better suited to being a police officer or a social worker, probation officer, or analyst. If you want to make a difference in the criminal justice system through the courtroom, you should start studying for the LSAT exam so you can pursue a law degree.

If you are currently employed in law enforcement and want to advance your career, look for side or part-time internships in your desired field. If you want to work in the highly analytical world of forensic science, a degree will provide you with the necessary tools. While it is possible to make a good living without a bachelor's degree, having a criminology degree will help you get the job you want and make the impact you want.

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