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What You Need to Know about a Criminology Degree
Criminology is the scientific study of crime as a social phenomenon, of criminals, and of penal treatment (Merriam Webster Online). A study in this specific field of social justice enables you to land a plethora of jobs that handle criminal law, law enforcement, and many others.
Criminology degrees are being offered in many schools today. With the promising outlook of a career in criminology, discussion of the basic information about the said degree can only be deemed prudent. Know more on the fundamental aspects of a criminology degree, the requirements for admission, the different academic pathways, and the prospective jobs that you can have after successful completion of the degree program.
What is a Criminology Degree?
A criminology degree is a branch in education that focuses on the different aspects of law enforcement. It is a mixture of studies in varying areas touching social criminal law, such as the mainstream criminology, political science, forensics, psychology, and law. To be successful in the criminology field, one must have substantial knowledge on the aforementioned areas of study. A good degree program in criminology encompasses all essential studies that make up a good criminologist.
The degree includes the following subject matters: corrections, criminal courts and law, criminal justice system, American history, statistics, basic computer courses, professional writing and oral communication skills, and forensics.
Criminology Degree Requirements
The rudimentary documents needed for admission to a degree in criminology includes the following: curriculum vitae, academic documents (that is, diploma or GED and transcripts of record), application form, legal documents (that is, birth certificate, and others). Character references may also be of great aid in your application to the degree, as well as a letter of intent.
English proficiency examinations may also need to be complied with to be deemed qualified for admission. Academic requirements may also need to be sufficed. A grade of at least C in English subjects in high school is usually needed. Moreover, to be fit for a career in criminology, you must also have a sound mind and body to take on the necessary training for the degree. A criminology career can be physically draining as the profession requires stamina and physiological strength. Moreover, you must have discipline and the right mind-frame to study the coursework of the degree, which can be very challenging.
Criminology Degree Programs
The academic pathway to a criminology career can take form in many degree programs.
- Associate Degree In Criminology – An associate’s program in criminology can be taken if you wish to obtain supplementary studies in other disciplines related to criminology. With this program, you can focus on the theories underlying criminal law and justice administration—the basics of criminology. Read more
- Bachelor Degree In Criminology – A bachelor’s degree in criminology is among the popular choices in approaching the said study. It encompasses both the fundamental and in-depth coursework needed for a career in criminology. Read more
- Master Degree In Criminology – Many good students take in master courses as further studies in criminology. An MA in criminology enhances your knowledge in research, political science, and more. This also allows for career growth and additional studies in supplementary subjects such as social work and drug and alcohol studies. Read more
- Doctorate Degree In Criminology – After completion of both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in criminology, a post-graduate study may also be a good option. This makes for strengthened specialization in criminology, as well as prepping you up for higher-ranking job roles in the field of law enforcement. Read more
Online Criminology Degrees
In the modernization of times nowadays, it is now possible to study criminology in the comforts of your own home. The coursework of an online degree is reflective of that of a traditional classroom-based lecture. However, lessons are channeled through the Internet, such as e-mails, videos, e-books, and more. This has become a popular choice among many students due to the convenience and flexibility it brings, allowing for more time to cater employment or further studies related to criminology.
Jobs With a Criminology Degree
As mentioned in earlier sections, there is a myriad of job choices at hand for criminal degree graduates. As the field of crime and law is versatile and dynamic, such field caters the following jobs:
- Police officer – This is by far the most traditional pathway for criminology degree holders. Police officers are law enforcers that aims to protect people from the dangers of crime and to punish perpetrators for injustices inflicted to others.
- Forensic scientist – In the field of medical investigation, criminology degree holders who have undergone special training and further studies in the sciences can become forensic scientists. Such persons investigate medical evidences in crime, leading to possible trace to the criminal in question. This type of job need thorough understanding on the medical aspect of investigation and forensics. A master’s degree may be of great help for this.
- Computer forensics – With the increasing instances of cybercrimes through the burgeoning technology of the Internet, the need for technological investigation is called for. Computer forensic scientists are endowed with the knowledge on date retrieval, computer hacking, programming, coding, and more.
- Crime scene investigators – CSIs have been glamorized through the popularization of crime scene investigation TV shows. Such career touches on a plethora of skills and knowledge on criminal justice, evidence handling, data retrieval, law, and more. They are to investigate the actual scene of the crime scene. This requires much critical thinking and thorough knowledge in various areas of criminology.
- Federal government officer – An agent to the federal requires high qualifications in order to be hired. Some of these career options include being a CIA Agent, FBI Agent, and DEA Agent.
A career in criminology is exciting, but risky. However, with the increasing number of crime in all areas of the world, criminologists are incessantly needed to maintain law and order in a certain place.