Criminology studies the formation of laws, the violation of laws, and the reaction to the violation of those laws. It is an honorable and diverse career path that derives much of its research from other fields. A few of those fields are psychology, sociology, law, and forensic science. If you want to pursue a career in criminology, it is a good idea to pursue a degree in the field to hone your skills.
As an aspiring criminologist, you can start your career by earning a bachelor’s or associate degree in a related field. For example, many sociologists end up following a career in criminology and working for the state or at a federal level. People with a degree in this field can also meet the eligibility criteria for the CIA.
A criminology career requires various skills like an in-depth understanding of society and culture, excellent research skills, technological knowledge, and legal comprehension, to name a few. These skills can be learned through the following degrees.
1) Criminal Justice
Criminal justice is both significantly different and similar to criminology. On the one hand, both fields involve the study of deviant behavior and the prevention of crime. Criminal justice, however, focuses on the implementation of the law. Criminology, on the other hand, focuses on the study and critique of the law.
Keeping the similarities and differences in mind, criminal justice is an exciting and challenging degree to pursue if you’re looking to further your career in criminology. Not only will you grasp detailed concepts of criminology, but you will also sharpen your research methods, learn ethics and corrections, and study topics that teach you the importance of diversity.
The degree requires an average of 4 years to complete. You can pursue meaningful degrees like Bachelors in Criminal Justice Online to keep a flexible routine while working on developing your skills. A criminal justice degree also unlocks careers as forensic science technicians, police officers, and fraud investigators.
Psychology contributes to researching one of the main aspects of criminology, which is studying individuals who exhibit criminal behavior. Criminology and psychology combine to form criminal psychology. Through this degree, you can study to understand the mind, intentions, thoughts, and behaviors of criminals.
Psychology is the most interesting degree you can pursue to gain a deeper understanding of people and identify personalities that are more likely to indulge in deviant behavior. You can learn essential skills like understanding cognitive fundamentals, conducting quantitative and qualitative research, and observation skills.
The job outlook for criminal psychology is estimated to grow as well, which indicates a clear potential for job opportunities like correctional officers, social workers, and counselors.
As a criminologist, if you want to enforce the law, you are required to study a law degree. The combination of criminology and law is crucial for the investigation of crimes. A degree in law studies the established set of legal principles that cannot be violated.
A law degree will strengthen your speaking, writing, and analysis skills and train your eye to pay attention to detail. Law will become a strong foundation for your future career in criminology and can help you pursue jobs like a criminal investigator, paralegal, and solicitor.
4) Information Security
A degree in information security consists of computer forensics and cyber security, which are important sub-types of criminology. Cyber security is the policies and measures taken to protect valuable data. Cybercrime affected around 53.35 million people in the United States in 2022, and through this degree, you can learn how to defend against increasing cybercrimes.
You can use this degree to learn how to protect your sensitive data, adapt dynamic risk management strategies, and develop your problem-solving skills. You will also be able to categorize, collect, and analyze crucial data in your criminology career.
5) Forensic Science
Forensic science is a vital part of criminal investigations. A degree in forensic science will teach you how to examine crime scenes, analyze evidence, and use critical thinking to come up with objective findings. A forensic scientist is a backbone of investigating a case to find proof against criminals.
You can learn science and mathematics, which will help you understand the facts and answer questions regarding crime scenes. You will also learn to pay attention to detail and develop deductive reasoning and analysis skills. These skills will aid in detective work and crime scene investigations.
6) Law Enforcement Administration
A law enforcement degree usually requires prior experience, a certificate in law enforcement, or a bachelor’s degree. A degree in law enforcement administration teaches you how to respond to crime, detect it beforehand, and prevent damage from the crime.
A degree in law enforcement administration promotes courage and empathy and equips you with the ability to demonstrate assertiveness. You will learn how to take the initiative and develop integrity. You will even have the option to become a law enforcement officer.
Criminology is considered a social science that uses sociological factors to explain the causes of crimes. Sociology highlights the environmental and social factors that influence an individual’s decision to display deviant behaviors. Sociology is one of the major degrees in understanding criminals and explains the social inequality that contributes to criminal activity. A sociology degree will help you understand people from diverse backgrounds and make you a persuasive communicator.
8) Rehabilitation Services
Rehabilitation aims to assist individuals in getting back into society after providing them with the proper treatment. Using a rehabilitation degree to pursue a career in criminology will enable you to rehabilitate deviant-behaving individuals back into law-abiding citizens. A degree in rehabilitation services develops your people skills and enables you to work appropriately in emotional situations. You can also be eligible for jobs like therapy, substance abuse programs, and counseling in correction facilities.
A career in Criminology: Conclusion
Multiple paths lead to a career in criminology. You can choose your journey wisely according to what type of criminologist you want to become. The opportunities are endless; you just have to search for the options that are the best for you.
The best degree for you should align with your goals, interests, and requirements. Each of the majors mentioned above degree is linked to criminology and equips you with the necessary skills to succeed in your selected career.