Radek, I’m wondering what jobs can I get with a criminal justice degree? Specifically, Associate’s or Bachelor’s criminal justice degree jobs.
What Can You Do with a Criminal Justice Degree?
There are quite a few jobs available for those with a criminal justice degree. Careers in criminal justice, ranging from local Police Officers to Sheriff’s Deputies to State Police Officers to FBI Special Agents and DEA Special Agents can be obtained with the help of a criminal justice degree.
There are also great opportunities in the correction system, like jails and prisons.
For the sake of this article, “criminal justice field” encompasses sub-fields, like: law enforcement, courts, and corrections. Also, check out this resource with a slew of Criminal Justice Careers.
If you think that criminal justice is the only degree that will get you hired, you might be surprised to find it’s not. Many people are not aware that law enforcement agencies – small, medium, and large – look for a diverse workforce. Can you imagine working somewhere where everyone has only one type of a degree? How innovative and diverse would that be? Right?
Some popular majors sought after in the law enforcement community are: Criminal Justice, Business, Finance, Law (law school graduates), Accounting, Sociology, Forensic Science, Information Technology and Engineering… and that’s just scratching the surface.
A degree in criminal justice will less likely secure a position outside of law enforcement and corrections (sub-fields of the criminal justice field). When compared with law enforcement jobs, one would have to pursue graduate studies in Criminal Justice / Criminology in order to pursue these rarer opportunities:
- Research Assistant
- College Instructor (minimum of a Master’s degree)
- Professor (PhD preferred)
If you’re looking for Forensic, CSI, and medical careers in the criminal justice system you should check out the Criminal Justice Careers page, but be forewarned that a CJ degree will not be the path to salvation when looking for work in these sub-fields.
I hope you’ve noticed that I mentioned the compatibility of a criminal justice degree with law enforcement so much throughout this blog post, as opposed to the whole criminal justice field. The reason is that a graduate with a criminal justice degree will only have a limited potential of obtaining work after graduation; that’s usually in Law Enforcement and Corrections, with limited opportunities across academia and other criminal justice career paths. Unless you have graduate coursework under your belt, the marketability of this degree outside of the criminal justice field is nearly nonexistent.
Bonus: A Criminal Justice Degree May Not Be Needed At All! — I know that got your attention… And, don’t forget to share your thoughts below.