Law and Justice

Area

Human Services

  • Direct care:
    • Counseling
    • Case management
    • Mental health services
    • Crisis work
    • Testing/Assessment
    • Behavioral analysis
    • Rehabilitation services
    • Prevention education

  • Administration:
    • Advocacy
    • Programming
    • Community relations
    • Development/Fund raising
    • Grant writing
    • Non-profit management
    • Volunteer coordination

Employers

  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Advocacy groups
  • Religiously-affiliated organizations
  • Non-profit/Social service agencies
  • Private foundations

  • Adoption and child care agencies
  • Nursing homes and retirement communities
  • Senior citizens’ centers
  • Residential treatment facilities
  • Hospitals and wellness centers

  • Halfway houses
  • Correctional facilities
  • Vocational services
  • Educational information services
  • Hospice agencies

Strategies

  • Concentrate course work or earn a minor in an area of interest such as youth, gerontology, or poverty.
  • Develop helping and communication skills through volunteer positions.
  • Obtain essential practical experience through an internship, part-time or summer job with a non-profit or social service organization.
  • Serve as a Peer Mentor, Resident Assistant, or other student leader.
  • Gain experience with diverse populations.
  • Learn a second language in order to interact with non-English speakers and increase marketability.
  • Many entry level positions require some related experience. Volunteering, part-time jobs, and internships can typically fulfill this requirement.
  • Obtain a graduate degree in a social service discipline such as social work, counseling, or psychology to increase employment opportunities.
  • Most states require licensure or certification for positions involving the direct provision of therapeutic services to clients.

  • Court reporting
  • Court administration
  • Law enforcement
  • Corrections

  • Probation and parole
  • Rehabilitation
  • Prevention programming
  • Victim service

  • Forensics/Investigation
  • Security
  • Loss prevention/Asset protection
  • Juvenile justice

Employers

  • City/County government:
    • Police departments
    • Correction facilities
    • County sheriff departments
    • Liquor Control Commission
    • Animal control offices
  • State government:
    • State troopers
    • Crime labs
    • Penitentiaries
  • Federal government:
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

  • Federal government continued
    • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
    • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Postal Service
    • U.S. Marshals Service
    • National Security Agency (NSA)
    • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    • National Parks Service
    • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF)
    • Armed services

  • Prisons/Jails
  • Detention centers
  • Youth corrections facilities
  • Airports and other transportation facilities
  • Crime laboratories
  • Colleges and universities
  • Banks

Strategies

  • Choose criminal justice/criminology courses or concentration in sociology.
  • Volunteer to work with at-risk youth and families.
  • Gain experience working with diverse populations.
  • Complete a formal police academy program upon graduation for careers in law enforcement.
  • Consider obtaining experience in a branch of the military.
  • Attend a post-secondary vocational or technical college for court reporting certification programs.
  • Coursework related to the hard sciences (biology, chemistry, biochemistry) is often necessary for career opportunities in forensics. Additionally, earning a graduate degree in forensic science or a related discipline may be necessary.
  • Become familiar with the government application process and seek assistance from the campus career center.
  • Learn a second language for increased marketability.
  • Be prepared to complete physical and psychological testing, fitness evaluations, and other evaluations for entry into law enforcement and military careers.
  • For Federal government positions with organizations such as the FBI, CIA, DEA, etc. additional work experience is often required before becoming an agent.

Area

Law

  • Prosecution
  • Defense
  • Contractual

  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit or public interest
  • Government

  • Mediation
  • Lobbying
  • Law assistance

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Federal, state and local government

  • Corporations
  • Nonprofit and public interest organizations, e.g. ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense fund, and Legal Services Corporation

  • Legal aid societies
  • Private practice
  • Colleges and universities

Strategies

  • Supplement curriculum with classes that help prepare students for the rigors of law school.
  • Participate in a debate teams to hone communication skills.
  • Develop strong research skills and attention to detail.
  • Gain experience with mediation and conflict resolution.
  • Get involved with pre-law organizations.
  • Obtain a summer or part-time job in a law firm.
  • Plan to shadow an attorney to learn more about the field and various specialties. Look for ways to get experience in field of interest, (e.g., content) sports, juvenile justice, environment, etc.
  • Plan to attend law school and earn a JD from a school accredited by the American Bar Association. Maintain an excellent GPA and secure strong faculty recommendations. Plan to take the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test).
  • Complete a certificate program to prepare for paralegal positions.

Area

Education 

  • K-12:
    • Teaching (elementary, middle, secondary)
    • School counseling
    • Administration

  • Higher education:
    • Teaching
    • Research
    • Administration
    • Student affairs

  • Information/Library services
  • Adult learning/Community instruction (e.g., GED classes, life skills, parenting, etc.)

Employers

  • K-12 schools, public and private
  • Boards of education
  • Four-year colleges and universities
  • Two-year and community colleges

  • Technical schools
  • Medical and professional schools
  • Federal Trio programs (e.g., Upward Bound, Talent Search)
  • Non-profit organizations (e.g., Project Grad, Teach for America)

Strategies

  • Obtain teaching licensure for desired subject area and/or grade level for public school positions. Requirements for certification/licensure vary by state. Seek guidance from the education department of your college.
  • Gain multiple certifications to increase employability.
  • Private schools may not require certification or licensure. Obtain a master’s degree in subject area for increased employability.
  • Earn Ph.D. to teach and research at four-year institutions. A master’s degree or Ph.D. is required to teach at two-year schools.
  • Participate in research as an undergraduate. Take research coursework, become involved with faculty research, get to know graduate students.
  • Join appropriate professional organization and attend conferences as a student.
  • Obtain a master’s degree in college student personnel, student development, or counseling for student affairs or administrative positions.
  • Obtain a master’s degree in school counseling to become a professional school counselor.
  • Obtain a master’s degree in library science for library positions.
  • Gain related experience on campus through student leadership opportunities such as Peer Mentors, Resident Assistants, or Orientation Leaders.

Area

Government

See also What Can I Do With This Major in Public Administration?

  • Social statistics
  • Program analysis
  • Demography

  • Public administration
  • Policy analysis
  • Research

  • Program development
  • Urban/City planning

Employers

  • State and local governments

Strategies

  • Earn a minor or supplement curriculum with coursework in statistics and social research.
  • Develop exceptional computer, communication, and research skills.
  • Gain practical experience through government internships, part-time jobs, or summer work.
  • Develop a specialty such as aging, family, criminal justice, or healthcare.
  • Seek leadership roles in relevant student groups.
  • Become involved in student government.
  • Participate in cross-cultural organizations. Interact with the international community on campus.
  • Maintain a strong grade point average.
  • Consider earning a graduate degree for advanced positions, e.g. public administration (MPA), public policy (MPP).
  • Research government agencies and identify federal job titles that are right for your combination of education and experience.
  • Become familiar with the government application process. Utilize applicable websites and seek assistance from campus career centers.
  • Consider beginning a career with the government by joining the military or Peace Corps. Such experiences can open doors to government positions.

Area

Social Science Research

  • Research
  • Data analysis
  • Policy or program analysis

  • Demographics
  • Market research

  • Information sourcing
  • Statistics

Employers

  • Federal government:
    • Bureau of Labor Statistics
    • Bureau of Justice Statistics
    • Bureau of Economic Analysis
    • Bureau of Transportation Statistics
    • National Center for Health Statistics
    • National Center for Education Statistics
    • U.S. Census Bureau
    • Center for Disease Control

  • Local and state government
  • Universities
  • Research institutes
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Private industries
  • Advertising and marketing firms

  • Consulting firms
  • Information brokers
  • Newspapers, magazines, news agencies
  • Public opinion research polls
  • Political campaigns
  • Polling firms

Strategies

  • Earn a minor or supplement curriculum with coursework in statistics, research methods, and/or analysis.
  • Develop exceptional quantitative, statistical, writing, and organizational skills.
  • Learn to use statistical software packages as well as database, spreadsheet, and presentation programs.
  • Volunteer to help a professor with a research project or complete original research through an independent study class.
  • Develop an area of expertise through relevant experience, coursework, or advanced degree.
  • Obtain an advanced degree in sociology for research administration positions.
  • Earn certification in applied social research by The American Sociological Association.
  • Network with professionals working in areas of interest.
  • Gain experience working on teams and communicating ideas with others from varying disciplines

Area

Business

  • Human resources
    • Training and development
    • Recruiting
  • Management

  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Public relations

  • Office administration
  • Consulting
  • Market and consumer research

Employers

  • Insurance firms
  • Retail stores
  • Banks
  • Staffing agencies

  • Manufacturing companies
  • Service industries
  • Non-profit organizations

  • Healthcare organizations
  • Government
  • Education

Strategies

  • Supplement curriculum with appropriate coursework (accounting, finance, management, etc.) or earn a minor in business or communications.
  • Gain relevant experience through part-time jobs, summer work, and internships.
  • Learn to use software applications such as spreadsheets, databases, and presentations.
  • Hone written and oral communication skills.
  • Join related professional associations.
  • Seek leadership roles on campus.
  • Be willing to start in a management-trainee program or other entry-level positions.
  • When job searching, seek employers interested in hiring “any major.”
  • Understand the top skills employers desire and be prepared to demonstrate them, such as communication (oral and written), computer, interpersonal, leadership and teamwork, etc.

Area

Environmental Sociology

  • Land and Water Conservation
  • Planning
  • Law
  • Preserve Management
  • Natural Resource Management

  • Land Acquisition
  • Parks and Outdoor Recreation
  • Environmental Education
  • Advocacy/Lobbying
  • Administration and Management

  • Recreation Planning
  • Research
  • Site Operations and Maintenance
  • Ecotourism

Employers

  • Waste management firms
  • Health agencies
  • Local planning agencies
  • Environmental advocacy groups
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Local, state, and federal government agencies

  • National Park Service
  • State, county, or city parks
  • Consulting firms
  • Private industry
  • Media companies
  • Environmental periodicals

  • Resorts and marinas
  • Privately owned facilities
  • Tourism agencies
  • Land trust organizations such as The Nature Conservancy or Trust for Public Land

Strategies

  • Enhance curriculum with courses in ecology, environmental science, and statistics.
  • Earn a minor or concentration in environmental studies or issues.
  • Obtain a graduate degree in environmental sociology or environmental studies for advancement into administrative/supervisory positions.
  • Join environment-related student organizations.
  • Join professional associations and environmental groups as ways to network.
  • Volunteer to work on environmental clean-up projects with an organization such as Student Conservation Association (SCA).
  • Gain practical experience through a related internship, part-time, or summer job.
  • Obtain a law degree for environmental law.
  • Participate in travel and/or recreation programs.
  • Learn environmental laws and regulations.

General Information

  • Many transferable skills such as analytical, organizational, research, interpersonal, computer, leadership, teamwork, and oral/written communication are associated with the sociology degree.
  • Internships, part-time jobs, summer jobs, and/or volunteer experiences are critical to reaching career goals. Research fields of interests and gain the right skills, experiences, and advanced degrees (if necessary).
  • An undergraduate degree is sufficient for many entry-level positions in non-profit organizations, business, and government.
  • An bachelor’s in sociology prepares students for graduate or professional education in sociology, law, counseling, psychology, social work, medicine, education, college student personnel, higher education administration, planning, and other related fields. Research pre-requisites for graduate or professional programs of interest.
  • There are two main types of master’s degree programs in sociology including: traditional programs and programs with an applied, clinical, or professional track. Traditional programs are to prepare students to enter academia and a Ph.D. program. Applied, clinical, and professional programs are vocationally oriented and prepare students to enter the workforce by teaching job skills.
  • To enhance graduate or professional school opportunities, maintain a high grade point average, secure strong faculty recommendations, join student or professional organizations, and gain relevant experience outside of the classroom through work, internship, volunteer, and research opportunities.
  • Get involved with a population of interest (i.e., children, college students, elderly adults) and develop multicultural sensitivity and understanding.
  • Talk with professionals working in areas of interest and build a network of contacts.

Area

Health Policy and Management

  • Health services administration:
    • Operations
    • Finance
    • Program Development
    • Program Evaluation
    • Management
    • Material Management
    • Human Resources
    • Medical Staff Relations
    • Information Technology

  • Health services administration continued:
    • Marketing
    • Public Relations
    • Project Management
    • Facilities
    • Patient Care Services
    • Provider Relations
    • Government Relations
    • Strategic Planning

  • Health policy:
    • Research
    • Analysis
    • Policy development
    • Legislative work
    • Lobbying

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Health systems clinics
  • Medical practice groups
  • Home health agencies
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Mental health facilities
  • Managed care organizations
  • Health finance organizations
  • Insurance companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Academic medical centers

  • Federal government:
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
    • Department of Veterans Affairs
    • Food and Drug Administration
    • Office of the Surgeon General
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Military

  • Legislative offices
  • State government agencies
  • Public health departments (state and local)
  • Advocacy groups
  • Health foundations
  • Professional associations
  • Nonprofit organizations

Strategies

  • For health services administration, choose an undergraduate major in business, accounting, finance, or management.  For policy-related careers, consider public administration or political science.
  • Gain experience through internships or jobs in a healthcare setting.
  • Develop strong oral and written communication, analytical, and technological skills.
  • Learn how to use database and spreadsheet software.
  • Develop problem-solving skills for finding creative solutions to problems.
  • Learn to work well on teams and cultivate leadership skills.
  • Get involved in student government or campus organizations related to health issues.
  • Earn a master’s degree in public health, health administration, public administration, business, or a related field.
  • To prepare for positions in lobbying and legislation, some will earn a law degree.
  • Join related professional organizations and build a network of contacts.
  • Stay abreast of new laws and regulatory changes in the healthcare industry.

Area

Behavioral and Social Science

  • Quantitative research
  • Behavioral research
  • Program planning

  • Program implementation
  • Program evaluation

  • Advocacy
  • Policy

Employers

  • Federal government:
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Office of the Surgeon General
  • State government agencies

  • Public health departments (state and local)
  • Nonprofit organizations:
    • American Red Cross
    • American Heart Association
  • Colleges and universities

  • Hospitals
  • Private research foundations
  • Research and development firms
  • International health agencies
  • Research and development firms
  • International health agencies

Strategies

  • Pursue research experience at the undergraduate level.
  • Become involved in health programming or peer education on campus.
  • Volunteer in the community to gain experience and develop expertise in a particular area or organization.
  • Develop strong public speaking and presentation skills.  Prepare to communicate effectively with both groups and individuals.
  • Learn to work well with diverse populations and people of varying ages.
  • Become familiar with grant writing techniques and grant submission procedures.
  • Earn a graduate degree for advanced research positions.

Area

Health Promotion and Communication

  • Intervention:
    • Planning and development
    • Implementation
    • Evaluation
  • Health education:
    • Prevention
    • Promotion

  • Social marketing:
    • Mass media
    • Web-based
    • Organizational communication
  • Project management

Employers

  • Federal government:
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Department of Health and Human Services
    • Office of the Surgeon General
  • State government agencies

  • Public health departments (state and local)
  • Wellness centers
  • Community mental health centers
  • Corporate wellness programs
  • Fitness facilities

  • Schools
  • Colleges and universities

Strategies

  • Become involved in health programming or peer education on campus.
  • Volunteer in the community to gain experience and develop expertise in a particular area or organization.
  • Obtain a part-time or summer job with a campus health center or wellness coordinator.
  • Learn to work well with diverse populations and people of varying ages.
  • Develop strong communication skills for building and delivering effective interventions.
  • Gain knowledge of funding sources, grant writing techniques and submission procedures.
  • Research the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) credential.

Area

Biostatistics

  • Research
  • Public health surveillance:
    • Data collection
    • Analysis
    • Interpretation

  • Clinical trials
  • Data interpretation and presentation

Employers

  • Federal government agencies:
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • National Center for Health Statistics
  • State government agencies

  • Public health departments (state and local)
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Biotechnology firms
  • Nonprofit organizations

  • Colleges and universities
  • Research institutions
  • Hospitals
  • International health agencies:
    • World Health Organization

Strategies

  • Choose an undergraduate major in mathematics, statistics, or basic science.  Develop strong quantitative and computing skills.
  • Assist with faculty research projects or apply to a summer research program.
  • Gain experience through related internships. Learn to work well on an interdisciplinary team.
  • Develop strong written and verbal communication skills, as statisticians in this field write technical reports to share findings.
  • Earn a graduate degree in public health/biostatistics.

Area

Epidemiology

  • Research:
    • Design
    • Data collection
    • Analysis
    • Interpretation

  • Grant writing
  • Incident/Disease investigation
  • Risk assessment
  • Surveillance
  • Technical writing

Employers

  • Federal government:
    • National Institutes of Health
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Military
  • State government agencies

  • Public health departments (state and local)
  • World Health Organization (WHO)
  • Private research foundations
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Research and development service firms

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Hospitals
  • Colleges and universities
  • Medical schools

Strategies

  • Develop a solid background in the biological sciences, statistics, mathematics, and the software utilized for statistical analyses.
  • Gain experience with research.  Volunteer to assist professors with research or apply for summer research programs.
  • Find a topic of interest and seek as much knowledge and experience in that area as possible.
  • Develop strong communication skills for grant and report writing.
  • Plan to work collaboratively with other professionals who study risk factors and disease distribution.
  • Earn a master’s or doctoral degree in public health, epidemiology, or related field.  Some clinical epidemiologists are also MDs.

Area

Environmental Health

  • Research
  • Field research
  • Air quality
  • Food protection
  • Radiation protection
  • Solid waste management

  • Water quality
  • Noise control
  • Housing quality
  • Vector control
  • Toxicology

  • Occupational safety
  • Risk assessment
  • Management
  • Policy development
  • Consulting

Employers

  • Federal government:
    • CDC National Center for Environmental Health
    • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
    • Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry
    • Environmental Protection Agency

  • Federal government continued:
    • Food and Drug Administration
    • Military
    • Department of Energy

  • State government agencies
  • Public health departments (state and local)
  • Private research facilities
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Environmental agencies
  • Consulting firms

Strategies

  • Major in biology, chemistry, or other science area.
  • Develop strong research skills and the ability to manage data.
  • Become involved with environmental-related organizations on campus.
  • Learn to work well with a team of other professionals such as physicians, engineers, and scientists.
  • Read related journals to stay abreast of new trends and legislation in the field.
  • Plan to earn a graduate degree in public health or related field.
  • Research the many specialties to determine interest areas in which to gain experience.

Area

Global Health and Epidemics

  • Social and economic development
  • Health policy
  • Demography
  • Women’s health

  • Children’s health
  • Nutrition
  • Design of healthcare systems
  • Disease prevention and control

  • Education/Medication
  • Distribution
  • Disaster relief

Employers

  • International organizations:
    • World Health Organization (WHO)
    • United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
    • United Nations Development Programme
    • Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)
    • World Bank
    • USAID

  • Bilateral government development agencies:
    • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
    • Public Health Service
    • Office of International Health

  • Nonprofit organizations:
    • Peace Corps
    • International Red Cross
    • CARE
    • Doctors Without Borders

Strategies

  • Major in a social science and plan to continue education in public health.
  • Learn one or more foreign languages.
  • Study, volunteer, or intern abroad as much as possible.
  • Participate in international service learning trips or  missions.
  • Volunteer in the local community with health-related issues.
  • Develop excellent research, writing, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Learn to adapt to cultural and racial diversity. Be willing to live and work in third world nations.

General Information

  • Public health is a broad, multi-disciplinary field, and most professionals specialize at the graduate level. Other specialties within public health include  maternal and child health, nutrition, health disparities, and veterinary public health. Additionally, some professionals choose interdisciplinary career paths that involve public health, such as MPH/RN, MPH/JD, MPH/MD, etc.  Learn about all the options through the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH).
  • Seek involvement in undergraduate and community-based public health programs.  Some higher education institutions have peer health educators trained to provide education and support to fellow students.
  • A bachelor’s degree opens the door for entry level opportunities in areas such as health education and promotion and environmental health.
  • A master’s degree is typically required for management, administration, research, policy development, biostatistics, and epidemiology.
  • A doctoral degree is required to reach the highest levels of administration or research and for university teaching positions.
  • Students planning to apply to a public health graduate program will do so through the Schools of Public Health Application Service (SOPHAS).
  • Research the Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) offered by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc., as these certifications may be preferred or required for some positions.
  • Many opportunities in public health exist with government agencies including: The Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Health Resources and Services Administration, Indian Health Service, National Institutes of Health, and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.  Become familiar with government hiring procedures. Obtain a government internship in area of interest.
  • Develop a specialty area of interest via supplemental coursework and/or work experience for greater marketability within that specific career field.
  • Writing, research, and presentation skills are critical in most career fields related to public health.
  • Gain experience working with diverse populations across diverse settings. Learn to work well with others individually and in groups.
  • Technology skills are integrated and demanded across all areas.

Area

Local and State Government

  • Public policy
  • Urban planning
  • City or town management

  • Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Services
  • Program administration
  • General services

  • Community affairs
  • Social services
  • Law enforcement

Employers

  • Counties
  • Cities
  • Municipalities

  • Townships
  • School districts
  • Departments of state government

  • Legislative agencies
  • Court systems

Strategies

  • Research your local and/or state government.
  • Employment opportunities in local government tend to follow population trends in terms of growth and decline in availability of positions. Check statistics on growing communities to find the most opportunities. Be prepared to relocate.
  • Develop a network of contacts through referrals and informational interviews.
  • Conduct research, (e.g., education, homelessness, etc. that could be useful to your community).
  • Get involved in civic organizations and events.
  • Complete an internship in a government agency.
  • Participate in local or national election campaigns.
  • Familiarize self with government application process.
  • Consider earning a graduate degree in public administration (MPA) or public policy (MPP).

Area

Federal Government

  • Public policy
  • Research
  • Intelligence

  • Foreign service
  • Law enforcement
  • General services

  • Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Services
  • Program administration

Employers

Strategies

  • Take courses or minor in applicable interest area(s).
  • Seek leadership roles in relevant campus organizations such as model United Nations, student government, and cross-cultural organizations.
  • Write for campus publications focused on national and international affairs.
  • Develop skills in computers, statistics, and data analysis.
  • Acquire foreign language competency and travel experience for international positions.
  • There are a large number of specialized agencies within the federal government. Do extensive research in order to find the area that best fits your interests.
  • Become familiar with the government application process. Utilize applicable websites and seek assistance from your college career center.
  • Obtain an internship in a federal agency or department.
  • Participate in national campaigns.
  • Conduct informational interviews with government employees.
  • Build a strong personal network.

  • Prosecution
  • Defense
  • Contractual
  • Corporate

  • Nonprofit or public interest
  • Government
  • Mediation

  • Law assistance
  • Lobbying
  • Other specialties

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Private practice
  • Corporations

  • Special interest groups
  • Universities and colleges
  • Legal aid societies

 

  • Nonprofit and public interest organizations (e.g., ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Legal Services Corporation)
  • Legal clinics
  • Other private legal services

Strategies

  • Develop strong research skills and attention to detail.
  • Participate in debate teams to hone communication skills.
  • Choose courses or a minor to specialize in a particular area of law, (e.g., a minor in business for a career in corporate law).
  • Gain practical experience through an internship, part-time job or summer work in a law firm.
  • Shadow an attorney to learn more about the field and various specialties.
  • Get involved in pre-law organizations.
  • Plan to attend law school and earn a law degree (JD).
  • Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations. Prepare for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).
  • Obtain specialized certification for paralegal positions.

Area

Politics

  • Elected or appointed leadership
  • Campaign management
  • Staff administration
  • Special interest advocacy

  • Political advising
  • Lobbying
  • Public policy

  • Public relations
  • Community organizing
  • Government relations

Employers

  • Legislative, executive, or judicial officials
  • National, state, or local government
  • Political action committees
  • Political parties

  • Campaigns: national, state, or local
  • Industrial, educational, and public interest groups
  • Lobbying organizations

  • Large business firms
  • Polling and consulting firms
  • Advocacy organizations

Strategies

  • Volunteer for national, state, or local campaigns.
  • Be prepared to begin a political career as a volunteer before moving to paid positions.
  • Many elected public officials begin careers in other fields (law, medicine, business) before campaigning for office.
  • Gain experience through internships with government agencies, lobbying firms, or legislatures.
  • Obtain leadership roles in campus organizations.
  • Become involved in campus political groups, student government, publications, or community service projects.
  • Take courses in statistics, public policy, or other specific interest areas.
  • Get involved with a political party/group and develop a personal network. The ability to build networks, coalitions and alliances with other associations is highly valued.
  • Develop excellent public relations, interpersonal, and communication skills.

Area

International Affairs
See also What Can I Do With This Major in Global Studies?

  • Governance
  • Policy making and analysis
  • Public sector reform

  • Poverty-reduction strategy
  • Ethics and anti-corruption
  • Human rights
  • Public law

  • Organization and management development
  • Resource development
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Media/Communication policy and practice education

Employers

  • Intergovernmental agencies (e.g., World Bank, United Nations, etc).
  • National governments
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • Non-profit agencies
  • Religious organizations

  • Foundations
  • Policy and research organizations
  • Private businesses
  • Contracting and consulting firms
  • Research institutes
  • Defense contractors

  • Federal government:
    • Department of State
    • Department of Agriculture
    • Department of Commerce
    • Department of Defense
    • National Security Council

Strategies

  • Earn a double major or minor in order to gain additional skills or knowledge, (e.g., Africana studies, Asian studies, business, psychology).
  • Spend time studying or working abroad. Make and maintain contacts in foreign countries.
  • Seek cultural experiences on campus and get involved with the international student population.
  • Obtain internships or volunteer to gain valuable experience in areas of interest.
  • Participate in overseas mission trips or spend a Semester at Sea.
  • Research the history and culture interest areas.
  • Become proficient in at least one foreign language.
  • Learn about international travel regulations and take steps towards obtaining work or study visas for various locations.
  • Plan to earn a graduate degree in international affairs, foreign policy, or other specialty areas.
  • Consider entering the Peace Corps.

Area

Business

  • Sales
  • Human resources
  • Management
  • Public relations

  • Market research
  • Customer service
  • Marketing

  • Advertising
  • Product design
  • Real estate

Employers

  • Product and service organizations
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants

  • Manufacturers
  • Insurance companies
  • Print and electronic media
  • Consulting firms

  • Financial institutions
  • Real estate companies
  • Property management firms
  • Other business corporations

Strategies

  • Develop strong analytical, verbal, writing, and leadership skills.
  • Earn a minor/double major in business or supplement curriculum with business courses.
  • Gain relevant experience in an area of interest through internships or other employment.
  • Obtain leadership roles in campus organizations
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Hone computer skills and learn software packages such as databases, spreadsheets and presentations.
  • Become knowledgeable about corporate social responsibility.

Area

Non-Profit

  • Administration
  • Management
  • Public relations
  • Fund raising/Development

  • Policy analysis
  • Research
  • Grant writing

  • Direct service
  • Advocacy
  • Volunteer coordination

Employers

  • Local and national nonprofit agencies
  • Foundations
  • Charitable organizations
  • Trade or professional associations

  • Special interest groups
  • Labor unions
  • Libraries
  • Museums

  • Historic sites/historical societies
  • Research organizations and think tanks
  • Educational institutions

Strategies

  • Gain practical experience through volunteering or completing an internship with a nonprofit organization of interest.
  • Earn a minor or supplement curriculum with courses in business, psychology, sociology, or social work.
  • Obtain leadership roles in relevant campus and community organizations.
  • Develop strong communication and research skills.
  • Learn grant writing skills.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience in a specialty area, (e.g., public health, environment, urban issues).
  • Research organizations’ values to find a good fit for you. It is critical that you are knowledgeable about and committed to the work you’re going to do.
  • Investigate term of service or service corps positions as a way to gain entry into the field, (e.g. AmeriCorps, Peach Corps, VISTA)
  • Consider earning a graduate degree for more job opportunities and advancement.

Area

Media

  • Editing
  • Reporting
  • Circulation

  • Sales
  • Publishing
  • Electronic media

  • Public relations
  • News programming
  • Production

Employers

  • Newspapers: national, local, or trade
  • Wire services
  • Magazines
  • Internet sites
  • Large corporations

  • Political parties
  • Political action committees
  • Professional publications/associations
  • Labor unions
  • Academic journals

  • Broadcast media companies: television, radio, and the movie industry
  • Major networks
  • Public, cable, and private television stations
  • National, state, or regional radio networks
  • Independent radio syndications
  • Video production companies
  • Government agencies

Strategies

  • Obtain an internship or work experience with a newspaper, magazine, radio station, or television station.
  • Become proficient in desktop publishing and photography.
  • Develop a professional network and become aware of various social medias.
  • Learn HTML and other computer programs to prepare for online work.
  • Develop excellent verbal and written communication skills through communications courses or other writing intensive coursework.
  • Join the college newspaper, yearbook, or other publication staff.
  • Become a student member of professional associations.
  • Create a portfolio of published writing samples.
  • Obtain experience in and knowledge of a specialty area of interest. Experience in government is usually required for specialized reporting positions.
  • Develop professional image for television or other visual media positions.
  • Volunteer to announce local or campus sporting events.
  • Become involved in drama (e.g., direct, act, or work with technical crew).

Area

Education

  • Elementary
  • Middle
  • Secondary
  • Administration

  • Higher education:
    • Teaching, research, administration, student affairs, information/library services

Employers

  • K-12 schools, public and private
  • Boards of education

  • Four-year colleges and universities
  • Two-year and community colleges

  • Technical schools
  • Medical and professional schools

Strategies

  • Complete a teacher preparation program to teach in the public school system.
  • Obtain teaching certificate/license for desired subject area and/or grade level. Requirements for certification/licensure vary by state. Seek multiple certifications to increase employability.
  • Private schools may not require certification or licensure but may prefer candidates with graduate degrees in subject areas.
  • Seek experiences with youth through summer jobs at camps or other community organizations.
  • A doctoral degree is required to teach and research at four-year institutions or to enter the highest levels of university administration. A master’s or Ph.D. degree is required to teach at two-year schools.
  • Earn a master’s degree in student personnel, student development, counseling, or library/information sciences for student affairs and librarian positions.
  • Gain related experience on campus through student leadership opportunities such as Peer Mentors, Resident Assistants, or Orientation Leaders.

General Information

  • An undergraduate degree in political science is good preparation for graduate or professional study in areas such as political science, public administration, foreign policy, law, business, and more. Carefully research programs in order to choose specializations or concentrations of interest.
  • Maintain a high grade point average to ensure admission into a graduate or law program and/or a position within the government.
  • Expect keen competition for federal positions. Prepare yourself with a strong academic background and good experience. Many government jobs have strict guidelines and want to carefully match candidates’ knowledge, skills, and abilities to the job description. Research this first and seek the classes and experiences that will best prepare you.
  • Explore application to Administrative Careers with America (ACWA) and the Outstanding Scholar Program for federal positions.
  • Develop strong leadership skills; run for office in clubs and organizations in school or community. Volunteer to organize or lead an event or project.
  • Join related social and/or professional organizations.
  • Build a strong personal network through informal contacts.
  • Consider military experience and training as an entryway into government jobs and public service. The Peace Corps is also a good way to enter a career in government.

Area

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Administration

  • Student Affairs
    • Student activities, leadership development, admissions, orientation, career services, residence life, multi-cultural affairs, study abroad, international student services

  • Academic affairs
    • Academic support services
    • Advising
    • Educational advancement programs
    • Honors programs
  • Library sciences

Employers

  • Colleges and universities
  • Professional or graduate schools, including medical

  • Adult education programs
  • Vocational-technical educational programs

Strategies

  • Obtain a doctorate degree to teach at colleges and universities. Maintain a high GPA and secure strong faculty recommendations to prepare for graduate school.
  • Develop one or more concentration(s), such as mathematics, medical or business ethics, science, or religion.
  • Become an effective writer.
  • Earn a master’s degree in a specialized area (e.g., College Student Personnel, Higher Education Administration, or Library and Information Sciences to work in other roles at post-secondary institutions).
  • Seek campus leadership positions such as peer mentor, orientation leader, or resident assistant.
  • Build strong interpersonal skills.

Area

Ethics

  • Teaching
  • Research

  • Medical/Clinical
  • Bioethics

  • Environmental
  • Law-related

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Medical and professional schools
  • Colleges and universities
  • Bioethic centers

  • Research institutes
  • Medical organizations (e.g., American Medical Association)
  • Health science funding agencies

 

  • Environmental agencies
  • Law firms specializing in health or bioethics
  • Consulting services

Strategies

  • Plan to obtain a doctorate in philosophy for academic research and teaching positions. Some hospitals and healthcare organizations prefer to hire individuals who also have a clinical background in nursing or medicine. Another potential educational path is to earn a law degree.
  • Complete an internship in a relevant setting while in graduate school to gain experience.
  • Participate in professional organizations in ethics.
  • Develop excellent research skills as well as verbal and written communication skills.
  • Demonstrate commitment to ethical issues through involvement and volunteer experiences.
  • Investigate interdisciplinary degrees in bioethics offered at some universities.

  • Prosecution
  • Defense
  • Contractual

  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit or public interest
  • Government

  • Mediation
  • Other specialties
  • Law assistance

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Private practice
  • Corporations

  • Special interest groups
  • Universities and colleges
  • Legal aid societies

  • Nonprofit and public interest organizations
    • ACLU
    • NAACP Legal Defense Fund
    • Legal Services Corporation
  • Legal clinics
  • Other private legal services

Strategies

  • Plan on attending law school or a paralegal training school/program depending on area of interest.
  • Develop strong research skills and attention to detail.
  • Participate in debate or forensic team to hone reasoning, communication and critical thinking skills.
  • Choose courses or a minor to specialize in a particular area of law (e.g., a minor in business for a career in corporate law).
  • Gain experience and build skills through part-time or summer work in a law firm or an organization related to your particular interests.
  • Shadow an attorney to learn more about the field and various specialties.
  • Get involved in pre-law and mock trial organizations.
  • Volunteer with a public advocacy group. Seek experience with mediation and conflict resolution.
  • Maintain a high GPA and secure strong faculty recommendations. Prepare for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).

Area

Business

  • Sales
  • Management
  • Office administration

  • Human resources
  • Training and development
  • Writing/Editing

  • Underwriting and claims management
  • Entrepreneurship

Employers

  • Product and service organizations
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants

  • Wholesalers
  • Manufacturers
  • Banks and financial institutions
  • Insurance companies

  • Real estate agencies
  • Consulting firms
  • Other business corporations
  • Entrepreneurial/start up, incubators and funding organizations

Strategies

  • Earn a minor in business.
  • Develop excellent communication skills.
  • Gain experience in an area of interest through internships or other employment.
  • Obtain leadership roles in campus or community organizations.
  • Demonstrate excellent interpersonal skills and a high energy level.
  • Learn to use various technologies and software packages such as databases, spreadsheets and presentations.
  • Be prepared to start in entry level positions, such as management trainee programs.
  • Consider earning an MBA to advance into higher levels of business management.
  • Participate in campus and community “pitch” competitions and startup support organizations.

Area

Religiously Affiliated Areas

  • Clergy and other religious leaders:
    • Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish, Protestant, Islamic, Hindu, Greek Orthodox
  • Vocation as Monk or Nun
  • Chaplaincy:
    • Military
    • Institutional

  • Mission work:
    • Church development
    • Community or agricultural development
    • Educational
    • Medical
    • Metropolitan evangelism

  • Local ministries:
    • Youth ministries
    • Adult ministries
    • Leisure ministries
    • Counseling/Recovery
    • Religious education
    • Day care, children and adult
    • Food bank/Emergency ministries
    • Family life center management
  • Music-oriented ministries
  • Religious camp administration

Employers

  • Local churches, synagogues, mosques
  • Religious organizations
  • Religious communities (e.g., convents and monasteries)
  • Religious retreat centers, Christian and Buddhist
  • Denominational boards and agencies
  • Monasteries

  • All branches of military service
  • Hospitals, hospices
  • Homes for children, youth, senior citizens
  • Correctional institutions
  • Police and fire departments

  • Missions boards
  • Local churches
  • Evangelical organizations (e.g., Billy Graham Evangelistic Association)
  • Religious-based camps and youth programs

Strategies

  • Obtain general knowledge of practices, procedures, guidelines and doctrine of one’s faith.
  • Possess understanding of human spiritual and social needs.
  • Research requirements to enter leadership in the faith you want to pursue. Master of Divinity and denominational ordination are required for most clergy positions, for example.
  • Possess high moral and ethical standards.
  • Develop leadership ability and self discipline. Obtain excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • To become a chaplain, obtain ordination and two years’ service in local church or after acceptance into branch of military service, attend chaplaincy school.
  • Obtain any needed advanced degrees, certification or licensing in area of interest for missions.
  • Seek related experience by participating with missions groups.
  • Obtain travel and cultural experience with group of interest. Foreign language skills are a plus.
  • Develop fund raising skills and contacts. People interested in religious vs. secular work possess deep faith, want more than filling one’s own personal needs and desire to make a difference.
  • May be more opportunities for specific ministries in urban areas and large religious institutions.
  • Obtain experience and contacts through extensive involvement in campus organizations or local religious institutions. Leadership on the local, state and regional level is crucial.
  • Seek camp experience to improve organization and counseling skills as well as network within the denominational/organizational structure.
  • Learn to work well with people of all different backgrounds and socioeconomic status.
  • Earn dual degrees where appropriate (e.g., music).

Area

Social/Community Services

  • Administration/Management
  • Fund raising/Development
  • Public relations

  • Policy analysis
  • Research
  • Grant writing

  • Direct service
  • Social entrepreneurship

Employers

  • Local and national nonprofit agencies
  • Foundations
  • Charitable organizations

  • Trade or professional associations
  • Special interest groups
  • Labor unions

 

  • Research organizations and think tanks
  • Government Agencies
  • Incubators, start up investors

Strategies

  • Seek courses with service learning components.
  • Supplement curriculum with courses in business, psychology, sociology, or social work.
  • Plan to volunteer and/or complete an internship.
  • Obtain leadership roles in relevant campus and community organizations.
  • Develop strong communication and research skills.
  • Learn how to write grants.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience in a specialty area (e.g., public health, environment, urban issues).
  • Research organizations’ values. It is critical that you are knowledgeable about and committed to the work you plan to do.
  • Investigate term of service or service corps positions as a way to gain entry into the field.
  • Consider earning a graduate degree for more job opportunities and advancement.
  • Participate in campus and community “pitch” competitions and startup support organizations.

Area

Government/Politics

  • Public policy
  • Research
  • Regional planning
  • City management

  • Intelligence
  • Foreign Service
  • Law enforcement
  • Legislative, Executive, or Judicial Services

  • Program administration
  • Elected or appointed leadership
  • Campaign management
  • Staff administration
  • Special interest advocacy

Employers

  • State and local government
  • Federal departments and agencies
  • Foreign Service
  • Federal Municipal Archives

  • National and State Endowments for the Humanities
  • Legislative, executive, or judicial officials
  • Political action committees

  • Special interest groups
  • Political parties
  • Campaigns (national, state, or local)

Strategies

  • Take courses or minor in applicable interest area(s).
  • Seek leadership roles in relevant campus organizations such as model United Nations, student government, and cross-cultural organizations.
  • Write for campus publications focused on national and international affairs.
  • Participate in national campaigns.
  • Develop computer, statistics, data analysis and other functional administrative skills.
  • Acquire foreign language competency and travel experience for international positions.
  • Complete an internship with the federal government.
  • There are a large number of specialized agencies within the federal government. Extensive research will help you fi nd the right fit.
  • Earn a graduate degree in political science or public administration for advancement.
  • Become familiar with the government application process. Utilize applicable websites and seek assistance from your college career center.

Area

Communications

  • Writing
  • Editing

  • Technical
  • Writing

  • Journalism

Employers

  • University and commerical publishing companies
  • Magazine and newspaper publishers

  • Professional and trade associations
  • Electronic media organizations

  • Websites

Strategies

  • Take courses or minor in journalism, advertising, public relations, or English.
  • Develop excellent writing, editing, and desktop publishing skills.
  • Learn how to design websites.
  • Gain related experience through internships.
  • Volunteer to help campus or local organizations with their communications.
  • Serve on college newspaper or other campus publication staffs.
  • Join relevant professional associations.

General Information

  • Philosophy students develop many transferable skills that can be can be utilized in a variety of careers and jobs, demonstrating the flexibility and capacity for growth that employers find valuable. These skills include analytical, organizational, research, as well as oral and written communication.
  • Other skills emphasized in philosophy that are attractive to employers are idea generation, problem formulation and problem solving, diverse data integration, adaptation to change, the ability to elicit hidden assumptions, persuasion, and summarization of complicated material.
  • It is important for philosophy students to identify potential career goals and seek out the experiences and education required to enter those fields.
  • An undergraduate degree qualifies one for entry-level positions in business, nonprofit organizations, and government.
  • Graduate and/or professional studies usually lead to careers in law, medicine, ministry, finance, psychology, counseling, diplomacy, ethics, and related areas.
  • Ph.D. is required for college/university teaching and research.
  • Consider earning a minor or concentration in another discipline such as: mathematics, religion, science, business, political science, women’s studies, Eastern philosophy, sustainability or environmental studies.
  • Develop aptitudes for analytical thinking, logic, and statistics in order to apply philosophy to a broad range of professions such as law, government, finance, management, consulting, and related areas.
  • Seek related summer or part-time work experience or internships in area(s) of interest.
  • Join related student or professional organizations. Work toward leadership roles.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow professionals in fields of interest.

Area

Private Practice

  • Attorney
    • Partnership track
    • Non-partnership track
    • Contract
    • Document review
    • Administration

Employers

  • Large multi-office firms
  • Medium-size firms
  • Small firms

  • Sole practitioners
  • Legal clinics
  • Other private legal services

Strategies

  • Acquire excellent research and writing skills.
  • Obtain clerkships or internships during law school.
  • Large and medium-size firms frequently emphasize grades and class rank and value law review and moot court experience.
  • Expect to exhibit management and marketing expertise and practice profitably.
  • Those in administration handle office management (e.g., work flow), business development, clerk and attorney recruitment, clerkship programs, finances, and human resources.

Area

Business and Industry

  • Private practice
  • In-house counsel:
    • Transactional
    • Litigatory
  • Securities law

  • Law-related Areas:
    • Compliance
    • Procurement
    • Contracts
    • Human resources

  • Mergers and acquisitions
  • Tax law
  • Legislative compliance
  • Liability issues
  • Contracts

Employers

  • Law firms with corporate law and related business practice areas
  • Any large corporation (largest number of attorneys are at corporate headquarters):
    • Accounting firms
    • Financial institutions and insurance companies

  • Continued:
    • Hospitals
    • Retailers
    • Consulting firms

Strategies

  • Corporate office summer clerkships and entry level in-house positions are rare.
  • Usually only experienced lawyers are hired by corporations as in-house counsel.  Entry-level positions in compliance, procurement, or other law-related departments are more common.
  • Develop tolerance for bureaucratic procedure.
  • An undergraduate major in business, particularly accounting or finance, is helpful.
  • A joint MBA/JD degree may open additional opportunities.

Area

Public Interest

  • Counsel
  • Legal aid services
  • Public defense
  • Civil rights law

  • Indigent services
  • Advocacy
  • Community outreach
  • Law reform

Employers

  • Legal Services Corporation
  • Legal aid societies
  • Federal, state, and local government

  • Public defender offices
  • Private public interest law firms

  • Nonprofit and public interest organizations (e.g., ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund)
  • Unions
  • Foundations

Strategies

  • Gain supervised work experience in an area through summer internships.
  • Demonstrate a desire to help the economically disadvantaged and show an interest in law as a means of change.
  • Volunteer for non-profit organizations that serve a wide range of people.
  • Learn to communicate and interact with a diverse clientele.

Area

Federal Government

  • Litigation
  • Advisory/Counsel
  • Regulatory
  • Public Policy

Employers

  • Most government branches have legal counsel; some of the largest employers of lawyers are:
    • Department of Justice
    • Department of Defense
    • Department of Commerce
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Central Intelligence Agency

  • Continued:
    •  Federal Trade Commission
    • Internal Revenue Service
    • Securities and Exchange Commission
    • Judge Advocate General’s (JAG) corps for all branches of the military

Strategies

  • Complete an internship program with the federal government to get a foot in the door.
  • New lawyers frequently go to court and litigate sooner; experience gained here can be valuable to private firms later.
  • Government work offers a variety of practice opportunities from criminal to contracts.
  • High academic achievement is emphasized by state and federal judges; federal judges usually require top 10% or 15% class rank.

Area

Judicial Clerkships

Employers

  • Federal courts of appeal and district court (trial) judges and magistrates
  • Bankruptcy and administrative law judges

  • State courts of appeal and trial level judges
  • Federal and state court clerkships for collective judges in a court

Strategies

  • Clerkships can be a stepping-stone to other legal areas and provide many benefits for future career opportunities.
  • For U.S. Supreme Court, applicants must be top law graduates with one to two years clerking at lower Federal Court.
  • Moot Court participation in regional and national competitions is helpful.
  • Law review membership, as an indication of writing ability, is highly valued and emphasized at all court levels.

Area

State and Local Government

  • Litigation
  • Advisory/Counsel
  • Regulatory

  • Public policy
  • Criminal prosecution
  • Public defense

Employers

  • District Attorney’s office
  • Attorney General’s office

  • Governor’s offices
  • State agencies
  • State legislatures

  • Cities, municipalities, counties, school districts, boards of education, and state universities
  • Public Defender’s offices

Strategies

  • Take essential courses related to criminal law, criminal procedure, constitutional law, and evidence.
  • Participate in a criminal clinical program.
  • Obtain summer positions in a prosecutor’s office or a criminal litigation office or private firms practicing criminal law.
  • New lawyers frequently go to court and litigate sooner; experience gained here can be valuable to private firms later.
  • Civil law deals with a broad range of subjects other than criminal matters and provides for a wide variety of functions including the opportunity to work with private lawyers and public officials.
  • A demonstrated interest in public issues and completion of related internships are helpful.
  • Consider earning a joint Master’s of Public Administration/JD degree.

Area

Education

  • Teaching
  • Student affairs
  • Law schools
  • Universities/Colleges

  • Higher education administration
  • Pre-law advising
  • Law librarianship
  • General counsel

Employers

  • Law schools including departments of:
    • Career services
    • Admissions
    • Student services

  • Law libraries
  • Business schools
  • Undergraduate departments of History and Political Science
  • Paralegal schools

  • Universities and colleges:
    • Judicial affairs/Student conduct office
    • Dean of students
    • Human resources

Strategies

  • For teaching: Obtain several years of experience in private practice or government agency. The LLM degree and an outstanding academic record are usually required for law school teaching. Teaching allows for more flexibility of time and Some lawyers teach on an adjunct basis.
  • For administration and student affairs, consider earning a master’s degree in College Student Affairs, Higher Education Administration, or related area. As an undergraduate, participate in campus leadership roles. In law school, secure a graduate assistantship in an office of interest, such as judicial affairs.
  • For librarianships, a master’s in library or information science, in addition to the law degree, is often required.

Area

Criminal Law

Employers

  • District Attorney’s offices
  • Law firms
  • Sole practitioners
  • Public Defender’s offices

Strategies

  • There are two sides to criminal law:  criminal defense attorneys, including public defenders, and prosecutors/district attorneys.
  • Criminal law requires outstanding oral and written communication skills and the ability to persuade others.
  • A deep understanding of federal, state, and local laws, and court procedures is necessary.

Area

Patent, Copyright, Intellectual Property Law

Employers

  • Law firms (specialized)
  • Corporations
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Strategies

  • These lawyers help protect clients’ claims to copyrights, inventions, patents, creative work, etc.
  • This highly specialized area usually requires technical, science, or engineering degrees at the undergraduate or graduate level.

Area

Energy Law, Natural Resources and Environmental Law

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Corporations
  • Federal agencies (e.g., Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency)

  • State agencies
  • Environmental compliance services companies
  • Regulatory commissions

  • Advocacy organizations
  • Public interest groups

Strategies

  • This area involves rights to resources including those in the Earth and dangers in production of energy as well as transportation, taxation, patents, clean air and water, and government regulation.
  • An undergraduate major in environmental science, agriculture, engineering, or science may be good preparation.

Area

Family and Juvenile Law

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Sole practitioners
  • Government agencies

  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Adoption agencies

Strategies

  • Work with families and individuals on matters such as divorce, adoption, and juvenile justice.

Area

Health Law

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Insurance companies
  • Health maintenance organizations

  • Hospitals and nursing homes
  • Government agencies
  • Pharmaceutical companies

Strategies

  • Represent all parties in healthcare such as hospitals, physician groups, health maintenance organizations, individual doctors, insurance companies, and patients.

Area

International Law

  • Public:
    • Relations between governments and citizens
  •  Private:
    • Interactions of private citizens, corporations or other organizations

Employers

  • Governments
  • Non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
  • World Bank
  • International organizations

  • United Nations
  • Law firms
  • Large corporations

Strategies

  • This area deals with a myriad of issues faced by governments, corporations, or non-profits in an international arena.
  • Fluency in another language and familiarity with other cultures will help prepare one for this field.
  • Seek international experience by studying, volunteering, or working abroad.
  • Intern with a firm or organization that deals with international law.
  • It may be difficult to find an international law job immediately after law school.

Area

Immigration Law

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Nonprofit organizations assisting immigrants or refugees
  • Legal Aid

  • Government agencies (e.g., Immigration and Customs Enforcement)
  • Corporations employing international employees
  • Large corporations

Strategies

  • This area assists individuals or organizations dealing with issues of immigration, citizenship, naturalization, VISA/employment status, deportation, or asylum.
  • Fluency in another language, particularly Spanish, may increase opportunities in this field.

Area

Employment Law

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Large corporations
  • Government

  • Unions
  • Special interest groups

Strategies

  • Represent workers and employers on employment issues including wages, discrimination, harassment, unlawful termination, benefits and pensions, etc.

Area

Sports and Entertainment Law

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Sports teams
  • Universities/colleges
  • Studios

  • Record labels
  • Production companies
  • Other employers in the radio, television, movie, and video game industries

Strategies

  • Work with individual athletes or artists, as well as the sports and entertainment companies that hire them, on a range of issues including contracts, intellectual property, royalties, or disputes.
  • Firms specializing in this area are more commonly found in Los Angeles, New York City, and Nashville.

Area

Property/Real Estate Law

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Large corporations
  • Financial institutions

  • Government
  • Property management firms

Strategies

  • Deal with individuals or organizations on matters  related to land or property. Lawyers may focus on contractual work or litigation.

Area

Education Law

Employers

  • Educational institutions:
    • K-12 school districts
    • Universities/colleges

  • Government
  • Law firms

Strategies

  • Represent educational institutions, students, or parents on issues related to the educational process such as: special education rights, student discipline, teacher/administration selection/retention, etc.

Area

Financial Planning, Estate Planning, and Investment Banking

Employers

  • Bank trust departments
  • Brokerage firms

  • Insurance companies
  • Development offices for preparatory schools, hospitals, and universities

Strategies

  • Insurance “Estate Planning” positions require interest and ability in sales.
  • Bank trust department positions are good for those who do not want to litigate or be confrontational.
  • An undergraduate major in accounting or finance may be helpful.

Area

Politics

  • Lobbying/Government Relations
  • Elected Office

Employers

  • Corporations
  • Trade and professional associations
  • Political action committees

  • Law firms
  • Public interest advocacy groups
  • Government

Strategies

  • Clerkship or summer associate positions with law firms providing lobbying services provide good experience.
  • Demonstrate an interest in politics through your undergraduate major, active campaigning, or research papers/articles.
  • Obtain full-time law firm experience as a stepping stone into field.
  • Acquire superior writing skills.
  • Develop a pleasing personality, enthusiasm, and high energy level. Demonstrate a service-oriented attitude.
  • Show ability to work with people and good communication and organizational skills.
  • Learn to enlist the help of others.
  • Consider earning a joint Masters of Public Administration/JD degree.

General Information

  • Students interested in attending law school may choose any major of interest. Some undergraduate majors can help prepare students for a particular area of law, (e.g., a B.S. in environmental science) for a career in environmental law.
  • Develop strong research and writing skills. Enhance communication skills through public speaking courses, debate team, or Toast Masters (a public speaking organization).
  • Maintain a high grade point average to increase chances of gaining admission to law school, and thoroughly prepare for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).
  • Join Phi Alpha Delta professional association.
  • Secure strong personal recommendations from professors.
  • Find part-time jobs or internships in law firms or government agencies to reality test your interest in law and to gain relevant experience.
  • Participate in mock trial, student government, student judiciary boards, and other related organizations.
  • Completing the law degree, Juris Doctor or JD, typically takes three years of full-time coursework.  After completion, one must pass a state bar examination in order to practice law in that state.
  • New law specialties are always emerging and the fields included here are not exhaustive. Consider your interests and skills when choosing an area of practice and research fields more thoroughly to learn how to effectively plan for a career in that area.
  • Law school graduates may also find job opportunities outside the field of law if interested in pursuing alternatives.

Area

Criminalistics

  • Crime scene reconstruction and mapping
  • Fingerprint examination
  • Firearm and toolmark identification

  • Fire and explosives investigation
  • Trace evidence collection
  • DNA collection and testing
  • Drug analysis

  • Photography
  • Blood spatter
  • Wildlife forensics
  • Computer evidence examination/Computer forensic science

Employers

  • Forensic laboratories:
    • Medical examiner
    • Coroner
    • Police department
    • Sheriff
    • Crime
    • District attorney

  • Federal agencies:
    • Drug Enforcement Agency
    • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
    • U.S. Department of Justice
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation
    • Central Intelligence Agency
    • U.S. Secret Service
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency
    • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • Consulting firms

Strategies

  • Complete a bachelor’s degree in biology, molecular biology, chemistry, physics or a related science. Supplement major with math, English, public speaking and forensic science classes.
  • Choose courses with laboratory components to build instrumentation skills.
  • Seek experience though volunteer positions and/or internships in criminal justice settings.
  • Consider completing a forensic research project in partnership with a professor.
  • Join student chapters of professional organizations such as the Association for Crime Scene Reconstruction and the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
  • Attain proficiency in writing and understanding scientific reports.
  • Pursue certification by the American Board of Criminalistics.
  • Earn a master’s degree for advanced opportunities.

Area

Toxicology

  • Ante-mortem investigation (DUI)
  • Post-mortem investigation
  • Drug testing (e.g., sweat, hair, saliva, blood, urine):
    • Workplace
    • Crime-related investigation (e.g., homicide, sexual assault)

  • Human performance monitoring
  • Animal performance monitoring
  • Environmental contamination testing

Employers

  • Laboratories:
    • Law enforcement/crime, hospital, medical examiner, coroner, horse racing, sports testing, private, university, government
  • Consulting firms

Strategies

  • Complete an undergraduate degree in a science such as chemistry, clinical chemistry, medicinal chemistry, pharmacology or related field.
  • Supplement degree with coursework in physics, computer science, statistics, math and forensic science.
  • Seek laboratory experience to develop knowledge of analytical chemistry techniques and instruments such as gas and liquid chromatography, mass spectrophotometry, UV-Visible spectrophotometry, etc.
  • Develop excellent report writing and public speaking skills, as forensic toxicologists may be required to describe complex processes to people without scientific training.
  • Join student chapters of professional organizations such as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
  • Plan to pursue a master’s degree or Ph.D. in forensic toxicology for increased opportunities.
  • Investigate certification options offered by The American Board of Forensic Toxicology or The Forensic Toxicology Certification Board.

Area

Questioned Documents

  • Document (handwritten, typed, printed, copied):
    • Examination/Analysis
    • Comparison
    • Authentication
    • Dating
    • Alteration detection
    • Restoration

Employers

  • Police departments
  • Sheriff offices
  • Crime labs
  • Law offices
  • Insurance companies
  • Hospitals

  • Government agencies:
    • State and federal bureaus of investigation
    • U.S. Postal Inspection Service Headquarters
    • U.S. Secret Service
    • U.S. Armed Forces
  • Private practice

Strategies

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in a science discipline such as biology or chemistry.
  • Take courses in forensic document examination, forensic science, criminal justice or criminalistics.
  • Cultivate attention to detail and laboratory techniques used for physical and chemical analyses.
  • Develop communication skills including public speaking to provide expert testimonials and written communication skills for compiling reports.
  • Become familiar with various types of paper, ink, toner, correction material, printing processes, etc.
  • Maintain current knowledge of new technologies in the field through journals i.e. Journal of the American Society of Questioned Document Examiners and/or membership in professional organizations such as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
  • Plan to complete a two-year apprenticeship under the supervision of a recognized professional affiliated with the American Board of Forensic Document Examiners.

Area

Odontology

  • Post-mortem identification (mass fatalities, homicide)
  • Age estimation

  • Bite mark analysis (assault, abuse)
  • DNA collection and testing (salivary)
  • Dental malpractice

Employers

  • Medical examiners
  • Coroners

  • Government agencies
  • U.S. Armed Forces

  • Law firms
  • Clinics
  • Private practice

Strategies

  • Forensic odontologists typically serve as general dentists and perform “on call” forensic examinations on contractual bases.
  • There is no specific major required to apply to dental school, though many students major in biological sciences. Research prerequisites for dental schools, and choose an undergraduate major that matches your interests and program requirements.
  • Develop attention to detail, fine motor skills and patience.
  • Earn superior undergraduate grades and secure strong faculty recommendations for admission to top-tier dental schools.
  • Prepare for the Dental Admissions Test (DAT), as DAT scores are a major consideration for acceptance into dental school.
  • Plan to shadow dentists and conduct informational interviews, particularly with those who perform forensic examinations.
  • Join student chapters of related organizations such as The American Society of Forensic Odontology and/or the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
  • Expect to spend about eight years in school, four at the undergraduate level and four for dental school.
  • Pursue certification offered by the American Board of Forensic Odontology, which requires documentation of work in the field and examinations.

Area

Pathology/Medical Examiner

  • Post-mortem investigation
    • Post-mortem identification
    • Post-mortem examination/autopsy
    • Cause/Time of death determination
    • Physical evidence collection/analysis
    • Disease study

  • Clinical forensic pathology (investigations of the living)
    • Injury interpretation (abuse)

Employers

  • City, county, state, and federal governments
  • U.S. Armed Forces

  • College and university medical schools
  • Hospitals
  • Private organizations

Strategies

  • Forensic pathologists are medical doctors who have completed M.D. or D.O. degrees.
  • There is no specific major required to apply to medical school. However, most medical schools require significant study in biology, chemistry, organic chemistry and physics.
  • Research prerequisites for medical schools, and choose an undergraduate focus that meets program requirements.
  • Supplement coursework with forensic science classes to increase knowledge of principles, practices and techniques relevant to investigations.
  • Earn high grades and seek strong faculty recommendations for admission to medical school.
  • Prepare appropriately to earn a high Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) score.
  • Volunteer/shadow in healthcare environments such as hospitals, clinics or medical examiner offices.
  • Participate in student chapters of health or forensic-related professional organizations such as the National Association of Medical Examiners; pursue leadership roles.
  • Develop strong oral and written communication skills for speaking with non-medical professionals, including victim families and jurors, and for completing detailed reports.
  • Demonstrate manual dexterity, fine motor and problem solving skills.
  • Expect to spend 13-15 years in school, four at the undergraduate level, four for medical school and four to five years of residency. Candidates must complete an additional one to two year forensic pathology fellowship to sit for the American Board of Pathology forensic pathology examination/certification.

Area

Physical/Forensic Anthropology

  • Human skeletal recovery
  • Human skeletal identification:
    • Age estimation
    • Ancestry, sex, stature determination
    • Cause/Time of death determination

  • Animal skeletal identification
  • Soil/Vegetation analysis
  • Crime scene investigation
  • Facial reproduction

  • Body decomposition
  • Injury interpretation
  • Teaching

Employers

  • Medical examiners
  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Private labs
  • Local, state and federal government

  •  U.S. Armed Forces:
    • Armed Forces Institute of Pathology
    • Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC)

  • Museums
  • Non-government organizations (e.g., ad hoc tribunals)
  • Colleges and universities

Strategies

  • Obtain a bachelor’s degree in anthropology or a related field such as biology or sociology with a minor in anthropology.
  • Complete additional coursework in forensic science, statistics, archaeological recovery, GIS, anatomy and skeletal biology.
  • Demonstrate curiosity, analytical thinking skills and the ability to persevere through potentially lengthy assignments.
  • Develop strong oral communication skills, and learn to write detailed scientific reports.
  • Seek student-membership in professional organizations such as the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
  • Gain research experience by assisting professors or other professionals with forensic anthropology casework.
  • Seek internships or volunteer opportunities in museums, and prepare to relocate to access the most employment opportunities.
  • Maintain a high grade point average and establish strong recommendations for admission to top graduate programs in the field.
  • Plan to earn at least a Master’s degree in anthropology to access most jobs in the field.
  • Earn a Ph.D. in physical or forensic anthropology for university and college faculty positions and advanced research posts. Many forensic anthropologists teach and conduct research in addition to casework.
  • Research certification offered through the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, which requires demonstrated experience and examinations.

Area

Forensic Psychiatry/Psychology

  • Criminal responsibility determination
  • Competency determination

  • Risk assessment:
    • Sex offender
    • Violence
    • Suicide
  • Evaluation
  • Involuntary hospitalization
  • Right to refuse treatment
  • Disability compensation

  • Family/Domestic consultation:
    • Custody
    • Juvenile delinquency
    • Parental fitness
    • Abuse
    • Adoption
  • Sexual harassment
  • Workplace violence

Employers

  • Hospitals including prison and state facilities
  • Local, state, and federal government:
    • Departments of correction
    • Federal Bureau of Investigation

  • Colleges and universities
  • Private practice

Strategies

  • Develop social perceptiveness, active listening, oral and written communication, critical thinking and problem solving skills for employment in psychiatry/psychology.
  • Earn exceptional grades, secure faculty recommendations and plan for the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) or the Graduate Record Exam (GRE), respectively.
  • Seek volunteer, part-time, internship and/or research experience with professors or clinicians.
  • Join related student chapters of professional organizations and stay current on research in the field.
  • Forensic psychiatrists are medical doctors with a specialty in forensic training. They complete M.D. degrees, residency in psychiatry and often an additional two years of post-residency training in forensic psychiatry. Plan to spend at least 12 years in school.
  • Research prerequisites for medical colleges, and choose an undergraduate major that meets your interests and program requirements.
  • Learn the requirements for competency in forensic psychiatry sponsored by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
  • Forensic psychologists obtain Ph.D. degrees in psychology. They generally earn undergraduate degrees in a behavioral science such as psychology, sociology, anthropology, etc. then complete four to seven years of graduate study.
  • Plan to pursue a post-doctoral fellowship in forensic psychology.
  • Secure licensure through your state psychology licensing board.
  • Inquire about forensic psychology certification through the American Board of Professional Practice in Psychology.

Area

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Supervision

Employers

  • Colleges and universities

Strategies

  • Seek experience teaching or tutoring.
  • Develop strong written and oral communication skills and the ability to present material well.
  • Assist a professor with research and pursue related experience such as volunteer and internship opportunities.
  • Take coursework related to research and statistics.
  • Maintain a high GPA and secure strong recommendations from faculty.
  • Network with others in your field through membership in professional associations and organizations.
  • Earn master’s degree for some post-secondary teaching positions.
  • Earn Ph.D. for professor positions which can include research, teaching, supervision and lab administration.

General Information

  • Students interested in forensic science should note that countless undergraduate majors, minors and concentrations may lead to work in this field. The coursework is primarily science-based. Students pursuing this path should plan to complete numerous classes in chemistry and biology.
  • Beware of inaccuracies of the forensic science field as portrayed on television. Research the field and requirements carefully in advance.
  • Most professional forensic science positions require a graduate degree. Research admissions requirements, take prerequisite courses and plan for admission exams.
  • Demonstrate curiosity, analytical thinking and attention to detail for precise documentation of procedures and findings.
  • Develop tolerance for working in extreme conditions at times and in proximity to injury and/or death.
  • Expect to work irregular, “on call” hours.
  • Gain relevant work experience through internships, part-time jobs or volunteer positions.
  • Join professional associations and community organizations to stay abreast of current issues in the field and to develop networking contacts.
  • Read scientific journals related to your area of interest.
  • Forensic scientists may deliver expert testimony in court proceedings. Learn to communicate and collaborate effectively with people in and outside of the criminal justice system including attorneys, judges and members of juries.
  • Plan to participate in ongoing training to maintain up-to-date knowledge of technologies/advances in your specialty area.
  • Research and maintain current certification for your specialty through accredited organizations.
  • Some law enforcement officers work in the forensic science field after receiving specialized training offered by agencies.
  • There is no specific path for becoming a profiler. One must have a proven track record as an investigator before being considered for specific training in this area.
  • Engineering science is a growing field within forensic science. Professionals earn engineering degrees and specialize in areas such as accident reconstruction, failure analysis, quality review, design review, etc. Findings are often applied to litigation and regulation.

Area

Emergency Management and Disaster Relief

  • Disaster mitigation planning
  • Procedure/Policy development
  • Emergency preparation
  • Preparedness training
  • Response
  • Mitigation and recovery

 

  • Crisis management
  • Evaluation/Assessment
  • Emergency field coordination
  • Inspection
  • Building and facility inspection

 

  • Fundraising/Grant writing
  • Volunteer coordination
  • Homeland security
  • Consultation
  • Teaching

 

Employers

  • Local and state government
    • Law enforcement
  • Federal government:
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency
    • Military
    • Peace Corps

  • Healthcare organizations: hospitals
  • Public health organizations
  • Port authorities and airports
  • Community relief organizations:
    • American Red Cross
    • International Red Cross
    • CARE

  • Educational institutions: universities and colleges
  • International organizations such as:
    • World Health Organization (WHO)
    • United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF)
    • United Nations Development Programme
    • World Bank
    • Private businesses

Strategies

  • There is not one clear path for working in emergency management. A wide variety of programs exist, including undergraduate and graduate degree options. It is important to research programs fully to find the best fit.
  • Typically, a bachelors degree is required to secure an entry-level position. Consider majors in public administration, environmental science, political science, sociology, and business if not enrolled in an emergency management program.
  • Certificate programs are also available to students who seek a shorter program focused on career development or knowledge of a specific discipline. Many certificate programs are available online to specialize in bioterrorism preparedness, disaster preparedness, or homeland security.
  • The field of emergency management and disaster relief overlap with varied career areas such as law enforcement, nursing, social work, and others. Consider related occupations and explore all your options.
  • Emergency Management is a competitive field and related work experience is essential. Consider obtaining EMT training and certification or work in a healthcare related field.
  • Volunteer with your local emergency management or disaster relief organization. Seek training with your local American Red Cross (ARC) chapter.
  • Gain experience through internships.
  • Develop strong communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. Learn to handle stress.
  • Keep up to date with current issues of concern for emergency management professionals.
  • Join a professional association such as the National Emergency Management Association or the International Association of Emergency Managers.
  • Be proactive when job searching. Emergency management positions can be difficult to find and are not always called emergency management.
  • Many employers, especially in the public sector, require certification in the National Incident Management System. Courses to get certified can be taken online.
  • Learn about government application processes. Contact your campus career center for assistance.
  • Emergency management can be good preparation for graduate study in public administration, international affairs, management, and homeland security.

Area

Social Services 

  • Corrections
  • Probation
  • Parole
  • Juvenile justice
  • Program development
  • Outreach

  • Mentoring
  • Victim’s assistance
  • Counseling
  • Casework
  • Prevention services
  • Advocacy

  • Supervision
  • Assessment
  • Reporting
  • Grant writing
  • Consulting
  • Administration

Employers

  • Government agencies
  • State and federal correction facilities
  • County jails
  • Precinct station houses
  • Prison camps
  • Youth correction facilities
  • Voluntary correction facilities

  • Halfway houses and pre-release programs
  • Reintegration programs
  • Alternative schools
  • Juvenile detention centers
  • Juvenile group homes
  • Women’s and family shelters
  • Domestic violence agencies

  • Immigration and naturalization services
  • Medical centers
  • Other nonprofit organizations
  • Adult education providers
  • Public and private high schools
  • Residential treatment facilities

Strategies

  • Pursue classes or training in topics such as victimology, social problems, diversity issues, or grieving.
  • Supplement curriculum with courses in psychology, sociology, social work, or child and family studies.
  • To work with juveniles, gain experience with youth through sports teams, as a summer camp counselor, in parks and recreation programs, or community/religious youth groups.
  • Seek volunteer or internship positions in areas such as employment interviewing, social casework, substance abuse, rehabilitation, or juvenile justice.
  • Learn to work well with people of diverse backgrounds. Study a second language for increased marketability.
  • Maintain a blemish-free driving and criminal record.
  • Gain firearms and self-defense training for some areas.
  • Earn a master’s degree in social work or counseling for therapy positions.
  • Obtain a master’s degree in criminal justice or business for upper-level positions in facilities.

Area

Judiciary and Law

  • Court reporting/transcription services
  • Court clerkship
  • Security
  • Legal assistance

  • Legal research
  • Administration
  • Legal representation

Employers

  • Government agencies:
    • Department of Social Services
    • Department of Justice
    • Department of Treasury
    • Department of Defense

  • Local, state, and federal courts
  • Law firms
  • Corporate legal departments
  • Public interest law organizations
  • Self-employed

Strategies

  • Develop strong research, computer, and writing skills.
  • Consider a double major or minor in the humanities such as English, philosophy, or history as these build strong writing skills.
  • Attend a post-secondary vocational or technical college that offers court reporting (CR) or Paralegal (CLA) certification programs.
  • Join a research group and learn to use software packages for research positions.
  • Seek opportunities to observe courtroom proceedings and become familiar with the legal system.
  • Participate in mock trial groups.
  • Maintain a high GPA and secure strong faculty recommendations to gain admittance to law school.
  • Research admissions requirements for individual institutions.
  • Obtain a law degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Area

Law Enforcement 

  • Patrolling
  • Investigating
  • Probation
  • Parole

  • Court security
  • Surveillance
  • Loss prevention
  • Forensics

Employers

  • City/County Government Organizations:
    • Police departments
    • Correction facilities
    • County sheriff departments
    • Liquor Control Commission
    • Animal control offices
  • State Government Organizations:
    • State troopers
    • Crime laboratories
    • Penitentiaries

  • Federal Government Organizations:
    • U.S. Customs and Border Protection
    • Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI)
    • Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
    • Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)
    • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
    • Department of Homeland Security
    • Postal Service
    • Federal Marshals
    • Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks
    • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
    • National Parks Service
    • Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, Explosives
    • Armed services

  • Prisons
  • Detention centers
  • Youth correction facilities
  • Airports and other transportation facilities
  • Crime laboratories
  • Colleges and universities
  • Banks and retail organizations

Strategies

  • Obtain related training or certifications such as CPR, first aid, or EMT. Seek training in firearms and self-defense.
  • Volunteer to work in a police department or campus safety department.
  • Complete a formal police academy program upon graduation.
  • Develop strong interviewing, researching, writing, and computer skills.
  • Maintain a healthy and physically fit lifestyle.
  • Learn to work well with people of diverse backgrounds and develop multicultural competency.
  • Study a “mission critical” language as those are in high demand by the federal government.
  • Become familiar with the government application process.  Seek assistance from your campus career center.
  • Many federal law enforcement agencies primarily hire candidates with experience (e.g., military, law enforcement, or other areas). Research entry requirements for the agencies that interest you.
  • For a career in Forensics:
    • Obtain a double major in criminal justice and a hard science such as biology, chemistry, or biochemistry.
    • Complete an internship in a crime laboratory to gain experience in the forensic application of science.
    • Consider earning a master’s degree in Forensic Science or related discipline for increased opportunities.

Area

Business

  • Private security
  • Consulting
  • Installation
  • Investigating
  • Systems integration

  • Global intelligence
  • Private investigation
  • Internet security
  • Surveillance

  • Loss prevention
  • Property loss management
  • Program development
  • Staffing and training

Employers

  • Insurance companies
  • Banks
  • Private security companies
  • Software companies
  • Retail organizations

  • Hotels and resorts
  • Health care facilities
  • Transportation services
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Manufacturers

  • Other large corporations
  • Local, state, and federal agencies
  • Private individuals
  • Self-employed
  • Online companies

Strategies

  • Minor in business or computer science, and/or take related courses in computer science or computer systems.
  • Gain experience in an area of interest through internships, jobs, or volunteer positions.
  • Seek opportunities that include training in the hardware and software of security systems.
  • Develop exceptional written and oral communication skills, along with the ability to present information to others.
  • Pursue leadership opportunities in campus organizations to hone interpersonal skills.
  • Attend firearm safety courses. Obtain first aid and CPR certification.
  • Consider gaining military experience and training.
  • Maintain current knowledge of computer languages and technology.
  • Obtain a high GPA to ensure a greater number of graduate school opportunities.
  • Earn a graduate degree in business or law for upper-level positions.

Area

Education 

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Supervision and consultation

Employers

  • Colleges and universities

Strategies

  • Earn a graduate degree for post-secondary teaching opportunities.
  • Serve as a tutor to other students.
  • Develop strong written and oral communication skills and the ability to present materials well to others.
  • Assist a professor with research.
  • Take additional coursework related to research and statistics.
  • Maintain a high GPA and secure strong recommendations from faculty.
  • Network with others in your field through membership in professional associations and organizations.

General Information

  • Most entry-level positions for criminal justice majors reside with law enforcement and social service organizations.
  • Depending upon one’s career goals, earn a master’s degree in disciplines such as criminal justice, forensic science, social work, counseling, or business to obtain positions involving therapy, higher levels of administration, forensics, or research. Earn a doctoral degree for university teaching positions.
  • Many criminal justice professions require candidates to possess strong oral and written communication skills, good listening skills, and the ability to work with a wide range of diverse populations. Fluency in a second language is also desirable.
  • Obtain experience through volunteer, practicum, or internship opportunities.
  • Supplement program of study with courses in business, psychology, anthropology, or sociology. Course work related to the hard sciences (biology, chemistry, or biochemistry) is necessary for career opportunities in forensics.
  • Internet security is a rapidly growing area with a wide variety of career opportunities. Supplement coursework with computer science and technology courses to gain entry into this field.
  • Conduct informational interviews and job shadow with professionals in fields of interest to learn more about opportunities.
  • Stay up to date on advancements in your field by reading professional journals and related literature, joining professional organizations, attending conferences, and networking with others.
  • Be prepared to complete physical and psychological testing, fitness evaluations, and other evaluative tools for entry into law enforcement and related careers.

 

Area

Local Government

  • City management
  • Financial administration
  • Budget analysis

  • General services
  • Community affairs

  • Social services
  • Urban planning

Employers

  • Counties
  • Municipalities
  • Townships

  • School districts
  • Special districts

Strategies

  • Get involved in community organizations and events and develop a network of contacts.
  • Employment opportunities in local government tend to follow population trends in terms of growth and decline in availability of positions.  Be prepared to relocate to find the most opportunities.
  • Gain relevant experience through internships and/or volunteer positions.
  • Conduct applicable research that could be useful to your community.
  • Research local government job application procedures and applicable public service exams.

Area

State Government

  • Executive Branch functions
  • Finance and administration
  • Human resource management
  • Environmental management
  • Public safety and criminal justice

  • Risk management
  • Emergency services management
  • Commerce and insurance
  • Purchasing and acquisitions
  • Budget analysis

  • Community services
  • Social services
  • Urban planning
  • Legislature
  • Judicial

Employers

  • Departments of state government (varies by state)
  • Legislative agencies:
    • Legislative Reference Services, Bill Drafting Services, Legislative Councils, and Budgeting and Auditing staffs
  • State Supreme Courts

  • Personal staff of legislators
  • Intermediate Appellate Courts
  • Trial Courts of General Jurisdiction
  • Trial Courts of Limited Jurisdiction

Strategies

  • Research the organization of your state government.
  • Develop specialized skills and interests for particular populations or issues, (e.g., disability, education, homelessness, etc).
  • Develop strong research and writing skills.
  • Make political contacts through local legislators of both houses. Use referrals and informational interviews to build a network.
  • Volunteer to work on political campaigns.
  • Consider pursuing a relevant graduate degree for more opportunities and advancement.
  • Learn the state government employment procedures and utilize your campus career center for assistance with the application process.
  • Research applicable public service exams.

Area

Federal Government: Legislative Branch

  • Legislative agencies
  • Legislature administrative staff
    • Washington-based
    • Home district
    • Committee

Employers

  • Various agencies:
    • General Accounting Office, Library of Congress, Government Printing Office, Congressional Budget Office
  • Offices of senators and representatives

Strategies

  • Research the structure of Congress and various opportunities available.
  • Develop excellent research, writing, communication, and organizational skills.
  • Build a strong personal network.
  • Explore districts other than your own.

Area

Federal Government: Judicial Branch

 

Employers

  • Supreme Court
  • U.S. Courts

  • Federal Judiciary
  • Supporting organizations

Strategies

  • Research the structure and functions of the federal judiciary system.
  • Some positions require a law degree and bar certification.

Area

Federal Government: Executive Branch

  • Office of the President
  • Management and budget

  • Administration
  • Council of Economic Advisors

  • U.S. Trade Representatives
  • Executive departments

Employers

  • Office of the President
  • Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Defense, Education, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Interior, Justice, Labor

Strategies

  • Research various agencies and departments to discover which ones may be the best fit for your major and experience.
  • Conduct informational interviews with government employees.
  • Apply for a government internship through the Pathways Program or other student programs to gain relevant experience.
  • Learn federal job application procedures and how to write a strong resume. Use your campus career center for help with the application process.

Area

Federal Government: Independent Agencies

  • Finance and administration
  • Budget analysis
  • Purchasing
  • Human resource management
  • Environmental management

  • Security and protection
  • Enforcement and compliance
  • Commerce and insurance
  • Purchasing and acquisitions
  • Program management

  • Risk management
  • Emergency services management
  • Social services
  • Legal

Employers

  • Independent Agencies include the following (not an exhaustive list):
    • Coordination and Public Safety
    • Emergency Response Policy
    • Environmental Protection Agency
    • Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

  • Continued:
    • Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
    • Federal Emergency Management Agency
    • General Services Administration
    • National Archives & Records Administration
    • Nuclear Regulatory Commission

  • Continued:
    • Office of Personnel Management
    • Securities & Exchange Commission
    • Tennessee Valley Authority
    • U.S. Information Agency
    • U.S. International Development Cooperation

Strategies

  • There are a large number of niche areas and specialized agencies within the federal
    government.  Do extensive research in order to find the area that best matches your skills and    interests.
  • Take courses or minor in applicable interest area(s).
  • Maintain a high grade point average to qualify for government employment.
  • Apply for a government internship through the Pathways Program or other student programs to gain relevant experience.
  • Research applicable public service exams and hiring procedures.
  • Earn a graduate degree to be more competitive for positions.

Area

Political Support/Lobbying

  • Elected or appointed leadership
  • Campaign management
  • Staff administration

  • Special interest advocacy
  • Political advising

  • Lobbying
  • Party administration

Employers

  • Political Action Committees (PAC)
  • Industrial, educational, and public interest groups

  • Political parties
  • Campaigns: national, state, or local

  • Lobbying organizations
  • Large business firms

Strategies

  • Get involved with a political party/group and develop a personal network. The ability to develop networks, coalitions, and alliances with other associations is highly valued.
  • Volunteer to work on political campaigns.
  • Gain experience with government agencies or departments to help build relationships. Develop excellent public relations, interpersonal, and communication skills.
  • Learn how to persuade and negotiate.  Participate on a debate team.
  • Volunteer in organizations with similar interests and goals.

Area

Nonprofit

  • Administration
  • Management
  • Public relations

  • Fund raising/Development
  • Policy analysis
  • Research

  • Grant writing
  • Direct service

Employers

  • Local and national nonprofit agencies
  • Foundations
  • Charitable organizations
  • Trade or professional associations

  • Special interest groups
  • Labor unions
  • Libraries
  • Museums

  • Historic sites/historical societies
  • Research organizations and think tanks
  • Educational institutions

Strategies

  • Gain experience through volunteering or completing an internship.
  • Supplement curriculum with courses in business, psychology, sociology, or social work.
  • Obtain leadership roles in relevant campus and community organizations.
  • Develop strong communication and research skills.
  • Learn how to write grants.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and experience in a specialty area, (e.g., public health, environment, urban issues).
  • Research organizations’ values to find a good fit with yours. It is critical that you are knowledgeable about and committed to the work you’re going to do.
  • Investigate term of service or service corps positions as a way to gain entry into the field.
  • Consider earning a graduate degree for more job opportunities and advancement.

Area

Business

  • Human resources
  • Budget analysis
  • Management

  • Sales/Marketing
  • Purchasing
  • Management consulting

  • Occupational safety coordination
  • Public relations

Employers

  • Product and service organizations
  • Retail stores
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants

  • Manufacturers
  • Insurance companies
  • Print and electronic media

  • Consulting firms
  • Other business corporations
  • Association management firms

Strategies

  • Develop strong analytical, communication, and technical skills.
    Obtain related work experience in a business setting through internships and summer or part-time jobs.
  • Earn a minor in business.
  • Hone computer skills and learn software packages such as databases, spreadsheets, and presentations.
  • Get involved in student organizations and seek leadership roles.
  • Become knowledgeable about corporate social responsibility.

Area

International Affairs

See also What Can I Do With a Major in Global Studies?

  • Governance
  • Policy making and analysis
  • Public sector reform
  • Poverty-reduction strategy

  • Ethics and anti-corruption
  • Human rights
  • Public law
  • Organization and management development

  • Resource development
  • Public-private partnerships
  • Media/Communication policy and practice
  • Education

Employers

  • Intergovernmental agencies, (e.g., World Bank, United Nations)
  • National governments

  • Non-profit agencies
  • Policy and research organizations

  • Private businesses
  • Contracting and consulting firms

Strategies

  • Obtain internships or volunteer in order to gain valuable experience in areas of interest.
  • Participate in overseas mission trips or spend a Semester at Sea.
  • Become familiar with national or international application procedures.
  • Research the history and culture of countries or geographic areas of interest.
  • Take steps towards obtaining work or study visas for various locations.
  • Become proficient in at least one foreign language.
  • Spend time studying or working abroad, especially working to make and maintain contacts in foreign countries.
  • Earn a double major or minor in order to gain additional skills or knowledge needed for various positions (i.e., Africana studies, Asian studies, business, psychology, sociology, etc.).
  • For higher level positions an advanced degree is necessary. Research different programs and the concentrations they offer in order to find the best fit for your interests.

Area

Healthcare

  • Health services administration:
    • Operation
    • Finance
    • Program management
    • Material management
    • Human resources
    • Medical staff relations

  • Health services administration continued:
    • Information technology
    • Marketing
    • Public relations
    • Facilities
    • Patient care
    • Provider relations
    • Government relations

  • Health policy:
    • Research
    • Policy analysis
    • Policy development
    • Legislative work
    • Lobbying

Employers

  • Hospitals, health systems, and clinics
  • Medical groups
  • Hospices
  • Home health agencies
  • Long-term care facilities
  • Mental health facilities

  • Managed care organizations
  • Health finance organizations
  • Insurance companies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Academic medical centers
  • Federal government agencies

  • State government agencies
  • Public health departments
  • Advocacy groups
  • Health foundations
  • Nongovernmental agencies, (e.g., Red Cross)
  • Professional associations, (e.g., American Medical Association)

Strategies

  • Supplement your curriculum with business courses.
  • Gain experience through internships or jobs in a healthcare setting.
  • Develop strong communication and technology skills.  Learn how to use database and spread-sheet software.
  • Get involved in student government or campus organizations related to health issues.
  • Learn to work well on teams and develop strong leadership skills.
  • Join related professional organizations and build a network of contacts.
  • Stay abreast of news in the healthcare industry.
  • Earn a master’s degree in public health, health administration, public administration, business, or a related field.
  • To prepare for positions in lobbying and legislation, some will earn a law degree.

Area

Law

  • Contractual
  • Corporate
  • Nonprofit or public interest

  • Government
  • Mediation
  • Other specialties
  • Law assistance

Employers

  • Law firms
  • Federal, state, and local government
  • Private practice
  • Corporations

  • Special interest groups
  • Universities and colleges
  • State government agencies

  • Nonprofit and public interest organizations, (e.g., ACLU, NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Legal)
    Services Corporation
  • Legal clinics
  • Other private legal services

Strategies

  • Develop strong research skills and attention to detail.
  • Participate in debate or forensic team to hone communication skills.
  • Choose courses or a minor to specialize in a particular area of law, (e.g., a minor in business for a career in corporate law).
  • Find part-time or summer work in a law firm.
  • Shadow an attorney to learn more about the field and various specialties.
  • Get involved in pre-law organizations.
  • Plan to attend law school and earn a law degree.  Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations. Prepare for the LSAT (Law School Admission Test).
  • Obtain specialized certification for paralegal positions.

General Information

  • An undergraduate degree in Public Administration, with the appropriate experience, is sufficient for entry-level positions in government and business.
  • A graduate degree in public administration, public health administration, or business administration helps prepare students for management and upper-level positions. Research programs in order to choose specializations or concentrations of interest.
  • Consider law school for careers in upper-level politics, administration, or management. Explore joint J.D. and M.P.A. programs to see if they meet your career goals.
  • Obtain a broad liberal arts background including written and verbal communication, research, and language skills.
  • Part-time, summer, internship, and volunteer experiences are extremely helpful to find positions in government affairs, nonprofit organizations or public service areas.
  • Develop strong leadership skills; run for office in clubs and organizations in school or community.  Volunteer to organize or lead an event or project.
  • Get involved in Student Government. Assist with campus, local, or national campaigns to gain experience and build relationships.
  • Demonstrate interest/involvement in community affairs and events.
  • Join related professional organizations such as the American Society of for Public Administration (ASPA).
  • Build a strong personal network through informal contacts. Political connections are helpful for appointed positions.  Most agencies respond to professional connections.
  • Expect keen competition for federal positions. Prepare yourself with a strong academic background and good experience. Seek the classes and experiences that will best prepare you.
  • Develop patience, persistence, and drive in obtaining government positions.
  • Explore application to government internship programs specifically for college students, such as the Pathways Program at the federal level.
  • Research websites that address various government job opportunities, pay structure, and hiring processes.
  • Consider military experience and training or the Peace Corps as an entryway into government jobs and public service.
  • Plan on following a flexible career path to higher positions.  Many people begin on the clerical or entry level in order to gain experience and network.