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See also What Can I Do With This Major in Forensic Science

Area
Employer
Information/Strategies

Social Services

  • Corrections
  • Probation
  • Parole
  • Juvenile Justice
  • Program Development
  • Outreach
  • Mentoring
  • Victim’s Assistance
  • Counseling
  • Casework
  • Prevention Services
  • Advocacy
  • Administration
  • Supervision
  • Assessment
  • Reporting
  • Grant Writing
  • Consulting
  • Government agencies including Child Protective Services
  • 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
  • Pursue classes or training in topics such as victimology, social problems, diversity issues, or grieving.
  • Supplement curriculum with courses in psychology, sociology, or social work.
  • To work with juveniles, gain experience working 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, and rehabilitation, etc.
  • Learn to work well with people of diverse backgrounds. Consider learning 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.


Judiciary and Law

  • Court Reporting/Transcription Services
  • Court Clerkship
  • Security
  • Legal Assistance
  • Legal Research
  • Administration
  • Legal Representation
  • Local, state, and federal courts
  • Government agencies including Departments of:
    • Social Services
    • Justice
    • Treasury
    • Defense
  • Law firms
  • Corporate legal departments
  • Public interest law organizations
  • Self-employed
  • Develop strong research, computer, and writing skills.
  • Consider a double major or minor in the social sciences such as psychology, anthropology, sociology, or political science.
  • Attend a postsecondary vocational or technical college that offers court reporting (CR) or paralegal (CLA) certification programs.
  • 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 grade point average to gain admittance to law school. Research admissions requirements.
  • Obtain a law degree from a law school accredited by the American Bar Association (ABA).


Law Enforcement

  • Patrolling
  • Investigating
  • Probation
  • Parole
  • Security
  • Surveillance
  • Loss Prevention
  • Forensics
  • City/County Government Organizations including:
    • Police departments
    • Correction facilities
    • County sheriff departments
    • Liquor Control Commission
    • Animal control offices
  • State Government Organizations including:
    • State troopers
    • Crime labs
    • Penitentiaries
  • Federal Government Organizations including:
    • 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
  • 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.
  • Learn a second language.
  • Become familiar with the government application process.
  • Some federal law enforcement agencies look to hire candidates with military backgrounds.
  • For a career in Forensics:
    • Complete an internship in a crime laboratory to gain experience in the forensic application of science.
    • Obtain a double major in criminal justice and a hard science such as biology, chemistry, or biochemistry.
    • Consider earning a master’s degree in Forensic Science or related discipline for increased opportunities.


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
  • Insurance companies
  • Banks
  • Private security companies
  • Software companies
  • Retail organizations
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Health care facilities
  • Transportation services
  • Nuclear power plants
  • Manufacturers
  • Online companies
  • Other large corporations
  • Local, state, and federal agencies
  • Private individuals
  • Self-employed
  • 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.


Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Colleges and universities
  • 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 and Strategies

  • Many criminal justice professions require candidates to possess strong oral and written communication skills and good computer skills. The ability to speak 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.
  • Develop good listening skills and the ability to work well with a wide range of diverse populations.
  • Most entry-level positions for criminal justice majors reside with law enforcement and social service organizations.
  • Internet Security is a rapidly growing area with a wide variety of career opportunities. Supplement course work with computer science and technology courses to gain entry into this field.
  • 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.
  • Conduct informational interviews with professionals in fields of interest to learn more about opportunities.
  • Be prepared to complete physical and psychological testing, fitness evaluations, and other evaluative tools for entry into law enforcement and related careers.
  • Stay up to date on advancements in your field by reading professional journals and related literature, as well as by joining professional organizations and networking with others.