The criminal justice field is large and continuing to expand as new technologies emerge. Criminal justice is the system in which crime is detected and dealt with. If criminology is the theory, criminal justice is the practical application. For people seeking degrees in criminal justice, there are a number of job options and career paths available. Most of these jobs will be found in the public sector, either in law enforcement, the courts system or the corrections system.
Studying criminal justice opens the door to many career possibilities. Some require more education, but all require a strong knowledge of the criminal justice system which can be acquired through a good education in criminal justice.Many criminal justice programs in provide students with a broad understanding of the criminal justice system. The combination of theory and applied skills provides students with the knowledge and experience they need to meet employment demands for criminal justice careers.
The education requirements for a career in criminal justice depend on what career path you choose. For higher level positions a bachelor’s degree is required, but the more entry-level and practical positions may only require an associate’s degree from a community college.
Courses in a criminal justice programare designed to develop skills you'll need on the job: communications and interpersonal skills, critical thinking and problem solving, public speaking and self-confidence. Typical employers in the criminal justice field are government, educational institutions and the non-profit sector.Complex legal issues and advanced technology mean employers value higher education and people who continue to learn on the job. New niches in the field include technology, computer security and restorative justice.
Some of the courses that should be offered in a criminal justice program include:
• Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
• Comparative Justice Systems
• Introduction to Policing
• Historical Perspectives in Criminal Justice
• Introduction to Criminology
• Introduction to Corrections
• Interviewing and Professional Skills
• Psychological Explanations of Criminal Behaviour
• Sociological Explanations of Criminal Behaviour
• Research Methods in Criminology
• Criminal Law
• Forensic Sciences
For graduates that decide they don’t want to pursue a criminal justice career, the general skills, such as research and communication, they will have gained while studying towards a university degree will open the door to a wide range of career options. They include:
• Bail Supervisor
• Canadian Security Intelligence Service
• Case Management Officer (Corrections)
• Court Administration
• Correctional Officer
• Customs Officer
• Deputy Sheriff
• Family Court Counselor
• Immigration Officer
• Insurance Adjuster
• Insurance and Fraud Investigator
• Lobbyist/Civil Liberties Advocate
• Paralegal/Legal Assistant
• Parole Officer
• Police Officer
• Private Investigator
• Probation Officer
• Victim Service Worker
• Youth Justice Worker
Careers in criminal justice offer a great deal of stability not often found in most industries. They also provide a competitive salary and generous retirement benefits. Beyond the job security and the potential for a comfortable life after retirement, careers in criminal justice provide the intangible satisfaction of knowing that you're working to make a difference in the world around you.