Read About Unusual Careers in Criminology
Not all criminologists work for public law enforcement agencies. Learn about these other careers in the field.
Beyond Public Law Enforcement
There are many great careers in criminology for people with a college degree. Graduates often advance into higher-level police work, become federal law enforcement agents (FBI, CIA, DEA, etc.) or become private investigators.
However, there are many other criminology jobs that might not come immediately to mind. College graduates can also work in the following careers in criminology:
- University professor
- Corporate security expert or fraud analyst
- Juvenile detention specialist
- Expert witness
Careers at Colleges and Universities
As a criminology professor, you'll develop a curriculum and syllabus for each class you teach, give lectures and tests, and assign research papers.
But sharing your passion for criminology is the most rewarding part of the job. When you mentor a promising student and he or she goes on to higher levels of study, you'll feel that you have truly contributed to the next generation of criminologists.
- Education Requirements: To become a college professor in criminology you'll need at least a master's degree, but a PhD in criminology is required for all the best university positions.
Careers in the Business World
The corporate world has many positions for experts in criminology. Your criminology studies will teach you about the nature of crime and how to detect and prevent it. This will prepare you for careers in criminology in business, such as corporate security expert or fraud analyst.
- If you do internal investigations for a company, you may look into drug use in the workplace or determine whether employees are stealing company assets or information.
- If you work in external investigations, you'll prevent outsiders from practicing fraudulent billing and protect your company from security breaches.
In addition, all the best criminology schools will teach you reporting and statistics so that you can present your research and findings to company executives. This is valuable information for companies large and small, many of which are looking for criminology graduates. There are even specialty degrees for certified fraud examiners.
- Education Requirements: To become a fraud analyst or corporate security expert, you'll need at least a bachelor's degree with a criminology major. But all the top jobs normally require a master's degree.
When thinking about prisons and prisoners, we may forget about other important careers in criminology, including overseeing the youth in juvenile detention centers. Whether in traditional or alternative settings, criminology graduates play a major role in reforming young offenders. In this criminology career, you’ll be responsible for the care and custody of kids who have broken the law.
Or you might advocate for juvenile justice reform by reducing reliance on confinement and overcoming racial disparities. This subfield of criminology improves public safety and may also save taxpayers money.
- Education Requirements: To start your career in criminology and juvenile detention, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in criminology, although higher levels of education are always desirable.
Expert Witness Careers
Two other exciting careers in criminology are expert witness and crime prevention consultant. Once you've acquired a certain level of expertise in criminology, you'll find many opportunities in these fields. Although criminologists aren't normally full-time consultants or expert witnesses, they can substantially supplement their income with this type of work.
In a related career, forensic specialists also do expert witness work. Whether your expertise is in forensic psychology, computer forensics or forensic pathology, you can also help as an expert witness in legal proceedings.
- Education Requirements: To be an expert witness, criminologists normally have at least a master's degree although many of the most successful have earned a PhD.
This is just a sampling of the many careers in criminology you will find with a degree in criminology or criminal justice. If any of these jobs seems like a good fit for you, search our school directory today to find the training you need to achieve your career goals.
Source: The Annie E. Casey Foundation (www.aecf.org/MajorInitiatives/JuvenileDetentionAlternativesInitiative.aspx)
Criminology and Criminal Justice
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Criminal Justice Quiz
Four U.S. Presidents have been assassinated. Can you name them? When were they killed and who killed them?
- Abraham Lincoln, assassinated April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth
- James Garfield, assassinated July 2, 1881 (less than four months after he became president) by Charles Guiteau
- William McKinley, assassinated September 6, 1901 by the anarchist Leon Czolgosz
- John F. Kennedy, assassinated November 22, 1963 by Lee Harvey Oswald