What can you do with a bachelors degree in criminal justice? Many people may picture television shows such as CSI when they think about getting a degree in criminal justice, but there is much more to criminal justice than forensics. In fact, forensics is only one area in which you can earn a degree and work in this fast-growing industry, once you have completed your degree from an accredited criminal justice school. In addition to forensics, you may also consider other areas of criminal justice including law enforcement, security or crime prevention measure and legal areas.
Of course, forensics has become one of the most popular areas of criminal justice thanks to the popularity of several television shows including CSI and its many spinoffs. However, those who decide to take this course will find that the field of forensics does not work in exactly the same way as the condensed version found in scripted television. Still, this can be an exciting opportunity for those who enjoy science and working with puzzles and other mysteries.
Criminal forensic specialists not only use science in their endeavors, but they also work with the latest in computer technology and other forms of technology. You may reconstruct crime scenes and even reconstruct crime scene evidence including human bodies in cold cases, which can be crucial in helping older cases finally receive justice. When you intend to go into forensics, you will need to get the proper training in various relevant sciences for crime scene investigation or computer technologies for computer forensics.
Prevention is also a very important part of criminal justice. These days, fields such as Homeland Security and its state and local counterparts continue to grow as the need to feel security is still a concern of many Americans. Even private businesses or other organizations are in need of proper security from smaller crimes including vandalism and burglary. If you are interested in this area of criminal justice, you can direct your concentration for your degree toward crime prevention studies.
You may also consider another area of security. The field of computer and information security continues to grow as crimes such as identity theft and other white collar crimes become even more prevalent. In fact, there are still very sophisticated computer hackers that know how to collect various types of information for whatever means they decide. When you are getting into the premise security field, you will need to have some type of computer training no matter what type of security you do.
Perhaps working in the field with forensics or security is not for you. In this case, you may also look into one of the many legal positions that are needed once criminals are caught. If you want to be the one to make sure a criminal gets put behind bars, then you want to begin looking into prosecution. If you want to make sure a potentially innocent person gets a fair trial, you want to look into criminal defense.
These types of positions may require you to get training and/or education beyond a bachelor’s degree. However, paralegals are very important to the criminal justice field and may not need even the bachelor’s degree. Still, the proper training is very important here as even a small clerical error can spell disaster for an attorney. While the paralegal cannot actually represent a client in the courtroom, he or she must still learn the law in the same way as an attorney.
Law enforcement is perhaps the most common position you can get when you earn your bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. With a degree, you have many options available such as city, county or state police officer. However, different regions may have different requirements, so it is important to find out before you begin your course of study so that you are headed on the right track. Your degree can be especially useful in getting you noticed over your competition.