The Varied Career Path in Criminology

With television shows such as Castle, CSI, and Criminal Minds on the rise, thus gaining more viewers each season, many young adults are finding interest in the field of criminology, where they develop a passion for delving deeper into crime-related incidents. Although not all of the people that initially pursue a criminology degree will go on to pursue a career in the same industry, there are a great deal of people that do just this. Careers that fall within this vast field range from those primarily based on laboratory research to those that require activity in the field, in addition to those careers that fall somewhere in between.

crime scene investigation

Below are several of the various career paths available to those of you with degrees in criminology:

  • Criminologist: Criminology is a relatively new field of study derived from the more general sociology, and criminologists are responsible for analyzing all elements of crime and developing ways in which crimes and habitual relapses in criminal behavior can be effectively reduced. Primarily research driven, criminologists are tasked with compiling statistics, examining data, and identifying patterns of crime, in addition to other data-based work. An advanced degree in addition to strong writing and analytical skills are crucial for this specific field.
  • Probation Officer: Individuals that pursue this career path are responsible for supervising parolees and ensuring that they meet their early-release expectations. Visiting the homes of these parolees, meeting with their families to discuss any issues that arise, and submitting records of their progress as probationers or parolees may be part of your responsibilities as well. Most probation officer positions require a bachelor’s degree, and some require prior experience in criminal counseling or public interaction as well so that effective communication with parolees and their families is possible.
  • Criminal Profiler: Those that pursue this career path become investigators that possess both inductive and deductive reasoning skills that they will use to construct a criminal profile based on the characteristics of a crime. Criminal profiling is a profession in the vast field of forensic psychology, meaning that a degree in forensic psychology is necessary to excel in this particular area. In addition to extensive training and actual experience investigating a wide range of crimes, a master’s degree, at the very least, is crucial to you if this is your intended career path.
  • University Professor: Those of you pursuing this career will be responsible for preparing students for their occupations later on in life, more specifically, how to apply knowledge attained from their criminology class to their real life work environment and criminal cases later on. Preparing students for success in this important field may require field studies, experiments, and other extensive studies, which means that you, as the professor, must be highly knowledgeable about the topics touched on. Thus, a master’s degree at the very least is required to attain this position, as with most other teaching positions.
  • Forensic Psychologist: Unlike the previous occupations mentioned, those of you with the intention of pursuing forensic psychology have much more varied obligations. According to the American Board of Forensic Psychology, forensic psychology is simply the application of both science and psychology to issues concerning the law and legal system. In other words, a forensic psychologist is any psychologist working with or for the legal system. A higher degree is considered necessary in this field, although other occupations pertaining to forensic psychology may be attainable with only a bachelor’s degree.

About the Author: This article is written by Ravinder Sahu