How To Choose a Criminal Justice Career

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Are you the type of person who likes to help others? Do you like serving the public and always think that justice should always be served? There are many job opportunities for someone with a criminal justice career. It can lead you to become a police officer, an investigator, a bailiff, a corrections officer or a customs agent. You can also be an agent in the FBI, DEA or INS, a sheriff or a US Marshall. What you need to be in any of these positions is the right training. Following are tips that will help you choose a criminal justice career.

  • Decide which area in the field of criminal justice you are interested in. Base it on your interest and your research in the various areas of criminal justice. Each of these areas has different requirement for training and education. Get the right information before you make your decision. You can visit the Bureau of Labor Statistics to see the job outlook for criminal justice occupations and the requirements for each area of expertise. Explore the site by using the search box for other occupations in the field of criminal justice.
  • It is good to know that the minimum entry-level requirement right now is for an applicant with a Bachelor's Degree which means you have to enroll in a four-year degree course. This is due to the increasing number of applicants and the higher standards that have been set by employers. Those with limited training and education will have to settle for lower rank positions where the career advancement opportunities are also limited. If you want to make a position in criminal justice your lifetime career you should think about getting a college education to obtain a Bachelor's degree.
  • After you have decided on which field you want to concentrate the next thing to do is to find the school that offers the course you plan to take. Search online for quality schools. Look for websites that give recommendation of good schools that offer quality coursework for the different areas of criminal justice. If you live in a large metropolitan area, it may be very difficult to find a job as a police officer with an Associate Degree. Earn a Bachelor's degree and have more advantage, both over other applicants as well as career advancement opportunities. There is a dearth of criminal justice instructors right now so if you have a penchant for teaching this is a very lucrative area to pursue although it means staying in school for longer as you have to at least have a Master's degree to be able to apply for a criminal justice instructor position in a college or university. A Master's degree will allow you to teach basic criminal justice subjects. Advanced subjects are taught by those with doctoral degrees.
  • Consider taking criminal justice classes online. There are already several colleges and universities offering degrees online. This will help you if the school you have chosen is far from where you currently reside or you are working to pay for your education or is currently employed and looking at a different career opportunity.

A career in criminal justice opens many job opportunities for you. Partner your criminal justice coursework with other skills and knowledge in computers, psychology and accounting. Good defensive driving skill will also give you advantage when you are pursuing a degree in law enforcement. And do remember that a career in criminal justice is not confined to office jobs. There are several positions that require performing your to be out in the field.


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