Criminology is the study of how crime is defined, why people commit crimes, and the effects it has on society. There are certain factors that help to explain criminal mindsets, such as childhood experiences, social environments, family relations and more. The criminal justice system comprises of police stations, rehabilitation services, courts and prisons.
Graduating from criminal justice schools creates a starting point for a variety of different career paths in the criminal justice system as well as jobs with private research agencies and local or federal government agencies. Many colleges and universities offer degree programs in criminology, including associates, bachelors and postgraduate degrees. Criminology students may specialize in certain areas of criminology, such as police studies and crime prevention.
Your criminology experience can open many opportunities for you to utilize your skills. Many of the courses for criminology degree programs revolve around understanding behavioral patterns of criminals, criminal law and the study of human behavior as a whole. Some of the courses that many colleges may require you to complete are criminal law, sociology, psychology and communications. Your educational experience in criminology will help you to develop abstract reasoning. Typical skills of individuals who possess a criminology degree are analytical skills, problem solving skills and critical judgment skills.
You may find a considerable number of job opportunities with specific industries and employers. Many job opportunities for criminology degree holders are found in juvenile justice systems, prisons, customs and immigration detention centers, courts, governmental departments and agencies, research agencies, educational institutions and rehabilitation facilities.
Entry Level Positions
If you have an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminology, you can generally expect to begin your career working in connection with the criminal justice system. Within the court system, you may qualify for many entry-level positions, such as administrative and case management jobs. Other typical occupations connected to a criminology background include probation officer, police officer, detective, correctional officer and security and crime prevention officer.
Many higher-level advisor or analyst positions may require you to possess postgraduate degrees in criminology or a related field of study. Having a graduate-level degree in criminology may qualify you to work in various advanced positions with federal government agencies, such as the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI). Your criminology degree can also qualify you for a variety of teaching and research positions at colleges and universities as well as research agencies.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for police officers and detectives are expected to undergo a 10% increase over the course of a decade between 2008 and 2018; police and detectives held 883,600 jobs in 2008 and are expected to hold 968,400 jobs by 2018. Additionally, according to the Occupational Employment Statistics reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, detectives and criminal investigators earn median annual salaries of $68,820 as of May 2010.