Criminal justice careers are very rewarding because it encompasses such a wide area of helping people while also bringing justice to the innocent. As much as it appears this career takes place mostly in a courtroom, it goes far beyond there and into places you might not expect. Even better, it also means protecting many people, especially in the realm of security.
All of these careers require extensive college training, though some criminal justice careers are attainable faster through an associate degree. However, most of the best criminal justice jobs out there require more than a two-year education. This isn’t to say that many people don’t go back to college to upgrade their careers or by requirement to keep up their skills.
Based on level of degree, what kind of criminal justice career could you land? This is one of the few careers encompassing every kind of degree from an associate on up to doctorates.
Associate Degree Careers
In order to get your foot in the door for a criminal justice career, obtaining an associate degree is a great place to start. However, if you intend to stop there, expect to shoot for entry-level positions in the fields of law enforcement, corrections, security services, and firefighting.
All of these careers are still very fulfilling, if also having their share of risks. Firefighters are always highly respected and save lives on a regular basis. They don’t always get paid what they deserve, yet you’ll find many who find it’s a career like no other.
Working in security also has its risks, even if superior training is almost always part of your education. If hired by Homeland Security, you might be a security officer who helps weed out a terrorist, which is stressful, yet meaningful work.
The same goes for general law enforcement in a time when hiring the best police officers becomes an increasingly top priority. While also a challenging field due to recent national unrest, ones with excellent skills and astute ability to communicate well are sorely needed.
Corrections are no different where you’ll work with guarding or working directly with those incarcerated. This also takes special communication skills with some innate ability.
You might be able to advance on your own since some entry-level criminal justice careers train from within.
Careers with a Bachelor’s Degree
Your options are much wider with a bachelor’s degree, including working in criminal justice fields requiring more intellectual tasks. This includes working as a private investigator where you’ll need to know how to do specific research and understanding procedures of the criminal justice system.
You’ll also be able to obtain a career as a detective that requires more than what movies show you. Detectives are wide-ranging in their field from witness interviewing on up to criminal report preparation.
With a bachelor’s, you’ll even be able to work in juvenile corrections and as a social worker. Despite the major challenges involved working one-on-one with convicted criminals, many find great rewards helping improve someone’s life.
Master’s and Doctorate Criminal Justice Careers
Obtaining a master’s sets you up for some very interesting fields, including forensic psychologist careers. In the world of forensic psychology, you’ll be working to understand the criminal mind and helping convict criminals with your own psychological research.
Keep in mind that doctorates are sometimes needed in forensic psychology jobs, depending on your career focus.
With a master’s degree, you can also springboard into fire service administrative careers, criminal law, plus as a social worker. All of these take the utmost understanding of the legal system as well as the intricacies of understanding the psychology of people.
Contact us here at Legal.Education to find out more about what kind of criminal justice career you can find with the right college degree. No matter what level you work at, you always have chance for growth and a lifelong sense of accomplishment.