Do Not Believe in the “CSI Effect”

March 29th, 2012 by admin


Courtesy Hot Rod Homepage via Flickr

Criminal justice schools across the country have seen an increase in their student bodies due in large part to what’s referred to as the “CSI effect.” The CSI effect is credited to the surge of interest in the criminal investigation field that’s linked to the popularity of the numerous crime scene investigation shows that have rocked television for the past several years.

Referring to the first of the megahit series to really focus on forensic science, the CSI effect glamorizes a very difficult and taxing career. According to the South University’s Director of the Interdisciplinary Studies Program Stuart Henry, the CSI effect communicates to students that careers in forensics and criminal investigation are abundant and plentiful. The truth of the matter is the field of crime scene investigation and other similar career paths are highly specialized and competitive with only the top percentile receiving lucrative job offers after graduating from a criminal justice college.

If you are interested in attending a criminal justice school, it is important to take a good honest look at your intended career path. A thorough college search can yield important information that debunks the CSI effect. The fact of the matter is a career in criminal investigation is not nearly as simple as it is on television. It takes hard work and an incredible amount of dedication, not to mention talent and a specialized education that is often not even touched upon in any of the television shows.

This is not to say that a career in crime scene investigation is impossible to achieve. While conducting a college search for criminal justice schools, ask the advisors, professors and students close to graduating what the reality of this career field is. Such information is invaluable and will help to dispel many of the myths perpetuated by the CSI effect. The advisors at a criminal justice school may even have direct experience with working in the crime scene investigation field, and their advice will help to further guide your decision.

While a career as a highly specialized crime scene investigator may seem impossible, there are plenty other careers in this field that are attainable. A criminal justice college will be able to offer potential students courses in law enforcement, as well as probation officer classes. While not as glamorized as crime scene investigators, police officers are dearly needed, and there are plenty of job openings. A college search will reveal which schools offer courses in law enforcement, which is oftentimes the first step toward a career in criminal investigation. A criminal justice college will be able to direct potential students toward the proper studies to achieve a degree in this field by starting at the bottom. There is no quick and easy way to become a well-respected crime scene investigator, so finding a good criminal justice school is crucial to help you attain your future career path.

The CSI effect takes a very difficult and time-consuming career and polishes it up to be more palatable for the television audience, so it is important to be realistic about your goals. There is an increased demand for graduates from criminal justice schools, whether it is in law enforcement, investigation or other similar branches. As long as students are realistic about the actuality of a profession versus what’s shown on TV, they should not be disappointed by the CSI effect.

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