Criminal justice is a deep and challenging field that is appealing to many students. It covers the academic aspects of the justice system. Students of criminal justice learn the ins and outs of the legal system and gain an intimate knowledge of legal proceedings. It enables them to make qualified decisions about many aspects of the legal system. In that way, it is similar to studying law, but the focus of criminal justice is primarily on criminal law, what constitutes a crime, procedures for handling criminal activity, and so on. It’s a much more hands-on field. However, many remain confused about what what they can expect for jobs with a criminal justice degree. The following are some examples.
For those qualified for direct law enforcement work, a criminal justice degree can enable much broader career opportunities. Most bailiffs have some form of criminal justice study on their resume, for instance, as do more specialized law-enforcement professionals such as those in the ATF. Criminal justice has broad degree of application in law enforcement, making it an ideal academic pursuit for those looking for field work later.
Study of criminal justice can be easily used to augment other fields of study. For instance, one who has studied accounting may then study criminal justice to become a forensic accountant. Forensic accountants use their knowledge to find financial malfeasance in records. The same applies to the computer sciences; computer forensics is a rapidly-growing field that demands a high level of both technical knowledge and criminal justice knowledge, putting qualified professionals in high demand.
Criminal justice degrees are also exceptional for more civilian pursuits. Court reporters can make themselves more competitive in the market by showing qualification with criminal justice, as can government clerks whose positions intersect with law enforcement divisions.
Even those interested in a military career can derive benefit from a criminal justice degree. The Coast Guard frequently intersects with law enforcement roles on the high seas, making a command of criminal justice a critical need in that branch of the United States military.
Ultimately, there are many career opportunities made available by a criminal justice degree. This versatility is a curse in that it can make it difficult to determine what one can do with such a degree, but it is otherwise an absolute blessing. It’s a challenging field of study that requires high intellectual and moral integrity, but students that see it through will find themselves more qualified for any number of pursuits.