The career opportunities for graduates in criminal justice are unlimited. Graduates can become police, correctional or probation officers, administrators, police chiefs, crime analysts, private security administrators, superintendents, sheriffs, attorneys, program directors or elected officials.

The outlook for students entering law enforcement or the correctional fields is expected to be good. Although the level of government spending influences the employment in these areas, the recent support of more professionals in these areas is a trend that is expected to continue. The need to replace currently employed professionals who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force, coupled with rising employment demand, should generate thousands of job openings each year. With experience and additional education, qualified professionals may advance to supervisory, administrative or counseling positions.

In addition to speaking with an advisor, any of the books listed below might help students decide on a career in criminal justice:

  • Johnston, Coy H. (2015). Careers in Criminal Justice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Harr, J. Scott, and Karen M. Hess. (2010). Careers in Criminal Justice and Related Professions: From Internship to Promotion (Sixth Edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  • The Justice Research Association. (2003). Your Criminal Justice Career: A Guidebook. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Stephens, W. Richard, Jr. (2001). Careers in Criminal Justice (Second Edition). Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall

What Can I Do With a Degree in Criminal Justice?

Many occupations today require college-educated individuals who can write and speak well, solve problems, learn new information quickly, and work well with others on a team. This means that college graduates use their education in a wide variety of fields. A future career may relate as much to a student’s personal career interests, work values and transferable skills as his or her specific academic major.

Criminal justice, legal studies and protective services are the study of several interrelated fields that focus on the effective implementation of law and legal procedures as well as the relationship of laws to the safety and protection of life and property. Legal services are more concerned with research and support related to the understanding and interpretation of law, legal procedures and practices. Study in law enforcement concentrates on the implementation of laws aimed at ensuring the peaceful cooperation, security and safety of human lives and property.

Possible job titles:

  • Border Patrol Officer
  • Correction Officer
  • Detective
  • Rehabilitation Councilor
  • Administration
  • Community Relations Officer
  • Immigration Agent
  • U.S. Customs Agent
  • Case Worker
  • Parole/Probation Officer
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Drug Enforcement Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Forensic Science Specialist
  • FBI Agent
  • U.S. Marshall
  • Secret Service Agent
  • Juvenile Probation Officer
  • Private Investigator
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