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What Can You Do with a Criminology Degree?
As you consider your future, you know that you are interested in justice, science, and law enforcement. Those interests might lead you to explore a first or new career in criminology, but you do not have the education you know is necessary to pursue that career. At that point, you might discuss your online education options with friends and family, and one of the most common questions is what can you do with a criminology degree?
The question, what can you do with a criminology degree, has answers involving both public service and private employment opportunities. People with offline or online degrees in criminology often find work in law enforcement as crime scene investigators and law enforcement officers. Local police departments, sheriff departments, state police, and federal departments all need qualified people who have received accredited career training in forensic sciences. However, public service positions are not the only ones available to an enterprising graduate.
What can you do with a criminology degree include private consulting opportunities. You have to consider the private sector because public funding has fallen since the onset of the recession. Although criminologists work in the public sector, not all jurisdictions can afford full staffing. Public sector criminologists may seek private investigation work to supplement their publicly funded positions. Private investigators often testify as expert witnesses, just as public servants do. Private investigation firms may also hire criminologists with advanced degrees and verifiable experience.
A strong background in physical science studies and mathematics, such as biology, chemistry, algebra, calculus, and trigonometry, prepares you for a career in criminology. Most criminology degree programs, whether taken at a brick and mortar university or via a distance education venue, will not consider candidates who do no have strong science and math backgrounds.
Your degree program will be loaded with courses, such as microbiology, organic chemistry, and statistics. Fortunately, electives can balance that intensity with English, philosophy, or foreign language courses. Taking some kind of public speaking course prepares you for testifying court. College communication classes often incorporate public speaking into the curriculum.
Some of the answers to the question, “what can you do with a criminology degree,” stem from the level of education you receive, as well as the years of experience you gain. Those of you who pursue post-graduate degrees, such as an online master’s degree or a PhD, will find greater opportunities than with just an undergraduate degree. As a bonus for the enhanced expertise, pay scales rise as education advances. Most organizations offer entry-level positions, such as laboratory technicians, for undergraduate degree holders. Supervisory or field positions typically go to candidates who have earned advanced degrees.
Keep as many options open to you as possible. An open mind makes answering the question, what can you do with a criminology degree, a much simpler task.