Criminal justice professionals have a broad skill set that can be applied to a variety of career paths. Our program will help you develop these skills so you can feel prepared to accomplish your goals.
Criminal justice professionals need strong written and verbal communication skills.
Reports are a major part of many criminal justice careers. You have to be able to articulate facts and write clearly. Good writing can sometimes mean the difference between seeing justice for a criminal or letting them go free. It could also determine whether you get additional funding for a program or not.
Criminal justice professionals also need a diverse and strong verbal communication skill set. You'll find yourself conducting interviews with witnesses and victims, interrogating suspects, and collaborating with colleagues. Knowing how to speak effectively in various situations to many audiences will serve you well.
Research and Analysis
Whatever path you take in criminal justice, you need to know how to collect and make sense of many kinds of data.
If you're trying to solve a crime, you have to gather information. Collecting evidence, interviewing victims and witnesses, and putting all the pieces together is part of the research and analysis process.
Criminal justice isn't just about responding to crime. There's also an element of preventing crime and building stronger communities. You have to understand societies and their crime patterns. Having the ability to research and analyze data will determine the most effective means to accomplish your goal.
Empathy is being able to understand someone's emotions and why they feel the way they do.
As a criminal justice professional, you'll interact with people who might be scared, angry, distraught, or suffering from a mental illness episode. Whatever the emotion may be, they are often strong and intense. Knowing how to interact with people at these vulnerable times is essential.
Using empathy during interactions can build trust. When people trust you, they are more willing to comply and provide information you need to solve a crime or mediate a difficult situation.
Our program helps develop empathy by giving you a strong background in the humanities and participating in civic engagement opportunities.
Technology plays an important role in criminal justice. No matter what path you take, you'll need to embrace technology and keep an open mind when it comes to learning new ways of doing things.
The criminal justice field includes political and social climates that constantly evolve over time. Having strong leadership skills can help you navigate these challenges and make a positive and lasting impact in your career.
If you want to advance in your career, taking initiative and developing your leadership skills can help you accomplish your goals.
It takes motivation and lots of work to accomplish your criminal justice career goals.
Get a diverse education.
Take courses in a variety of areas such as computer science, business, psychology, and sociology. This helps give you a well-rounded perspective and prepares you for a variety of opportunities in the field.
Depending on your career goals, you might need to earn a master's degree to work in higher levels of administration or research.
Get as much experience as you can. Volunteer and seek internship opportunities to find a career in criminal justice that's a good fit for you.
Make the most of entry-level positions.
The job you get right out of school might not be your ultimate goal, but it will give you a solid foundation in the field. Take the initiative to learn from those with experience.
There are a variety of career paths you can take with a criminal justice degree. Here are a few examples.
Many criminal justice alumni work in the police force. This includes local, state, and sheriff's departments. It can also lead you to work at the federal government level.
There are lots of roles and paths you can take in policing. Some of these include:
- Uniformed officer - Take on general law enforcement duties such as patrolling and responding to emergency calls
- Detective - Investigate crime scenes
- State and Highway Patrol - Keep an eye on the state's roadways and help assist local departments when needed
- Air Marshal - Protect passengers and crew on airlines
- Border Patrol - Perform customs checks at the airport or at the country's borders
- FBI - Work for the country's national security organization
The corrections path can lead you to work with adults or juveniles. You could also work in probation or court services.
Public and Law Offices
Criminal justice could lead to work in a law office or legal services. There are also several public offices that look for individuals with a criminal just degree, including:
- State's Attorney
- Attorney General
- Public Defender
- Inspector General
The business sector includes jobs where a criminal justice degree comes in handy.
Many retailers have a loss prevention department where employees protect the company's inventory from theft. The insurance and financial industry also hire people to investigate and prevent fraud and theft.
Park Districts and Environmental Services
Earning a criminal justice degree could lead you to a career in the great outdoors. Whether local or national, there are lots of rules in place to protect land, wildlife, and the environment. Our local and national parks need people to patrol and enforce rules. These rules can relate to boating, hunting, fishing, camping, and more.
Helping people is another career option. Areas such as domestic violence, family and social services, and addiction services often hire individuals with a criminal justice degree.
This field might have you helping those in need get back on their feet or supporting individuals who have a higher risk of being victims of crime. You might help a family find resources and support during stressful times.