Criminal justice is one of the most interesting career options to explore as it deals with criminal psychology and the social implications, including its influence on the criminals. Highly evolving and dynamic at the same time, the field offers a number of areas of specialization. Starting from the forms of social justice to methods of committing crimes, everything has undergone a sea of change. Laws have changed, new philosophies have emerged, and new techniques of advocacy and forms of punishments have been brought into practice. Therefore, a career in criminal justice requires the right kind of educational background, adequate training, and a mind and attitude to evolve with time while maintaining the basic standards of law and order. Practitioners of criminal justice are, therefore, expected to gather expertise in administration, law enforcement, forensics, criminal psychology, and sociology.
Students holding criminal justice degrees can explore a lot of areas related to justice and law including police investigator, defender, prosecutor, judge, and administrator. Jobs in criminal justice may also include prison guard, security guard, and probationary officers. Employers often favor candidates with a background in sociology, psychology, criminology, law, social work, or political science, during the selection process. However, before opting for a career in criminal justice, it is important to remember that it is not enough to learn about general laws and enforcement techniques. Joining a police force as a police officer or working as an agent for the Secret Service, FBI or Homeland Security are some of the popular choices often made by students of criminal justice. The job of evidence experts, criminal profilers, and crime scene investigators are some of the other interesting and challenging careers offered in the fields of crime, law, and justice. These profiles are particularly preferred by those who love to take challenges and have a knack for solving puzzles using their wit and intelligence.
Unlike the 50s and 60s when the punishment of crime only meant suffering through imprisonment, the present practice has adopted rehabilitation as one of the fundamental principles of incarceration. While criminals were kept away from the masses for posing a threat to society, they are now being given the opportunity to correct themselves and once again come back to a normal life. Thus, one of the other jobs in criminal justice also involves expert practitioners who utilize their knowledge, experience, and skills in planning correction facilities. There are also experts who participate in the policy-making for prisons and adjustment of procedures to accommodate changing policies. If you are ready to work in a public sector, you may also opt for the post of a researcher or an analyst in the courts.
Adequate specialized training is essential while choosing a career in criminal justice. Students with a suitable educational background and relevant degrees can apply for the various posts available in this field. An undergraduate degree is the minimum requirement to specialize in any of the related areas. For earning their degrees through proper training and guidance, students need to either attend classroom lectures or opt for online training modules. Aside from the theoretical modules, hands-on experience leading to real-life situations and case studies are keys to attain employment and success in this field.