What can I do with a major in criminal justice?

A criminal justice degree is one of the broadest and most flexible degrees currently available. It opens up a number of important and high-paying jobs in both the public and private sectors, and is a great foundation for graduate and professional education programs.

What can I do in the public sector as a criminal justice graduate?

For those looking for a career in government jobs, a criminal justice degree opens the door to both federal and state agencies. Those looking for jobs in federal agencies will especially want to look into positions with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF). Regulatory bodies such as the Federal Trade Commission and the Food & Drug Administration also hire criminal justice graduates, largely to deal with issues of fraud white collar crimes. With the increasing focus on illegal immigration, the U.S. Customs Agency is a great place for criminal justice graduates to seek an entry-level position.

If a move to Washington, DC, isn’t in the cards for you, many state agencies prefer to hire criminal justice grads as well. This can help you stay local as well as play into your inherent knowledge of state politics and policies. The obvious employer that most graduates will immediately think of is the state police department, but opportunities abound in other state agencies like liquor control boards state park services. Those who want to deal more directly with the criminals themselves will want to look into their local juvenile justice center or correctional facility. These facilities can be operated either by the state or the federal government and offer generous compensation and benefits.

What about the private sector?

A strong knowledge of criminal justice is indispensable to insurance companies, security companies, and even private investigators. These companies experience high rates of customer fraud and other “white collar” crimes, so those who are more interested in this type of work will be a great fit. Companies will seek your expertise on how to proceed with investigations, how to pursue suspected fraudsters, and will pay handsomely for your knowledge of the criminal justice system in these situations.

What are my options for further education?

If you’re not yet ready to enter the workforce with your criminal justice degree, there are plenty of other options in higher education. Because of the nature of the legal profession, degrees in criminal justice are often associated as being one of the best pre-law programs for aspiring attorneys. Criminal justice students make excellent prosecutors and advocates, and their knowledge of the inner workings of the criminal justice system can help them be highly efficient attorneys who know how to work the system to their advantage.

What else should I know?

These are some of the most popular options that graduates with a criminal justice degree pursue, but they aren’t the only ones available. The critical thinking skills, combined with knowledge of how state and federal agencies work, can be used in a vast array of occupations across the board. In a job market characterized by today’s focus on creativity and entrepreneurship, criminal justice graduates can get creative and make a self-styled career out of their broad, flexible degree.

Doing a college search for criminal justice schools or criminal justice colleges? Our US college search groups together quality schools in your area to help jump start your career. Use it to check out popular criminal justice colleges in Nebraska or in any other state of your choosing. Looking for online colleges? You can search for online degrees too

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