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Top 16 Criminology Degree Jobs

By Agwaonye Samuel

Published:

With the rising concern over crime rates and the demand for professionals equipped to address these issues, criminology majors certainly have the spotlight turned on them.

However, the vast number of career possibilities can be overwhelming, leaving you feeling confused about which direction to take. It’s all too easy to fall into a cycle of self-doubt, questioning whether your degree will truly lead to a fulfilling and financially stable career.

Luckily, this article will address these concerns head-on, providing you with valuable insights into the most promising career paths for criminology degree holders. From law enforcement to policy development, here are the top jobs that align with your passion for criminology and guarantee an exciting and rewarding future. 

Let’s take a look at our top 16 Criminology degree jobs:

  • Criminologist
  • Police Officer
  • Correctional Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Loss Prevention Officer
  • Paralegal
  • Social Worker
  • Private Investigator
  • Jury Consultant
  • Criminal Profiler
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • FBI Agent
  • Security Analyst
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Criminal Defense Lawyer
  • Criminology Professor
degree guide criminology

1. Criminologist


A criminologist is a sociologist who delves into the fascinating realm of crime and its impact on society. Instead of focusing solely on catching criminals, they focus on making the community safer and more secure for everyone. Rooted in sociology, criminologists possess specialized knowledge in understanding criminal behavior, its causes, and the dynamics of crime within communities.

As a Criminologist

You’ll be working behind the scenes, supporting detectives and police officers in their efforts to find and catch criminals. You’ll be analyzing crime patterns, evaluating evidence, and developing strategies for crime prevention. Your goal is to unravel the complexities of crime and make meaningful contributions to the criminal justice field.

Benefits

  • Career Opportunities. This includes working in law enforcement agencies, research institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and academia.
  • Job Security. With the constant need for crime analysis, policy development, and program evaluation, criminologists enjoy high job security.
  • Intellectual Stimulation. Criminology is a field that constantly evolves and challenges professionals to analyze complex issues.
  • Social Impact. Criminologists help develop effective crime prevention strategies and policies by studying and understanding the causes and consequences of crime.
  • Professional Networking. Plenty of chances to collaborate with professionals from diverse fields, such as law enforcement officers, lawyers, psychologists, and social workers.
  • Competitive Salary and Benefits. You stand to receive receive competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and various allowances. 

Working Conditions

Criminologists operate in diverse settings like universities, research facilities, government, law enforcement, or private firms. Their work involves research, academic writing, and potentially fieldwork or travel for conferences and collaborations. Interactions with law enforcement officers, attorneys, and psychologists are likely. Criminologists typically have full-time schedules with possible evening or weekend, depending on project deadlines or their specific role.

Further Studies

To become a Criminologist, you’ll need the following:

  • Advanced Degree in Criminology: Pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. in Criminology can deepen your understanding of criminal behavior, research methodologies, and advanced theories, positioning you for more specialized roles and research opportunities.
  • Certifications in Criminology: Earning certifications specific to criminology and research methods, such as Certified Criminal Profiler (CCP) or Certified Crime Analyst (CCA), can not only enhance your credibility but also demonstrate your commitment to professional growth in the field.
  • Networking and Collaboration: Consider participation in conferences, workshops, and seminars related to criminology and criminal justice. These events provide opportunities to connect with professionals and organizations in your field, potentially leading to job opportunities and valuable research collaborations.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Criminologist should have a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of criminal behavior, the criminal justice system, and research methodologies. Other beneficial qualities include strong analytical skills, good research abilities, a good eye for detail, a problem-solving attitude, and the ability to draw meaningful conclusions. For better success in this field, understanding legal systems, policies, regulations, and procedures is also a must.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($59,459)
  • Job Outlook (5%)

The average salary for criminologists is approximately $59,459 a year. The job outlook for criminologists is stable, which is projected to grow 5% in the next decade.


2. Police Officer


Police officers serve as the frontline protectors of society, providing law enforcement services within the community and conducting patrols to ensure public safety. With a strong sense of duty, they work tirelessly to protect lives and property, uphold justice, and create a sense of security for all members of society.

As a Police Officer

You’ll be enforcing laws, ensuring public safety, and preventing and investigating crime. You’ll also respond to emergency calls, conduct patrols, and engage in community policing initiatives to build trust and foster positive relationships with the public.

Benefits

  • Generous Benefits. Police officers typically receive a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation and sick leave.
  • Career Advancement and Stability: Police departments often offer opportunities for career growth, such as promotions to higher ranks, specialized units, and leadership positions. Law enforcement careers typically provide job security and stable employment, along with competitive benefits and retirement packages.
  • Community Impact. Being a police officer allows individuals to serve their community, protect citizens, and make a positive impact by maintaining law and order.
  • Variety and Excitement. Police work involves diverse assignments, such as patrolling, investigations, traffic control, community outreach, and specialized units, offering a dynamic and engaging career.
  • Respect and Honor. Serving as a police officer garners respect and recognition from the community for the courage, dedication, and sacrifices made to uphold justice and protect lives.

Working Conditions

Police officers work in shifts to ensure 24/7 coverage, handling high-stress situations and potential confrontations. Their work is physically demanding, varying from city patrols to specialized units. Along with on-the-ground operations, paperwork and coordination with law enforcement teams are essential. Police officers face inherent risks in their work, including potential confrontations with armed individuals, exposure to hazardous environments, and high-stress situations.

Further Studies

To become a police officer, you’ll need the following:

  • Associate’s Degree. Entry-level police officers only need an associate’s degree in criminology, criminal justice, or a related field.
  • Law Enforcement Entrance Exams: Candidates typically need to pass rigorous entrance exams, which may include written tests, physical fitness assessments, and psychological evaluations. These tests vary by state and jurisdiction. Preparing thoroughly for these exams is vital for successfully entering the police academy and launching a career in law enforcement.
  • Advanced Degrees: Most police departments prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree. More advanced positions also require at least a bachelor’s degree. Some officers pursue advanced degrees in fields like criminal justice, public administration, or criminology to qualify for leadership roles or specialized units.
  • Get Further Training: Investigative techniques, crisis negotiation, or forensic analysis are examples of specialized training programs that can enhance your skills and open up new career opportunities within law enforcement.
  • Promotional Exams: Preparing for and taking promotional exams can lead to advancement within your police department, including positions like detective, sergeant, or lieutenant.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Strong integrity and ethical behavior are crucial, as officers must uphold the law and maintain public trust. Excellent judgment, decision-making and excellent commnuication skills are essential. Physical fitness and stamina are necessary to handle the job’s physical demands and maintain the safety of themselves and others. Additionally, empathy, cultural sensitivity, and a commitment to community service foster positive relationships and trust within the community.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($64,610)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

The average base salary range for a police officer in the US is approximately $64,610 per year. The job outlook is estimated to grow by 3% in the next decade.


3. Correctional Officer


Correctional Officers are dedicated professionals who play a crucial role in maintaining the security and order within correctional facilities, such as prisons and jails. They are responsible for supervising inmates, ensuring their safety, and facilitating rehabilitation programs to reduce recidivism.

As a Correctional Officer

You’ll interact with prisoners, oversee their activities, maintain order, and resolve conflicts within correctional facilities. You may also engage in rehabilitation efforts by facilitating educational programs, vocational training, and counseling services aimed at fostering positive behavioral changes among inmates.

Benefits

  • Generous Benefits. Correctional officers typically receive a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation and sick leave.
  • Advancement Opportunities. Correctional departments often offer opportunities for career advancement through promotions to supervisory or specialized positions within the facility or the broader corrections system.
  • Professional Development. Correctional officers receive extensive training to develop necessary skills like security protocols, crisis intervention, and inmate management techniques.
  • Contribution to Society. Working as a correctional officer offers the opportunity to positively impact the lives of individuals in custody while contributing to public safety by managing and rehabilitating incarcerated individuals.

Working Conditions

Correctional Officers work in secure environments, supervising inmates who may pose various challenges. They often work in shifts, including nights, weekends, and holidays. Effective communication, physical fitness, and the ability to maintain composure in stressful situations are vital in this role. Correctional officers must adhere to strict security protocols, with most work involving direct interaction and supervision of inmates. 

Further Studies

To become a correctional officer, you need the following:

  • Advanced Degrees: Some Correctional Officers pursue advanced degrees in fields like criminal justice, social work, or corrections management to qualify for supervisory or administrative positions.
  • Certifications: Earning certifications related to corrections, such as Certified Corrections Professional (CCP), can enhance your expertise and demonstrate your commitment to professional growth in the field.
  • Training Programs: Attend in areas like crisis intervention, inmate counseling, or rehabilitation strategies can enhance your skills and qualify you for more specialized positions within corrections.
  • Promotional Exams: Preparing for and taking promotional exams can lead to advancement within your correctional facility, including positions like shift supervisor or correctional counselor.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Successful correctional officers possess a unique set of skills including the ability to defuse tense situations and resolve conflicts among inmates is essential, and effective communication with inmates, fellow officers, and support staff is crucial for maintaining a safe and rehabilitative environment. You also must have physical agility and fitness are necessary for performing security checks and responding to emergencies.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($49,806)
  • Job Outlook (-7%)

Correctional officers earn an average base salary of $49,806 annually. The job outlook for this position is set to decline by 7% in the coming years, but this doesn’t mean that aspiring correctional officers don’t have a role in this country.


4. Probation Officer


Probation Officers are dedicated professionals who work in the criminal justice system, supervising individuals placed on probation or parole. They play a vital role in monitoring and guiding offenders, helping them reintegrate into society while maintaining public safety.

As a Probation Officer

You’ll be meeting regularly with probationers to check their progress, recommending and developing personalized rehabilitation plans, and contacting the courts if someone breaks their Most importantly, you’ll be providing guidance and support to help individuals reintegrate into society successfully.

Benefits

  • Fulfilling Career. As a probation officer, you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on individuals’ lives by helping them reintegrate into society and reduce their chances of reoffending.
  • Generous Benefits. Probation officers typically enjoy comprehensive benefits packages, including health insurance, retirement plans, and paid vacation and sick leave.
  • Diverse Work Environment. Working as a probation officer offers exposure to a diverse range of individuals and cases, providing opportunities for professional growth and varied work experience.
  • Professional Development. There are plenty of opportunities to enhance skills in areas such as case management, evidence-based practices, and legal procedures.
  • Job Variety. Probation officers handle a variety of cases, addressing different types of offenses and working with individuals from various backgrounds, ensuring a dynamic and intellectually stimulating career.

Working Conditions

Probation Officers typically work in both office and field settings. You visit individuals under your supervision, conduct interviews, and provide guidance. They often collaborate with community organizations and service providers to connect individuals under supervision with needed resources, like substance abuse treatment, job training, or mental health services. Effective communication, empathy, and the ability to enforce probation or parole conditions are essential in this role.

Further Studies

To become a probation officer, you’ll need the following:

  • Advanced Degrees: Some Probation Officers pursue advanced degrees in fields like criminal justice, social work, or counseling to qualify for supervisory or counseling positions.
  • Get Certifications: Earning certifications related to probation and parole, such as Certified Probation Officer (CPO), can enhance your expertise and demonstrate your commitment to professional growth in the field.
  • Continuing Education: Staying updated on the latest practices and regulations in probation and parole through workshops and seminars is essential for career development.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as a probation officer, you must possess the ability to assess individuals, create rehabilitation plans, and monitor their progress. You must have a deep understanding of the challenges faced by individuals under your supervision and demonstrating empathy for building trust. Effective communication with clients, court personnel, and support service providers is essential for successful rehabilitation.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($59,160)
  • Job Outlook (7%)

Probation officers earn an average base salary of $59,160 per year. The job outlook is 7%, which means there would be little to no change in the number of new probation officers employed per year.


5. Loss Prevention Officer


Loss Prevention Officers are professionals responsible for safeguarding retail stores and businesses against theft, fraud, and other security threats. They work to minimize financial losses through surveillance, risk assessment, and the implementation of security measures.

As a Loss Prevention Officer

You’ll be responsible for preventing theft, fraud, and other forms of loss within retail stores, commercial establishments, or other relevant settings. You’ll monitor and investigate suspicious activities, apprehend shoplifters when necessary, and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to ensure the appropriate handling of criminal incidents.

Benefits

  • Job Security. The need for loss prevention is a constant in the retail industry, providing stable employment opportunities.
  • Skill Development. This role allows you to develop skills in observation, surveillance, conflict resolution, and risk assessment.
  • Professional Growth. Loss Prevention Officers may have opportunities for advancement within their organization, such as becoming supervisors or managers.
  • Varied Work Environment. Loss Prevention Officers work in diverse retail settings, providing exposure to different industries and experiences.
  • Contribution to Safety. By preventing theft and maintaining a safe environment, Loss Prevention Officers positively impact the well-being of customers and employees.
  • Transferable Skills. The skills you can acquire in this job, such as attention to detail, problem-solving, and effective communication, can be applied to various career paths in criminal justice.
  • Competitive Salary and Benefits. You stand to receive receive competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and various allowances.

Working Conditions

Loss Prevention Officers typically work within the business premises, monitoring activities and responding to security issues. The role may require standing for extended periods and potentially dealing with confrontational situations. They often work on a full-time basis, but part-time and flexible schedules may be available to accommodate varying business needs. The nature of their work requires them to be vigilant during peak times for theft, which may include evenings, weekends, and holidays.

Further Studies

To be a loss prevention officer, you’ll need the following:

  • GED. Most employers prefer candidates to have a high school diploma or GED, but it’s not always a hard requirement.
  • Associate’s or bachelor’s degree. If you hold a degree in criminal justice or a related field, you may have an advantage when applying for this role or applying for a promotion in the future.
  • Advanced Degrees: Pursuing advanced degrees in fields such as criminal justice, security management, or business administration can enhance your qualifications and open doors to leadership roles within loss prevention.
  • Certifications: Earning certifications relevant to loss prevention, such as Certified Loss Prevention Professional (CLPP), can demonstrate your expertise and commitment to the field.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

As a loss prevention officer, you must possess the ability to spot suspicious behaviour and assess security risks, have the capacity to analyze situations, make quick decisions, and adapt to changing circumstances. You must have great communication skills with store personnel, security teams, and law enforcement for preventing and addressing security incident. 

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Salary Range ($22,000 to $51,000)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

On average, Loss Prevention Officers can earn salaries ranging from $22,000 to $51,000 per year. The job outlook for loss prevention is expected to remain stable at 6%, with a continued need for professionals who can protect businesses from financial losses due to theft and fraud.


6. Paralegal


Paralegals are skilled professionals who play a vital role in the legal field by assisting lawyers in various aspects of legal work. They help lawyers prepare for cases, draft legal documents, conduct legal research, and provide essential support in delivering legal services to clients.

As a Paralegal

You’ll be supporting attorneys within a firm or agency by doing legal research, gathering and analyzing relevant documents, and assisting in the preparation of legalities, such as contracts, briefs, pleadings, and trials. You may also be asked to organize case files, coordinate client meetings, and maintain communication with clients and other parties involved in legal matters. 

Benefits

  • Career Growth. As you gain experience and expertise in the paralegal field, you may have the chance to specialize in a particular area of law or take on more challenging responsibilities.
  • Job Stability. Paralegal positions are regularly in demand across various industries, including law firms, government agencies, corporate legal departments, and nonprofit organizations.
  • Intellectual Stimulation. Working as a paralegal involves engaging in complex issues and situations. This keeps the work interesting and provides opportunities for continuous learning.
  • Skill Development. The valuable skills you’ll get as a paralegal like legal writing, document management, and critical thinking are transferable and can benefit you in other professional roles.
  • Work-Life Balance. Paralegals usually enjoy a favorable work-life balance, with regular working hours and the ability to leave work at the office.
  • Professional Networking. Paralegals can connect with a strong network that can open doors to new opportunities, mentorship, and career growth.

Working Conditions

Paralegals work in legal settings, such as law firms, corporate legal departments, or government agencies. They assist lawyers in case preparation, client meetings, and court proceedings. Attention to detail, excellent organizational skills, and proficiency in legal research are vital. They usually spend a significant amount of time conducting legal research, drafting legal documents, and organizing case files. 

Further Studies

To become a paralegal, you should look into the following:

  • Associate’s and Bachelor’s degree. Applicants typically need to hold at least an associate’s degree in paralegal studies or a related field. Some employers may prefer candidates with a bachelor’s degree in paralegal studies or a related field.
  • Certified Paralegal (CP) Designation: Earning the Certified Paralegal (CP) designation through the National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA) or other paralegal associations demonstrates your commitment to professional excellence.
  • Advanced Paralegal Certificates: Many institutions offer specialized paralegal certificate programs, such as certificates in real estate law, family law, or criminal law.
  • Legal Technology Training: With the growing importance of legal technology, consider taking courses or obtaining certifications in legal software, e-discovery, or information management.
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Training: Specialized training in ADR methods like mediation or arbitration can open up opportunities in dispute resolution.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Successful paralegals must possess proficiency in conducting legal research  for finding relevant case law and statutes, effective written and verbal communication, and critical in drafting legal documents and maintaining accurate records. They must also uphold high ethical standards given the nature of legal work, and manage and organize large volumes of legal documents and case files. 

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($62,840)
  • Job Outlook (4%)

Paralegals earn an average base salary that of $62,840 annually. The job outlook is expected to be favorable, with the US Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting a 4% growth over the next couple of years.

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7. Social Worker


Social Workers are dedicated professionals who work with individuals and communities to improve their well-being. They help people navigate challenges, access resources, and provide support for those facing various life issues, from mental health concerns to family difficulties.

As a Social Worker

You play a vital role in advocating for and supporting individuals and communities in need. Your responsibilities involve conducting assessments, developing care plans, connecting clients with resources, and providing counseling and emotional support. You are a source of empathy and guidance, helping people overcome challenges and improve their quality of life.

Benefits

  • Diverse Career Options. Social workers can work in fields such as child welfare, healthcare, mental health, substance abuse, gerontology, community development, and more.
  • Job Satisfaction. Social work is often regarded as a fulfilling and rewarding profession. The ability to help others, witness positive changes, and contribute to social change can provide a deep sense of satisfaction and purpose.
  • Job Stability. There’s always a demand for social workers across various sectors, including government agencies, NGOs, healthcare facilities, schools, and private practices.
  • Personal and Professional Growth. Social work is a profession that encourages personal growth and self-reflection.
  • Flexibility and Diversity. Social work offers a flexible work environment, with options for full-time, part-time, and flexible schedules.

Working Conditions

Social workers can be employed in a variety of settings, and each one comes with its own unique working conditions and demands. They typically interact with a diverse range of clients, providing support, counseling, and resources to help clients address whatever challenges they’re facing in life. In terms of work schedule, it depends on the type of job and setting. Many social workers work full-time hours during regular business days, although some positions may require overtime or weekend hours.

Further Studies

To become a social worker, you need the following:

  • Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. If you want to work for a government agency or other larger institutions, you’ll need at least an associate’s degree.
  • Master of Social Work (MSW): Pursuing an MSW degree can open up advanced roles in social work, including clinical practice or leadership positions. Specialize in areas like clinical social work, child and family services, or mental health.
  • Clinical Licensure: If your career path involves clinical practice, seek licensure in your state to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) or a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW).
  • Certifications: Depending on your specialization, consider obtaining relevant certifications. For example, you can become a Certified School Social Work Specialist (C-SSWS) if you work in schools or pursue certifications related to substance abuse counseling if that aligns with your field.
  • Ph.D. in Social Work: If you aspire to research, teach, or hold high-level administrative positions, consider pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Work, which can provide opportunities in academia or policy development.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Strong candidates for this role possess understanding and empathy with clients’ challenges, effective listening skills and strong problem-solving skills. Recognizing and respecting the diverse cultural backgrounds or clients and effective communication is vital for this role. 

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Salary Range ($64,612 and $78,660)
  • Job Outlook (9%)

On average, social workers earn salaries ranging between $64,612 and $78,660 per year. The job outlook for Social Workers is promising and expected to grow 9%, with a growing demand for professionals who can address mental health issues, substance abuse, and other societal challenges.

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8. Private Investigator


A private investigator is an expert that conducts confidential investigations on behalf of individuals, businesses, or legal entities. Distinct from law enforcement, they operate independently and rely on their own resources to gather evidence and solve cases. With their keen eye for detail and extensive knowledge of investigative techniques, private investigators can provide valuable insights and assistance in legal, personal, and corporate matters.

As a Private Investigator

You’ll be hired to carry out various types of investigations, including surveillance, background checks, fraud investigations, and locating missing persons. You’ll gather information, analyze evidence, and uncover facts in a discreet manner. Additionally, you’ll be using a wide range of tools and methods to uncover the truth and provide accurate and comprehensive reports to clients.

Benefits

  • Independence and Flexibility. You have the freedom to work independently and set your own schedule, which allows you to take on diverse cases and personalize your investigative approach.
  • Variety of Assignments. This diversity keeps the job interesting and allows you to continually learn and develop new skills.
  • Competitive Salary and Benefits. You stand to receive competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and various allowances.
  • Professional Networking. Private investigators often collaborate with law enforcement agencies, legal professionals, and other experts in related fields who they can exchange knowledge and resources with.
  • Entrepreneurial Opportunities. Many private investigators choose to establish their own investigative agencies, offering services to clients directly. This provides the potential for business growth, financial independence, and the ability to build a reputable brand.

Working Conditions

Private Investigators may work in various settings, depending on the nature of the investigation. Fieldwork may involve surveillance, interviews, and evidence collection. Office work includes data analysis, report writing, and client communication. Attention to detail, discretion, and the ability to work irregular hours are important in this role. They often work independently, but they may collaborate with law enforcement agencies, legal professionals, or other experts when necessary.

Further Studies

To become a private investigator, consider:

  • GED, Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. At the very least, you will need to have a GED or high school diploma. A college degree in criminal justice or a related field is preferred but not required. It may help you get more clients, though.
  • Advanced Degrees: Pursuing a master’s degree in criminal justice, forensic science, or a related field can provide in-depth knowledge and improve your qualifications for more specialized roles in investigations.
  • Certifications: Earning industry-recognized certifications, such as the Certified Private Investigator (CPI) or Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), can boost your credibility and demonstrate your commitment to professional growth.
  • Business Courses: If you operate your own private investigation agency or aspire to do so, business courses in entrepreneurship, marketing, and management can help you succeed in the business aspect of the profession.
  • Gain Experience: Consider getting experience in areas like cyber investigations, financial forensics, or legal investigation techniques. These can enhance your expertise and offer a competitive edge in the field.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Successful private investigators must possess the ability to conduct thorough and accurate research, effective problem-solving and analytical skills for connection, strong communication skills for interviewing  witnesses, presenting findings, and collaboration with clients. They must also maintain confidentiality and ethical conduct in the profession. 

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($59,380)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

The salary for Private investigators is an average of $59,380 per year. The job outlook is projected to grow by 6% in the next decade.

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9. Jury Consultant


Jury consultants are professionals that assist attorneys and legal teams when it comes to jury selection and trial strategy. Armed with a deep understanding of human behavior, psychology, and communication, jury consultants play a critical role in helping attorneys identify and analyze potential jurors’ biases, attitudes, and predispositions.

As a Jury Consultant

You’ll be offering insights on juror profiles, demographic trends, and case-specific factors that may impact jury decision-making. You’ll also help develop effective trial strategies, including juror questioning techniques, trial simulations, and the creation of persuasive trial narratives. Your expertise aids attorneys in making informed decisions during jury selection and trial preparation.

Benefits

  • Competitive Salary and Benefits. You stand to receive receive competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and various allowances.
  • Influence on Trial Outcomes. The work of a jury consultant can have a significant impact on trial outcomes. By contributing to selecting a fair and impartial jury, they can help ensure that justice is served.
  • Professional Networking. Working as a jury consultant often involves collaborating with attorneys, legal teams, and other experts. This dynamic work environment provides opportunities for professional growth, networking, and the exchange of ideas. 
  • Plenty of Career Options. Jury consultants work on multiple aspects of the legal system, from jury selection to trial strategy. This provides plenty of career options and room for growth in this field.
  • Dynamic Work Environment. Working on diverse cases across various areas of law allows jury consultants to continuously expand their knowledge and expertise.

Working Conditions

Jury consultants often work inside a courtroom, offering feedback on jury selection and case strategy. They may also conduct interviews with prospective jurors in order to assess their suitability for serving on a jury. Jury consultants can work on a contract basis, either with an established law firm or independently. They may also be employed by government agencies or other organizations.

Further Studies

To become a jury consultant, consider the following:

  • Bachelor’s degree. At a minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in criminology or a related field.
  • Juris Doctor degree (JD). Many jury consultants are also attorneys who have already completed their JD and passed the bar.
  • Advanced Degree in Psychology or Legal Psychology: Earning a master’s or Ph.D. in psychology, with a focus on legal psychology, can provide a deeper understanding of juror behavior and decision-making processes, enhancing your expertise in the field.
  • Legal Education: Pursuing legal studies, such as a J.D. (Juris Doctor) or LLM (Master of Laws), can provide a strong foundation in the legal aspects of jury consulting, improving your ability to work effectively with legal teams.
  • Certification in Jury Consulting: Consider obtaining a certification in jury consulting, such as the Certified Trial Consultant (CTC) designation, to showcase your specialized knowledge and commitment to excellence in the field.
  • Psychological Research and Analysis Training: Training in research methods, data analysis, and psychological assessments can sharpen your skills in understanding juror behavior and biases.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel as a Jury Consultant, you must have an understanding of human behaviour and psychology. Your research skills for gathering information on potential jurors must be top notch. You must possess strong communication skills, and ethical conduct to uphold ethical standards and ensure a fair and impartial jury selection.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Salary Range ($60,000 to $65,000)
  • Job Outlook (9%)

On average, Jury consultants earn an average salary ranging from $60,000 to $65,000 annually. The job outlook for this role is projected at 9% in the next decade.


10. Criminal Profiler


Profilers are specialized law enforcement professionals who use their expertise in criminal psychology and behavioral analysis to assist in solving complex criminal cases. They create profiles of unknown offenders to help law enforcement agencies understand and apprehend them. 

As a Criminal Profiler

You are tasked with analyzing crime scenes, victimology, and evidence to create detailed profiles of unknown criminals. Your work is essential in understanding the motivations, patterns, and potential future actions of offenders. You collaborate with law enforcement agencies to provide insights that can aid in investigations. 

Benefits

  • Making a Difference. Criminal profilers have the opportunity to contribute positively to law enforcement efforts by providing valuable insights.
  • Intriguing Work. The challenge of solving complex cases and uncovering the motives behind criminal acts can be highly rewarding.
  • Enhancing Public Safety. By understanding the psychology of criminals, you can help identify potential threats and develop proactive strategies to prevent future crimes.
  • Teamwork. The collaborative work environment allows for the exchange of knowledge, expertise, and resources, fostering a multidisciplinary approach to solving crimes.
  • Professional Growth and Development. Working as a criminal profiler offers opportunities for continuous learning and professional development. 

Working Conditions

Profilers typically work in law enforcement offices and crime labs, often collaborating with other professionals such as forensic psychologists and police officers. They may also need to visit crime scenes in order to gain an understanding of the perpetrator’s behavior. Collaboration with victims, witnesses, and suspects may also be necessary. The work of a criminal profiler can involve long hours depending on the severity of a case. Otherwise, they tend to work regular hours.

Further Studies

To become a criminal profiler, consider:

  • Bachelor’s Degree. The minimum requirement for this career is a bachelor’s degree in criminology, criminal justice, or a related field.
  • Master’s Degree. Some jobs in this field may require a higher level of education or special certification. Pursuing a career in forensic psychology can provide a deeper understanding of criminal behaviour and the psychological aspect of profiling. For example, if you want to become a profiler for the FBI, you typically need to have worked in the field for at least seven to 15 years.
  • Continual Case Analysis: Regularly study and analyze real criminal cases to stay up-to-date with evolving profiling techniques and methodologies. You can also enroll in specialized courses in criminal profiling, crime scene analysis, or forensic science to enhance your profiling skills.
  • Certifications: Earning certifications related to criminal profiling, such as Certified Criminal Profiler (CCP), can enhance your credibility and expertise in the field.
  • Professional Networking: Build a network within the law enforcement and criminal profiling community. Attending conferences and seminars, and collaborating with colleagues, can lead to valuable insights and career opportunities.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Successful profilers must possess a keen ability to analyze complex data and behavioural patterns. They must be able to understand the emotions and motivations of criminals before creating accurate profiles. Profilers must communicate their findings clearly to law enforcement agencies and other stakeholders, and notice subtle clues and behavioural nuances. 

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($70,575)
  • Job Outlook (7%)

The average annual salary for profilers is $70,575. Job outlook in the field of criminal profiling are expected to remain stable with a growth rate of 7%, with a continued need for experts who can assist in solving complex criminal cases and contribute to the justice system.


11. Crime Scene Investigator


Crime scene investigators (CSI), also known as forensic investigators or evidence technicians, are highly trained professionals who collect and analyze physical evidence at crime scenes. They use specialized tools, such as fingerprinting kits and ultraviolet light sources, to locate, identify, collect, and process evidence. CSIs also work closely with other law enforcement personnel to establish timelines and provide objective insights into the nature and circumstances of a crime. 

As a Crime Scene Investigator

You are responsible for arriving at crime scenes and methodically collecting evidence. Your duties include taking photographs, documenting the scene, collecting physical evidence such as fingerprints, DNA samples, and other trace materials, and collaborating with other law enforcement professionals to reconstruct the sequence of events.

Benefits

  • Solving Mysteries. Crime scene investigators have the satisfaction of helping piece together complex cases, contributing to justice, and bringing closure to victims and their families.
  • Varied and Dynamic Work. Each crime scene presents unique challenges, requiring investigators to adapt their skills and knowledge to different situations.
  • Learning New Techniques. Crime scene investigators use advanced scientific techniques to gather and analyze evidence. These skills are highly valued and provide a solid foundation for a career in forensic science.
  • Career Advancement Opportunities. Crime scene investigators can advance their careers by specializing in areas leading to supervisory roles or high-profile cases.
  • Contributing to Justice. Crime scene investigators provide objective and scientific evidence to support investigations and court proceedings. Their work helps ensure a fair and accurate administration of justice.
  • Sense of Purpose. Working as a crime scene investigator allows individuals to make a tangible impact by helping victims find justice and maintaining public safety.

Working Conditions

Crime Scene Investigators work in a variety of settings, from crime scenes to laboratories. They must be prepared to handle potentially distressing situations and work meticulously to ensure the integrity of evidence. They usually have regular working hours but can be called in for urgent cases. They may also need to visit crime scenes at night or on the weekend, depending on the circumstances of each investigation.

Further Studies

To become a CSI, you need the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, forensic science, or a related field is typically required.
  • Advanced Degrees in Forensic Science: Pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. in forensic science can provide a deeper understanding of advanced techniques in evidence analysis.
  • Get Certifications: Earning certifications such as Certified Crime Scene Investigator (CCSI) or Certified Forensic Science Technician (CFST) can enhance your professional standing and expertise.
  • Interdisciplinary Studies: Explore interdisciplinary studies that combine forensic science with other fields, such as law, to broaden your knowledge base.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Crime scene investigators need to have good problem-solving skills and a strong understanding of criminal justice, like what many criminology majors possess. They should also be comfortable working with technology since there are plenty of gadgets and tools used in the field. Of course, effective communication with other professionals and witnesses is also a great trait to have. Being meticulous and detail-oriented is essential in crime scene investigation since investigators must carefully document and collect evidence, ensuring that nothing is overlooked.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Salary Range ($39,000 to $79,000)
  • Job Outlook (3%)

On average, CSIs can earn salaries ranging from $39,000 to $79,000 per year. Job outlook in the field of forensic science and crime scene investigation is expected to grow 3%, with a continued need for professionals who can provide critical evidence in criminal cases.


12. FBI Agent


An FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) agent works in federal law enforcement investigating and preventing crimes as authorized by the US Constitution. FBI agents are highly trained and can work in a range of specializations, including counterterrorism, counterintelligence, cybercrime, and public corruption. They also work on multiple levels, from local, state, and even international levels, ensuring that the US is safe from any threats.

As an FBI Agent

You’ll be investigating and preventing a wide range of federal crimes, including terrorism, organized crime, cybercrime, public corruption, and white-collar offenses. You’ll also work diligently to gather evidence, conduct interviews, and analyze intelligence in order to build cases against individuals or organizations involved in criminal activities that fall under federal jurisdiction.

Benefits

  • Diverse Assignments. FBI agents have the opportunity to work on a diverse range of cases, which keeps the work dynamic and allows for continuous learning and growth.
  • Collaborative Team Environment. Plenty of opportunities to work with other federal, state, and local law enforcement personnel.
  • Professional Development Opportunities. The FBI offers continuous training and development programs, including specialized training in areas such as intelligence analysis, forensics, crisis negotiation, and leadership development.
  • Job Security. FBI agents enjoy long-term career stability as the agency’s mission is critical and in constant demand.
  • Career Advancement Potential. FBI agents have opportunities for career advancement within the agency, including specialized units, supervisory positions, and leadership roles.
  • Competitive Salary and Benefits. FBI agents receive competitive salaries and a comprehensive benefits package, including health insurance, retirement plans, paid time off, and various allowances. The agency also offers opportunities for relocation and flexibility.

Working Conditions

FBI agents work in a variety of settings, including field offices, task force operations, and undercover assignments. They may be required to travel or be temporarily assigned to different locations to investigate cases or provide support. They’re also engaged in fieldwork, which can involve physical activities such as conducting searches, executing warrants, or participating in tactical operations. They may also need to maintain physical fitness standards to meet the demands of their job.

Further Studies

To become an FBI Agent, consider:

  • Bachelor’s Degree. All FBI agents need to have at least a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, criminology, psychology, or a related field.
  • Master’s degree. Pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. in fields like criminal justice, forensic science, or cybersecurity can open doors to higher-level positions.
  • Certifications: Earning certifications related to your specialization, such as Certified Criminal Intelligence Analyst (CCIA), can enhance your expertise.
  • Language Proficiency: Learning foreign languages can be highly valuable for agents involved in international and counterterrorism investigations.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To make a strong candidate, FBI agents should have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, as well as demonstrate strong problem-solving skills. They should also have excellent analytical and investigative capabilities, good judgment, and the ability to remain composed in difficult situations. Agents must remain composed, make critical decisions under pressure, and manage stress effectively.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Salary Range ($48,000 to $144,000)
  • Job Outlook (5%)

The salary for FBI Agents can vary based on factors such as experience and specialized roles, but they typically earn an average annual salary ranging from $48,000 to $144,000. The job outlook within the FBI is competitive at 5% growth rate, but there is a continued demand for agents with diverse skills and backgrounds to tackle evolving threats to national security.


13. Security Analyst


Security analysts specialize in assessing and mitigating information security and physical security risks. They safeguard organizations from potential threats, both internal and external. They also stay updated on emerging threats and industry best practices to ensure that security measures are continuously enhanced and aligned with evolving risks.

As a Security Analyst

You’ll be conducting thorough assessments of an organization’s security systems, processes, and protocols to identify vulnerabilities and develop strategies to mitigate risks. You’ll also monitor and analyze security logs, network traffic, and other data sources to detect and respond to security incidents, such as breaches or unauthorized access attempts.

Benefits

  • Opportunity to Learn. Security analysts have the opportunity to stay updated on the latest trends in information security and gain more knowledge.
  • Cybersecurity Expertise: Security Analysts develop expertise in the constantly evolving field of cybersecurity, making them highly sought-after professionals.
  • Job Opportunities: The demand for skilled Security Analysts is on the rise, providing numerous job opportunities across various industries.
  • Competitive Salaries: Security Analysts often enjoy competitive salaries due to the specialized nature of their work.
  • Career Advancement Potential. Security analysts can advance their careers by specializing in specific areas such as network security, incident response, or vulnerability management.
  • Job Security. With businesses recognizing the need for beefed-up cybersecurity measures, there will be plenty of job opportunities for qualified security analysts — even if these roles are not always openly advertised.

Working Conditions

Security analysts work in an office setting within a company’s security department or a dedicated security firm. They often work as part of a team, collaborating with colleagues from IT departments, risk management, and other relevant areas. Depending on the nature of the job, security analysts may occasionally need to travel to various locations, such as branch offices or client sites, to assess security measures, conduct audits, or provide training.

Further Studies

To become a security analyst, you’ll need the following:

  • Bachelor’s Degree. At a minimum, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or a related field.
  • Certifications: Earning industry-recognized certifications, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) or Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH), can enhance your credibility and job prospects.
  • Master’s in Cybersecurity: Pursuing a master’s degree in cybersecurity can provide in-depth knowledge and open up advanced career opportunities in security management and leadership.
  • Continual Learning: Stay updated with the latest cybersecurity threats and trends by taking specialized courses and attending conferences and workshops.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Strong candidates for this role possess technical skills and knowledge, and excellent problem-solving skills. Prospective security analyst are expected to have effective analytical and communication capabilities, demonstrate good judgement and remain composed under pressure when dealing with complex situations. Additionally, security analysts often face pressure to identify and mitigate security risks to protect the organization’s assets, employees, and sensitive information.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($73,000)
  • Job Outlook (35%)

The salary for Security Analysts can vary widely based on factors such as location, experience and organization. On average, professionals in this field can expect to earn a base salary of $73,000 per year. The job outlook for this profession is expected to grow by 35% over the next ten years.


14. Criminal Defense Lawyer


Criminal defense lawyers are legal individuals who represent individuals accused of committing criminal offenses. Their primary role is to advocate for their clients and ensure they receive fair treatment throughout the legal process. Their objective is to protect their client’s constitutional rights, challenge the prosecution’s case, and secure the best possible outcome, whether it be acquittal, reduced charges, or a favorable plea agreement.

As a Criminal Defense Lawyer

You’ll be responsible for analyzing the facts of a case, researching legal precedents, and preparing a defense strategy. You’ll also have to represent clients in court proceedings, present arguments and evidence to support your defense, and possibly negotiate with prosecutors for reduced charges or penalties.

Benefits

  • Challenging and Dynamic Work. Each criminal case presents unique challenges, requiring criminal defense lawyers to think critically, analyze evidence, and develop effective defense strategies.
  • Professional Growth and Development. Criminal defense lawyers can specialize in specific areas of criminal law, build a reputable practice, or advance into leadership roles within legal organizations.
  • Job Opportunities and Flexibility. The demand for criminal defense lawyers remains consistent, providing job security and a range of opportunities.
  • Personal Satisfaction. Criminal defense lawyers often witness the direct impact of their work on their clients’ lives, fostering a rewarding and meaningful career.
  • Advocates for Justice. Criminal defense lawyers defend the rights of individuals accused of crimes and ensure they receive fair treatment throughout the legal process.

Working Conditions

Criminal Defense Lawyers often work in law firms or as solo practitioners. They handle a wide range of cases, including misdemeanors and felonies, and may spend significant time in court. They also work long hours, including evenings, weekends, and holidays, to meet the demands of their clients. They also need to be available for emergencies or court appearances outside of regular business hours.

Further Studies

To become a criminal defense lawyer, you’ll need the following:

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree. You’ll need at least a Bachelor’s degree, preferably a Master’s before you can proceed to the next step of becoming a criminal defense lawyer.
  • Juris Doctor degree. After earning your Bachelor’s or Master’s degree, you’ll need to complete a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from an accredited law school.
  • Advanced Legal Degrees: Pursuing a master’s or Ph.D. in law can provide in-depth knowledge in a specific area of criminal law, such as white-collar crime or civil rights.
  • Continual Legal Research: Staying updated with legal precedents, changes in legislation, and case law is vital for providing the best legal defense.
  • Certifications: Earning certifications related to criminal law, such as Certified Criminal Defense Specialist (CCDS), can enhance your credibility and expertise in the field.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

To excel in this role, a strong candidate must articulate complex legal concepts to clients, negotiate with prosecutors, and present persuasive arguments in court. This profession offers ample opportunities to enhance communication skills. In addition to their knowledge of criminal law, defense lawyers must possess strong research, analysis, and critical thinking skills. They also need strong communication skills to build trust, manage expectations, and maintain client confidentiality.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($98,109)
  • Job Outlook (10%)

Criminal defense lawyers can earn an average salary of $98,109 annually. The job outlook for this career is 10% in the coming years. 

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15. Forensic Psychologist


Forensic psychologists apply their expertise in psychology to the legal and criminal justice systems. They use their understanding of human behavior and mental processes to provide insights and assessments in legal matters. By sharing their expertise, they can help courts, law enforcement agencies, and other entities. They can also help in developing policies and interventions related to the psychological aspects of the legal system. 

As a Forensic Psychologist

You’ll be interviewing individuals involved in legal cases, such as defendants, witnesses, or victims, to assess their mental health, competency, and credibility. You’ll also conduct research and apply psychological principles to assist in the understanding of criminal behavior, profiling, and risk assessment. 

Benefits

  • Professional Growth. There’s a chance to get advanced degrees, certifications, and specialized training, as well as leadership roles, teaching positions, and consultancy work.
  • Job Stability. The demand for forensic psychologists continues to grow, offering job stability and a range of opportunities within the legal and mental health fields.
  • Personal Satisfaction. This role can be rewarding and satisfying as it allows one to make a meaningful contribution to the legal system – something that can influence legal proceedings.
  • Advancement of Knowledge. Forensic psychologists contribute to the field through research, studying various aspects of human behavior in relation to crime, justice, and mental health.
  • Career Diversity. Forensic psychologists have the opportunity to work in a variety of settings. It offers flexibility in terms of specialization and work environments.
  • Making a Positive Impact. Forensic psychologists play a crucial role in promoting justice and supporting the well-being of individuals involved in the legal system. Their work can bring about positive change in individuals’ lives and society as a whole.

Working Conditions

Forensic psychologists have plenty of options when it comes to the work environment – they can choose to work in private practice, government offices, law enforcement agencies, court systems, prisons, or mental institutions. The specific work environment can influence factors such as work hours and overall job demands. Based on the caseload and the nature of their assignments, forensic psychologists may experience varying workloads and deadlines. They can expect to work long hours, including evenings and weekends.

Further Studies

To become a forensic psychologist, you’ll need:

  • Master’s Degree: Forensic psychologist will need a master’s or Ph.D. in Psychology, Criminal Justice, or a closely related field to be qualified to work as forensic psychologists.
  • Doctoral Degree: Pursuing a Ph.D. or Psy.D. in forensic psychology can provide advanced knowledge and qualifications for specialized roles.
  • Certifications: Earning certifications in forensic psychology, such as the American Board of Forensic Psychology (ABFP) certification, can enhance your expertise and credibility.
  • Clinical Experience: Gaining clinical experience by working in a correctional setting or with legal professionals can provide practical skills.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Successful Forensic Psychologists have essential skills that encompass conducting thorough psychological assessments, providing compelling expert testimony, maintaining high ethical standards, effective communication with legal professionals and courts, and adeptly analyzing complex psychological data to apply to legal matters.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Salary Range ($61,778 and $76,468)
  • Job Outlook (6%)

Forensic psychologists earn an average salary falling between $61,778 and $76,468 per year. This job outlook for professionals in this role is expected to grow by 6% in the coming years.

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16. Criminology Professor


Criminology Professors are educators who specialize in teaching and conducting research on criminology, criminal justice, and related topics. They work in universities and colleges, sharing their knowledge and insights with students while contributing to the field’s academic growth. They also contribute to the advancement of knowledge in their field through research and scholarly publications.

As a Criminology Professor

Your role includes teaching courses on criminological theories, criminal justice systems, and research methodologies. You’ll be able to share your knowledge and expertise with students and help them build impressive portfolios that will open up job opportunities in the field. Additionally, you’ll be able to conduct research and publish your findings, helping to advance the field of criminology.

Benefits

  • Intellectual Stimulation. Criminology professors are often updated on the latest research, trends, and developments in the field.
  • Flexibility and Autonomy. Flexible schedules are common in this field, allowing professors to balance their teaching responsibilities with their personal commitments.
  • Influencing Policy. Criminology professors regularly share their research findings, expertise, and recommendations. This can influence the development and implementation of effective crime prevention strategies and criminal justice policies.
  • Job Security. Tenured positions offer job security and the potential for long-term stability.
  • Personal Fulfillment. Criminology professors can make a meaningful impact by shaping the minds of future criminal justice professionals, contributing to the field’s advancement, and fostering positive change in society.

Working Conditions

Criminology professors typically work in a university or college setting, spending a significant portion of their time preparing course materials, developing syllabi, grading assignments and exams, and delivering lectures. They’re also expected to engage in scholarly research. Aside from this, they may also have administrative responsibilities, such as serving on committees and participating in faculty meetings. 

Further Studies

To become a criminology professor, you’ll need:

  • Doctorate Degree: A doctorate degree in criminology, criminal justice or a closely related field is often the bare minimum requirement to become a college professor. You may be able to become an assistant professor or an instructor with just a Master’s, though.
  • Specialized Research: Focus on specific areas of criminology, such as white-collar crime, juvenile justice, or corrections, to deepen your expertise.
  • Continual Research: Ongoing research projects and collaborations with other academics and institutions keep your knowledge current.
  • Professional Development: Attend conferences, publish research, and engage with academic networks to stay connected to the field’s latest developments.
  • Leadership Roles: Pursue academic leadership roles, such as department chair or dean, for broader influence within educational institutions.

What Skills Make You A Strong Candidate

Successful Criminology Professors possess exceptional teaching skills, the ability to communicate complex concepts effectively, a passion for research, strong critical thinking, and the capability to engage and mentor students in their academic and career development. They must possess excellent communication, interpersonal, and teaching skills.

Salary Range & Job Outlook

  • Average Salary ($61,963)
  • Job Outlook (4%)

Criminology professors can earn an average salary of $61,963 per year. The job outlook for this profession is estimated at 4%.

Making the Right Career Choice

Having a criminology degree opens up a world of exciting and impactful career opportunities. Whether you choose to work in law enforcement, the legal field, research, or academia, the knowledge and skills gained from a criminology degree can be invaluable. From becoming a police officer on the frontlines of crime prevention, a criminal profiler unraveling the mysteries of criminal behavior, to a criminology professor inspiring the next generation, the possibilities are vast.

With a strong foundation in understanding crime, criminal justice systems, and human behavior, criminology degree holders are well-equipped to make a positive difference in society, contribute to the pursuit of justice, and create safer communities. Embrace the challenges and rewards that lie ahead as you embark on a fulfilling career path in the fascinating world of criminology!


Agwaonye Samuel

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