Preparing for Law Enforcement with a Criminal Justice Degree
When you are working toward obtaining your criminal justice degree, you might find yourself struggling to pinpoint an exact area or expertise within the field into which you might fit best. Criminal justice as a whole can cover a broad scope of educational and career possibilities, therefore; it can help to have an idea of what particular part of criminal justice you might want to focus upon during your degree work.
If a criminal justice degree seems to be beckoning to you, here are a few focus areas to which you might consider applying your skills and abilities.
Whether as a police officer, state trooper, detective, or FBI agent, using a criminal justice degree to prepare yourself for a front line law enforcement role can be great educational training. Being out in the trenches, enforcing the law and ensuring the safety of others can be a satisfying career choice. Not only can the work be exciting and constantly changing, but it can be highly rewarding as well as you help those in need and protect law abiding citizens from criminals.
It could be that you find the corrections side of law enforcement a more enticing career option available to you with a criminal justice degree. Working within a prison, jail, juvenile detention center or similar detention facility could be more the type of career to which you would like to apply your criminal justice degree. These types of positions are still within the law enforcement realm, but in most cases they are focused toward rehabilitation after the fact. As correctional facilities face continued overcrowding and some facets of the field continue to be outsourced to outside companies, you might find employment offered either in the governmental or private sector within the corrections side of criminal justice.
You might be able to find a happy medium between law enforcement and the corrections aspect of the criminal justice field by considering work as a parole officer, counselor, bounty hunter or repossession employee. While these positions might not be ones that can uphold a broad variety of laws across the board, they do often allow for the enforcement or particular laws and may involve critical interaction with the corrections side of the industry. Such roles like bounty hunter or repossession employee are often integral parts of the criminal justice field, filling voids in which government agencies might not have the time or manpower to handle.
Security might be another option if you are interested in putting your criminal justice degree to use in the area of law enforcement. Again, similar to corrections, you might not have the broader law enforcement abilities that a police officer or FBI agent might, but you may still be able to provide assistance and secure people and places from law breakers.
You might decide upon private security as a means to apply your criminal justice education. In this sector, you could find yourself working as a private detective, working security at a private estate or business, or operating as a bodyguard or member of a security detail to a well-known individual or group.
Otherwise, you might decide to go into security within the public or governmental sector. In this area of security operations, you might be found working as a guard or security officer at a government office, building or institution. You might also find working within a federal park or monument an interesting path through which to pursue your criminal justice career.
Another option in the security sector of the criminal justice field could be working corporate security. In such employment you might be working to protect business property and employees, providing security for private functions and corporate officers, or overseeing similar site security.
Whether you use these positions as stepping stones to other areas within the criminal justice field or plan to stay within the law enforcement side of the field, you’re likely to find a variety of roles and positions in which to explore your criminal justice career options.
To find out more about how to achieve a career in criminal justice, check out these colleges that offer criminal justice degrees.