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Good and evil exist everywhere. There is no confinement to it. Similarly, crime also lives in every country and community. You cannot ignore the importance of criminology and criminal justice jobs in today’s world. Individuals that are in this profession hold a huge responsibility of maintaining stability and peace in society. They are supposed to protect citizens and serve justice to the victims. If you plan to choose this career path, prepare yourself to carry the great responsibility of keeping the community secure.
The criminology education and jobs have strict criteria that candidates have to fulfill for this job. Here are some facts to know before choosing criminology as your major.
Decide your Field
Studying for a criminology degree offers you various choices, so you need to make up your mind about available options. It is also vital for you to understand the difference between criminology and criminal justice.
Criminology is the study of crime that involves high analytical and research-based study. It covers each aspect of corruption in detail. Some of its professions include forensic scientists, private investigators, and criminologists. On the other hand, criminal justice covers the practical application of criminology. If you want to opt for this field, you need to prepare yourself to serve law enforcement agencies. You can join the police department or become a correctional officer.
You also have to pick the sector that you would like to serve, either public or private. Public sector jobs provide you the opportunity to work directly with citizens. It allows you to bring stability to the community. Positions in this sector are always in great demand at the state and local levels.
The private sector also offers jobs, but they are hard to find because jobs are not openly advertised. It will be best if you build good networks to enter this field. You can be a private security guard, criminologist, or detective to work in the private sector.
Attain the Required Qualification and Skills
Once you are clear about which field you want to choose, you should acquire the necessary qualifications. A bachelor degree in criminal justice schools should be your priority when it comes to strengthening your academics. Considering graduate school is one of the initial steps you have to take after selecting criminology as your major. The next step is to organize study documents with your fellow students on sites like Studocu.
After completing a degree, you need to harness the required skills to get your desired job. Keep soft skills like critical judgment and social perceptiveness aside. It is vital to be well-rounded academically to increase the worth of your resume. Data analysis has a great scope in the field of criminology. You should also attain data analysis skills to make the right decisions. For example, police work requires detailed report work, so you need to provide accurate facts and figures. It also leads the investigation in the right direction.
Choose your Career Path
Before you start digging job ads, you need to consider some key factors that will make your job search easy. It will help you find a job that is a perfect fit for your personality. After becoming a criminologist, you need to ask yourself a question that what excites you most. Areas with higher crime rates offer robust crime-related jobs as compared to smaller towns.
You need to analyze your working style and then take any decision. Ask yourself that do you like working in a lab, then go to study science and analytics. It will keep you behind the crime scenes. You will most probably be working as a criminologist or a forensic psychologist. These professions are attached to criminology. If you want to protect people and are not afraid to put your life in danger, then a law enforcement job will be the perfect match for you.
Build your Networking
You need to understand that criminology is a highly competitive field, so you need to have strong networks. In this way, you will be able to know frequently about the latest job openings. Usually, agencies like to hire people they already know because of the severe nature of these jobs. If you are joining organizations and working as a volunteer, then chances are great to meet potential employers.
Be Ready for Background Checks
Due to the sensitive job nature, you have to go through background checks. You will have access to the confidential information, so be prepared for the background verification procedure as part of the criminal justice or criminology job application procedure. It will involve questioning related to drug or alcohol abuse, family background, and so on.
Agencies will also examine your record to ensure that you have no criminal record. Having such kind of history can damage your chances of selection in law enforcement. You may also have to clear the polygraph exam and pass the physical training test, including other drug tests. Eventually, you must have a crystal clear record to build a career in this field, so be very mindful while making such choices.
Complete an Internship
Internships provide a great learning opportunity to students who are fresh graduates. It requires you to complete different tasks by coordinating with your colleagues. By discussing with them, you will be able to know about different roles and responsibilities. It will help you shape your career goals and to make the right decisions. For internship, you should consider places like juvenile centers, local police departments, and student services.
Choosing criminology as a major is one of the most challenging career choices. Criminology and criminal justice are two branches of a similar organization that offers different roles and responsibilities to fresh graduates. Before picking this field, you should know that you have to make many sacrifices to enter this field. You have to put your life and your loved ones at risk and learn to deal with danger daily. It would be best if you also learned to stay on duty for long working hours, staying away from family. Working undercover, you might not see your family for months, so you need to prepare yourself for such challenges. Hopefully, this guide will provide you valuable insight before selecting criminology as your major.