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Career Criminal Justice - Career Opportunities with a Degree in Criminal Justice

criminal justice career opportunities

Crime statistics in the United State have reached and all time high and with the events of September 11, many have gained a renewed attitude towards law enforcement in this country. Opportunities for those who seek a career in criminal justice have risen, and careers such as private investigators, police officers, DEA agents, and Homeland Security are plentiful. Although most people are aware of those career fields, there are many people who are unaware of the many careers in criminal justice that are available and what it takes to achieve them. The following are some career choices and certificate/degree information.

Criminal Justice Career Opportunities

A degree in the field of criminal justice will prepare individuals for a careers in the following work environments:

In Local Law Enforcement
• The Park police
• The county police
• The juvenile justice System
• The sheriffs department
In State Law Enforcement
• In Crime Labs
• In the Attorney Generals Offices
• In the Narcotics Bureau
• In the Liquor Control Boards
• With the State Police
• With the Court System
• With State Crime Commissions
In Federal Law Enforcement
• With the Department of Defense
• With the Federal Bureau of Investigation
• With Veterans Affairs
• With the Federal Trade Commission
• With the Department of Transportation
• With the Customs Agency
• With the Office of the Inspector General
• With the Food & Drug Administration
• With the Immigration and Naturalization Service
In the Private Sector
• With Insurance Companies
• As a Safety officer
• As a Security Patrol Officer

• Probate Officer- Some Individuals who are convicted of crimes, rather than go to jail, are put on probation. A probation officer, also called a community supervision officer at times, supervises individuals placed on probation to ensure they meet requirements set out by the courts and stay out of trouble.
• Police Officer-The duties of a police officer are dependant upon if an individual is a state or city police officer. A state police officer makes arrests and patrols the highways in order to enforce motor vehicle regulations and laws. State police officers also provide first aid to victims, may direct traffic, and write accident reports at the scene of an accident. City police officers handle some of the same issues that state police officers do, although at the city level. City police officers may also issue speeding and parking tickets, respond to calls involving robberies, and investigate noise or domestic disturbances.
• Federal Government Careers- a degree in criminal justice will give an individual the prospect to choose between numerous job opportunities with the federal government. Individuals could work with the CIA, go under cover in hopes of exploiting international criminals or with the FBI and investigate organized crime. Another choice is with the DEA as a means to enforce the laws pertaining to drug smuggling.

Degree Requirements for a Career in Criminal Justice

An individual’s criminal justice career goals will determine the amount of education they need. To prepare for a criminal justice career, individuals should pursue a bachelors’ degree, an associate’s degree, or a certificate.

There are degree programs available online which are convenient for those who work and have families. Advanced degree programs are also available for people who want to pursue a career as a forensic scientist, or individual’s who desire additional specialized programs in criminal justice.

Common criminal justice programs are:

• Obtaining a certificate-This provides individual’s with training that is geared towards a specialized area of criminal justice. Individuals can become crime scene technicians or be trained in other specialized fields. Individuals who receive certificates in criminal justice typically use them as a foundation for continued criminal justice studies.
• Associate’s degree- This program takes two years to finish and teaches the basic skills in the field of criminal justice by grounding students in the areas of sciences and liberal arts. An associate degree may focus on the technical aspects that will equip graduate to embark on a successful career in state and local law enforcement. The requirement of most police departments is that a new recruit possess some college training.
• Bachelor’s degree-This degree provides and individual with in-depth training that will prepare them for entry-level positions within federal agencies, or those who seek promotion opportunities within a private company or a police department.

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