Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

100 Tools and Quizzes to Assess Your Risk of Everything

Sometimes the world can be a dangerous place, as disease and disaster can strike seemingly without warning and turn your life upside down. Whether you’re a consummate worrywart or just want to get a practical assessment of your risks, there are a number of tools out there that can help you understand what to look out for and whether you should be on guard. We’ve pulled together 100 tools and tests to help you establish your risk of just about everything.

Technical

From protecting your computer from hackers to making sure you don’t let your business’ network release confidential information, these tools will help you assess your risk of computer-related mishaps.

  1. SSIF Risk Assessment Toolkit: Take this short quiz to find out if you might be putting your information security at risk through unsafe practices.
  2. Get Safe Online Quiz: Are you safe when you’re browsing the net? This quiz can help you discover what your true level of online safety is.
  3. Information Technology Security Quiz: Ensure that your IT is doing everything possible to protect you from loss or theft of information by taking this quiz.
  4. Defending Wireless Devices Quiz: Wireless networks are frequently targets of those with nefarious intentions, so make sure yours gets the armor it needs by taking this quiz.
  5. Assess Your Risk of Online Fraud: If you’re worried you may become the victim of online fraud, this tool will allow you to see if you are engaging in any potentially risky behaviors that might make that a possibility.
  6. Endpoint Security Quiz: Designed more for network security professionals, this quiz will test your expertise on endpoint security to ensure your systems are locked down tight.
  7. Network Security Quiz: Network administrators should take this quiz to find out if they’re doing everything they can to lower their risk of network attacks.
  8. Business Security Quiz: Is your business’ information secure? Take this quiz to find out.
  9. Quiz: Assessing Your Company’s Security Aptitude: You might think your business has security under control, but this quiz may reveal areas where you’re at risk.
  10. PhishMe: Check out this online tool to discover where you might be vulnerable to phishers.
  11. Audit My PC: Assess your risks of online security breaches by testing out your firewall, secure surfing and website security using these tools.
  12. Assess Your Risk for Cybercrime: Stop yourself from becoming a victim of an online crime by taking this quiz, designed to point out where you may be vulnerable.
  13. Serenti Computer Security Scan: Find out just how risky your computer is with this free tool.
  14. Looks Too Good to Be True Quiz: Take this quiz to learn why to avoid falling for offers that look too good to be true.

Financial

These tools and quizzes will help you analyze the risks associated with investing, check fraud and identity theft.

  1. Identity Theft Risk Assessment Quiz: Identity theft is a growing crime as technology makes it easier than ever to get access to private information. Find out if you might be at risk through this online assessment.
  2. Oncubic Risk Assessment: How much risk are you willing to take in an investment? This tool will help you match your risk level to appropriate investments.
  3. Assess Your Investment Risk: Check out this tool to see how risky your personal investments just might be.
  4. Assess Your Risk of Check Fraud: No one wants to be the victim of check fraud so limit your risk by taking this online test.
  5. Investment Risk Quiz: Is your personal investment style on the risky side or the safe one? Find out more through this site.
  6. Risk Tolerance Quiz: Everyone has their limits and you can discover yours when it comes to investments through this quick quiz.

Lifestyle and Diet

Use these helpful quizzes and tools to establish whether your personal habits could be putting you at risk.

  1. Alcohol Use Assessment: If you’re not sure if your drinking is just good fun or is bordering on alcoholism, take this quiz to find out your risk of alcohol dependency.
  2. Stress Trigger Assessment: Find out how many things in your life act as stress triggers through this quiz so you can learn how to lower your risk of feeling stressed out.
  3. Live and Learn Quiz: Does your lifestyle promote heart health? This quiz will let you know one way or the other.
  4. Substance Abuse Assessment: Here you can find out how much you or someone you care about is at risk of substance abuse.
  5. Cholesterol Quiz: This quiz is designed to help you assess your risk of and bring under control your high cholesterol.
  6. Healthy Lifestyle Quiz: Check out this test to find out if you’re truly living a healthy lifestyle.
  7. Eating Disorder Assessment: Think you or someone near to you may be struggling with anorexia or bulimia? This quiz may help you spot the warning signs.
  8. Obesity Risk Assessment: This assessment will let you know if your BMI is within the healthy range or if you’re heading towards being overweight or obese.
  9. Risk Assessment for Nicotine Dependence: If you want to know if your casual smoking may have turned into a full-on addiction, check out this quiz.
  10. Assess Your Risk for Sun Damage: Those who spend a lot of time in the sun will appreciate this quiz that analyzes how much they’re putting their skin at risk.
  11. Assess Your Risk for Addition to Pain Medication: Pain medication can be notoriously addictive, something you don’t need on top of whatever caused you to take pain medication in the first place. Check out this quiz to see if you run the risk of getting addicted.
  12. Risk Taking Assessment: Do you have a risk taking personality? Find out for sure through this quick assessment.

Illness

Taking into account both genetics and lifestyle factors, these quizzes will help you determine your risk of a number of diseases and illnesses.

  1. DVT Risk Assessor: DVT stands for deep vein thrombosis, a potentially life threatening condition where blood clots develop in vein deep within the body. Find out your risk of getting the condition through this assessor.
  2. Coronary Artery Disease Assessment: Heart disease is a major killer around the world, so find out what your risk is by taking this test.
  3. Osteoporosis Risk Assessment for Women: This test is a great way for women to find out if they should be watching out carefully for osteoporosis, eating more calcium or just taking better care of themselves.
  4. Type 2 Diabetes Risk Assessment: With obesity on the rise, diabetes has risen with it. Find out if you’re at risk with this online quiz.
  5. Postpartum Depression Assessment: A new baby can cause a flood of emotions in any new mother, but if you feel it’s more than is normal try taking this online quiz that helps pinpoint the symptoms of early postpartum depression so you can get the treatment you need.
  6. HIV Risk Quiz: Find out what your risk of contracting HIV might be through this short quiz.
  7. Stroke Risk Assessment Quiz: Strokes kill and disable thousands of people each year and this quiz can help you assess if you might be at risk.
  8. PAD Risk Quiz: PAD, or peripheral artery disease, is caused by blockages in the arteries, often due to poor diet or lack of exercise. If you’re experiencing anything you think might be a symptom check out this quiz and call your doctor right away.
  9. Arthritis Risk Quiz: Here you’ll find a helpful tool to help you assess your risk of developing arthritis.
  10. Check Your Risk of STDs: Whether you’ve had a lot of partners or just one risky one, this test can help you assess your risk of catching an STD.
  11. Hepatitis Risk Assessment: Check out this quick assessment tool to find out if you might be at risk of getting Hepatitis.
  12. Epilepsy Risk Assessment: Genetic factors and more figure into this quiz that analyzes your chances of epilepsy.
  13. Chronic Fatigue Assessment: Feeling tired all the time? Take this quiz to find out if it might be chronic fatigue or something else.
  14. Anemia Risk Quiz: Not getting enough iron is a big deal to your body and this quiz will help you discover if you might be at risk of developing anemia associated with that deficiency

Cancer

As one of the leading causes of death, cancer is something everyone needs to watch out for and try to catch early on. These tools are designed to help you find out what your risk of developing a range of cancers is and also provide prevention, treatment and general information as well. Remember, even if the quiz says you’re at a low risk, getting regular check-ups is still an absolute must.

  1. Melanoma Risk Assessment Tool: Those spending long hours in the hot sun may want to check out this skin cancer assessment tool.
  2. Colorectal Cancer Risk Assessment: This helpful tool can be a great way to establish whether or not you may be at risk of this cancer.
  3. Ovarian Cancer Risk Assessment: Women who want to know more about their risks of ovarian cancer should check out this tool
  4. Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool: The government maintains this risk assessment tool to help women gauge their risk of breast cancer and work on better preventative measures.
  5. Lung Cancer Risk Assessment: Whether you’re a smoker or just live with one, you may want to check out this online risk assessment quiz.
  6. Cancer Genetics Risk Assessment: Find out what your genetic risk of getting cancer is with this helpful tool.
  7. Prostate Cancer Risk Assessment: Men of all ages should check out this quiz, designed to offer help in determining the risk of getting prostate cancer.
  8. Cervical Cancer Risk Assessment: Women can get a better idea of their cervical cancer risk from this quiz.
  9. Cancer Risk Factors Quiz: Are there factors in your life that put you at a high risk of developing cancer? Check out this quiz to learn more.
  10. Uterine Cancer Risk Factors: This quick tests will help women learn what some of the major risk factors for uterine cancer are.

Professional

These tests and tools are all about assessing risk for a business or job, whether you’re a farmer or looking to start your own business.

  1. Entrepreneur Risk Assessment Quiz: New business owners can find out the risk level associated with their venture through this test.
  2. Liability Risk Assessment Quiz: Is your law firm putting itself at risk of being sued? This quiz can help you learn your risk level and what you can do to make it better.
  3. Farm-A-Syst Pest Control Risk Assessment: Check out this quiz to discover your risk level of pests afflicting your crops this year.
  4. Safety Quiz: Find out if your workplace is a safe and secure one through this quiz.
  5. Assess Your Agility: Business teams can take this assessment to discover areas of risk and how prepared they are to deal with them.
  6. Professional Management Consultant Association Quiz: Business owners and managers can take this quiz to determine if their business practices put them at high, normal or low risk.
  7. Information Security Quiz: How secure is your business from computer-based attacks? This quiz can help you find out.
  8. Nonprofit CARES: Analyze the risks associated with your non-profit organization through this in-depth analysis.
  9. Head Blight Risk Assessment Tools: Farmers growing grains like wheat can find out their risk of head blight from this helpful tool.
  10. Job Burnout Quiz: Are you headed for total job burnout? This quiz offers some risk factors and signs that you might be.
  11. Assess Your Robbery Risk: Find out your business’ risk of becoming the target of theft through this online quiz.
  12. Church Emergency Risk Assessment: Those running a church can find out what their risk is in an emergency situation here.
  13. Corporate Identity Theft Assessment: Individuals aren’t the only ones that need to watch out for identity theft. This test will help businesses assess their risk of information theft as well.
  14. Outsourcing Risk Calculator: Is outsourcing right for your business? This tool can help you weigh the benefits and risks.
  15. Business Risk Management: Designed with the family business in mind, this tool helps business owners establish their overall level of risk.

Dental, Ear and Eye Health

Help keep your sensory organs and your teeth in tip-top shape by finding out your risk of a number of conditions through these tools.

  1. Eye on Nutrition Quiz: Analyze your eye health through this online quiz.
  2. Assess Your Risk of Gum Disease: Think you may be heading for gum disease? This test can help you find out and give you tips on what to do to stop it.
  3. Cavity Risk Assessment Tool: If you think your love of sugary foods is putting you at risk of developing cavities use this online tool to find out.
  4. Assess Your Risk of Dental Disease: This test assesses a wide range of dental diseases and your risk of developing them.
  5. Glaucoma Risk Quiz: Find out if you’re at risk for glaucoma by answering a few simple questions on this site.
  6. Adult Vision Risk Assessment: This assessment can help you determine if your vision care is something you need to monitor very closely.
  7. Risk Assessment for Hearing Loss: Those working in loud environments or who like to listen to headphones at top volume should take this online quiz to find out their true risk of hearing loss.
  8. Tooth Decay Risk Self-Check: Give yourself a quick, at home checkup on tooth decay risk with this test.
  9. Acid Wear Risk Assessment: Acidic products of all kinds can wear down your tooth enamel and cause those choppers to ultimately be unhealthy. Find out if what you’re eating might have an impact.
  10. Macular Degeneration Risk Quiz: Watch out for macular degeneration by learning the early warning signs from this test.

Personal

These helpful tools will give you a chance to put your level of risk to the test in everything from being assaulted to getting a cold.

  1. Risk of Being Murdered: Here you can learn how much you’re at risk for personal harm.
  2. Risk Assessment of Rape, Robbery, Stabbing, Shooting or Beating: This test addresses all kinds of personal harm and your risk of running into it, as well as offering some personal defense tips.
  3. Assault Risk Reduction Assessment: Here you’ll find out how you can lower your risk of assault.
  4. Risk Assessment of Street Assault: Live in a dangerous neighborhood? Love showing off your wealth? These factors may increase your chances of assault as this quiz details.
  5. Risk of Cheating on a Spouse or Significant Other: If you think you have a wandering eye, take this quiz to find out your risk of being disloyal.
  6. Domestic Violence Risk Assessment: This assessment is designed to find out if you’re at risk of domestic violence and what you can do to get out of a dangerous situation.
  7. How to Assess Your Risk of Getting the Flu: Determined not to get sick this winter? This site can help you learn ways to lower your risk of getting the flu.
  8. Infidelity Risk Assessment Quiz: Find out the chances of your spouse or partner being tempted by someone else through this highly unscientific quiz.
  9. Assess Your Risk of Falls: Is your home or workplace a place where it would be easy for you to fall? Find out more from this test.
  10. Divorce Risk Calculator: With half of all marriages ending in divorce, this calculator can help you find out your risk so you can beat the odds.

Home and Property

Is your home at risk of disaster hitting? These quizzes and tools can help you find out and be prepared for the worst.

  1. Burglary Risk Quiz: Find out what your risk of thieves setting their eyes on your home is through this quiz.
  2. Assess Your Risk of High Wind Damage: Whether it’s hurricane force or just really strong winds, this quiz can help you find out if you’re at risk.
  3. Assess Your Risk of Climate Change Damage: Think climate change won’t affect you? This quiz may show you otherwise.
  4. Assess Your Fire Risk: Fire can be devastating to any homeowner, but you can learn how to assess your risk and protect yourself in the event of a fire with this test.
  5. Rate Your Risk of Lead Poisoning: If you live in an older home, especially with young children, this risk assessment quiz is essential.
  6. Assessing Your Risks of Flooding: Many may not even realize they live in an area where flooding is a major concern. Take this assessment to learn more about avoiding flood damage and protecting your things.
  7. Carbon Monoxide Exposure Risk: Often a silent killer, carbon monoxide can sneak up when you least expect it. This quiz can alert you to your risk and suggest helpful preventative measures.
  8. Tornado Risk Assessment: Find out what your chances of getting hit by a tornado are with this simple assessment.
  9. Probabilistic Seismic Hazards Assessment: Those living in California can find out their earthquake risk using this site.

The Role of Probation Officers

For many individuals who have been convicted of a crime, probation officers are probably the bane of their existence: the people who keep them from leaving the city or state, checking up on them nearly every day.  However, probation officers are a necessary part of our criminal justice system and serve to help rehabilitate many offenders. 

There are different forms of punishment for criminals, each depending on the extent of their crime.  Deterrence, rehabilitation, retributivism, and denunciation are the four which criminal law focuses upon, each which are meant to better serve society.  Probation officers are part of rehabilitation which still punishes criminals by taking away some of their rights, but allows them the freedom to remain out of jail for misdemeanor crimes.  Additionally, many people on probation or parole have recently been released from jail, and need to be supervised by another form of criminal justice.  This can also overlap into deterrence, since other criminals may be deterred from committing the same offense if they know it will result in probation. 

Probation officers are necessary to ensure their offenders remain supervised by the law and behave themselves.  This is an important part of the criminal justice system because it requires the officer to remain committed to the offender and ensure that they do not commit another offense again.  While probation only lasts a short period, there is still a lasting effect that many criminals have as a result of probation which stays with them throughout their life.  Probation officers simply help with the transition from criminal back to citizen, allowing many offenders a second chance at life, rather than incarceration. 

Probation officers usually have to obtain a four-year degree from an accredited university, but many federal probation officers are required to have a graduate degree as well.  Probation officers have to be able to deal with many different types of situations, which encourages agencies to require vast experience by their officers before they are hired.  Some probation sentences can last many years, depending on the offense, requiring several probation officers which have to supervise the offender on a daily basis.  Most of the time, the offender has to report to the probation officer at least every other week for drug testing or a simple catch-up on their life and awareness of whether they have been following their probation terms.  These officers play an integral part in society by helping maintain the peace through their supervision.  Without probation officers, offenders would either be forced to remain incarcerated or be immediately thrust back onto society with no time in between to redevelop social skills. 

The Main Branches of Criminal Justice

Criminal justice is defined as the "system of practices and institutions of governments directed at upholding social control, deterring and mitigating crime, and sanctioning those who violate laws with criminal penalties and rehabilitation efforts." To accomplish these tasks, the criminal justice system is broken down into three main branches: law enforcement, adjudication and corrections.

The law enforcement sector of the criminal justice system includes the police force that investigates crimes or the possibilities of wrong doing, and makes arrests. They are tasked with keeping the peace, maintaining social order and enforcing criminal laws. While they are not allowed to break the law themselves, they are allowed to employ various coercive and forceful tactics to accomplish their jobs. After a suspect has been arrested, they will more than likely face the next branch of criminal justice.

The second branch of the criminal justice system is the adjudication branch, or the courts system. Courts in the United States are used primarily to settle disputes between parties and administer justice. They are overseen by appointed judges and staffed with court reporters, court officers and attorneys. U.S. courts are also based on the adversarial system, where two opposing parties come before the judge and presents facts, or evidence, to support their claims. Then a jury of unbiased citizens, the judge or a panel of judges will issue the verdict of guilt or innocence against the accused party. If the accused if found guilty and sentenced, they are handed over to the next branch of the criminal justice system, corrections.

The corrections branch includes jails, prisons, probation and parole. It administers and enforces the punishment against those found guilty in court. The most popular form of corrections is prison time, because it removes the criminals from society, it is viewed as retribution for their crimes and it offers them a chance at rehabilitation. Many prisons today offer schooling and vocational training to help improve the lives of criminals upon their release. Others types of punishments include fines, parole, probation, house arrest and capital punishment. Parole is typically enforced upon criminals after they are released from prison. Along with probation, parole often restricts the criminal from engaging in unlawful or potentially harmful activities, including drugs and alcohol.

If you are interested in exploring a career in criminal justice, first review the different branches of the system and learn more about them. Once you have decided which branch best suits your interests or talents, then you can research the various jobs that are available within that branch.

The Secret World of Private Eyes

The job of the private detective has been glorified in popular culture through books, television, film and comic strips, from Sherlock Holmes to Magnum, P.I., but we all know that real life is rarely like the movies. So what is the job of a private detective really like and what do they really do?

Private detectives have a very difficult and at times dangerous job. Some of them go undercover to try to snoop out if someone is engaged in criminal activity, others conduct extensive background checks on high-profile individuals, and still others gather clues to try to find missing persons. Some are even hired to sniff out whether someone’s spouse is having an extramarital affair to prove grounds for divorce and meet conditions of a prenuptial agreement. No matter what types of cases they work, all private detectives must be excellent researchers, must possess sharp interview skills and have a strong background in criminal justice.

While many private detectives have backgrounds in law or law enforcement, most do not work for law enforcement agencies, such as police departments, sheriff’s offices or state law enforcement. Instead, they either work for private investigation firms or are self-employed, picking and choosing what cases they will take. In fact, about 21 percent of private detectives are self-employed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

A private detective helps people, businesses and even attorneys find and analyze information by gathering clues through research, interviews and other investigative techniques. They uncover facts about corporations, organizations and individuals by sifting through information with a fine-toothed comb. They often investigate the legitimacy of insurance claims or fraud. For instance, an insurance company may hire a private investigator to make sure someone didn’t burn down their million dollar home on purpose to collect the insurance money. They also get to the bottom of cyber harassment or fraud by recovering deleted e-mails and documents, tracing IP addresses and searching computer databases.

Some private detectives are hired to conduct physical surveillance of an individual, observing a subject from an inconspicuous location from a vehicle, for instance. Many times, this is how the detective observes and records a subject’s criminal or otherwise illicit behavior. However, they still must abide by privacy laws, and must do their job within the confines of the law.

While private detectives have difficult jobs, the good news for those looking to enter this career is that jobs are projected to be high in demand. Employment of private detectives is expected to increase by a whopping 22 percent between 2008 and 2018, according to the Bureau.

The Secret Life of a Secret Service Agent

Operating under the Department of Homeland Security, the United States Secret Service has two purposes: to investigate and to protect. The agency works to safeguard national financial systems and provides protective services to important people, and at national special security events. It also works to investigate fraudulent crimes as well as threats concerning the President of the United States.

Secret service agents carry out assignments concerning both investigation and protection, and over the course of their careers they may encounter different roles. Agents in treasury roles work with missions involving the investigation and prevention of counterfeit money. They also conduct investigations into crimes involving major fraud and identity theft. Agents in protective roles ensure the safety of important political figures, such as foreign embassies, and presidential candidates and their families. Most importantly, they provide protection for the President and Vice-President and their families, as well as protective services to past presidents and their families.

If you want to live the life of a secret service agent, you are going to have to work hard to meet the requirements. To be considered one, you must be a U.S. Citizen, have a valid driver’s license, and be between the ages of 21 and 37. Applicants have to be in good physical condition and pass a medical examination that includes hearing, cardiovascular, and mobility of extremities. Vision is also very important and agents must have a visual acuity that when uncorrected is no worse than 20/60 and correctable to 20/20 vision in each eye. Authorized government physicians must determine the applicant to be physically fit enough to perform duties that are strenuous and physically demanding.

To be a secret service agent, you also have to have satisfactory education and work experience. Applicants must have earned a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. While the agency does not specify a preferred degree, those who want to be agents should consider studying criminal justice, as it relates to areas like law and criminal theory that are important within the Secret Service. The agency also requires that applicants have a history of superior academic achievement, such as being in the upper third of one’s graduating class, possessing a high GPA, or membership in a national scholastic honor society. Experience is also very important and applicants are required to have a minimum of one year experience in a line of work that is directly related to the position. This type of specialized experience includes work in criminal investigations, surveillance and undercover operations, making arrests, and preparing evidence to present to prosecutions.

Finding References in Preparation for the Job Hunt

Your senior year is winding down and you have not really even considered what you want to do after graduation. The one thing you do know is that you need to find a job. This is a familiar position for thousands of students every spring. You think that your resume is pretty simple to construct, but you have not reached out to anyone for a letter of recommendation. You may have just found out that you need references. Employers take references very seriously as this is their chance to hear from someone besides you why are you so great.

You may be asking yourself, who should I ask for a recommendation? You may not have much work experience, except for the summers you work in the ice cream shop back home. Keep in mind that employers typically will ask for three letters of recommendation, which makes this an even more daunting task. The first person you should consider is a professor with whom you had a strong relationship. A professor who truly knows you as a student can reference skills that will translate nicely into the workplace. A professor is also someone whose word can be trusted by a hiring manager, as they are willing to vouch for you. By doing so, they are putting their reputation on the line.

If you had an internship during your college years, ask your supervisor to write a letter on your behalf. This may be even more helpful than one from your professor. Having your supervisor speak highly of your work in the field shows that you already possess the necessary skills to be successful in the real world. If you are applying to a job in the same field as your internship, having your supervisor from a similar company recommend you holds even more weight. The person who agrees to write a letter for you will often ask if there is anything specific that you want them to address. If you know a lot about the job for which you are applying, have them pump the skills that you think the employer would want to see in an applicant.

While supervisors and professors are great references, there are many other people that would be impressive to hear from. Think about coaches, people you volunteered with, and deans from your school that can speak to your character. Go ahead and ask the manager of the ice cream store for a reference as they can attest to how well you interact with people. Leave no stone unturned when it comes time to gather these references.

Choosing a Graduate School to Fit your Needs

Many students go on to graduate school after finishing college. Some go immediately after graduation, while others may go later on in life. Either way, choosing a graduate school that makes sense for you can be an arduous process. Be prepared to do a lot of research about the options available to you. Most universities offer graduate level courses, but they do not all offer the same services. Sometimes just deciding to continue your studies is a difficult enough decision, but the hard part is finding the right school.

One of the major things you need to consider is the cost of graduate school. The rates are the same, if not higher, than undergraduate courses at a given school. Graduate programs vary in length, but if yours takes two years to complete you will have to budget for an extra two years of tuition payments. Financial aid is typically not awarded to graduate students, so you will have to exhaust your loan options. Some companies will help pay the cost of graduate school for their employees. They view this as investment in improving their own business. Talk about this possibility with your boss. This is especially prevalent in financial companies where they want their employees to earn their MBAs.

Another major thing to consider is how will this fit your lifestyle. Some people are happy to continue being a student right after finishing their undergraduate degrees. Still others are eager to join the workforce. If you are working right away after school, you will have to weigh whether you can take on a full graduate course load for a semester. You can consider taking just a class or two during a semester instead of going to school fulltime. Just keep in mind that graduate courses require a lot of work. Before you commit and enroll in a graduate course, be sure that you can devote enough time to your studies while juggling your job and your life!

Once you have committed to going back to school, you need to find an institution that offers the program that best suits your needs. Go to your possible schools and talk with an academic advisor who can walk you through the program. Determine what you want to do with this graduate degree. Choose a program that best fits your professional goals. Do some research on the schools themselves to see how much weight having a graduate degree from these schools carries in the "real world."

Building Your Network Early: How to Use Your Campus Connections

Even as a college freshman, you probably hear professors, career counselors and parents telling you that it’s never too early to start applying for internships and learning how to network. But while you’re still getting used to your newfound independence, hectic social schedule and heavy homework load, networking may seem like a too-vague responsibility that you can easily cross off your to-do list, at least for the time being. Your parents and professors are right, however. Your network is one of the most important forces you’ll have working for you over the next several years, whether or not you’re actively looking for a job. In fact, the earlier you start, the more valuable each of your relationships will be when it comes to finding recommendations and expanding your network later on. How should you begin?

In the early days, you don’t have to start attending networking events off campus, although if you can find the time and a friend to go with you, those are useful, too. As a freshman, just start networking around campus. You might be surprised how valuable connections made with other students can be now and in the future, so join clubs, attend mixers, and don’t be afraid to reach out to people in your study groups or in class.

Another easy resource for you to tap for your network is your professors. Take advantage of their office hours to talk about classwork, and then ask them questions about their work on campus and in the community. Most college professors are happy to take students under their wing and help them explore new interests, adapt to college life, and make connections with professionals off campus who can help you, too. You don’t have to make friends with all of your professors, but by the time you graduate, imagine how much you could have learned from two or three professors over four years, and how much easier it is to ask for letters of recommendation or how many people they’ve introduced to you from their own network.

Using your campus career center is also a key to building up your network at first and then expanding it as you get older. Use the materials in the office to learn all about networking, subscribe to the email newsletter or calendar to find out about career fairs and events on campus, and then make an appointment to talk with a career counselor. A counselor will be able to help you answer questions about the different aspects of networking and making contacts, on campus, online, in the community, and throughout life. They’ll also find opportunities for your specific needs while helping you set goals for networking, job searching and planning out your career. Networking can boost your confidence for interviews, meeting new people, and trusting your conversation skills, so get in as much practice as you can now. It’s never too early to start.

50 Best Blogs for Gun Enthusiasts

By Kimberly Peterson

If you’re a gun lover, you’re in good company online. There are lots of gun bloggers, whether they’re simply celebrating guns, writing about politics, or discussing their latest hunt. Check out this list to find 50 of the best gun blogs out there.

Celebrating Guns

These bloggers are just plain old gun lovers.

  1. The Gun Shots: This blog offers a not so neutral forum for discussing guns.
  2. A Keyboard and a .45: Read A Keyboard and a .45 to see posts about gun information, politics, and firearm news.
  3. Guntards: Guntards is a safe place for gun lovers to discuss their love of guns without the politics.
  4. Home On the Range: Brigid writes about guns and gourmet cooking in the Midwest.
  5. The Firearm Blog: The Firearm Blog leaves the politics behind, and focuses on all things firearms.
  6. The Urban Shooter: Follow this podcast to hear updates from fun loving, law abiding gun owners.
  7. Accurate Shooter: Accurate Shooter’s bulletins cover gear, competitions, hunting, and more.
  8. Politics, Guns, and Beer: This blogger and new mom celebrates three of her favorite things.
  9. Gun Pundit: Shelby Murdoch’s blog is all about gear, guns, and gun issues.
  10. The Gun Nut: Read this blog to follow the rantings and ravings of two gun lovers from Field and Stream.
  11. Tech, Guns, and Food Blog: This blogger writes about the three things he likes the most-tech, guns, and food.

Gear

Read up on the latest in gun gear on these blogs.

  1. Airsoft Tactical: Airsoft Tactical discusses some of the best gear for airsoft shooting.
  2. The Packing Rat: The purpose of The Packing Rat is to offer reviews on firearms, outdoor gear, and accessories, as well as discuss experiences in shooting.
  3. Blammer: Blammer highlights and discusses a variety of different guns.
  4. Famous Guns: Check out this blog to learn about the best firearms of the world.
  5. The Arms Room: This blog is an online firearms museum.
  6. Gunner’s Journal: On this blog, you’ll find writings and photos about 1911 models as well as other interesting guns.

Rights, Law & Politics

Learn about your rights, and how they are affected by law and politics from these blogs.

  1. NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog: Learn more about gun law from this Florida gun trust lawyer.
  2. The Real Gun Guys: The Real Gun Guys offer honest, logical truth about guns and gun control.
  3. Armed and Safe: Armed and Safe argues for gun rights and debunks the logic of violating them.
  4. Say Uncle: Uncle will keep you up to date on the latest important gun developments.
  5. Of Arms and the Law: On this blog, you’ll read about the various laws and rights surrounding arms.
  6. NRA Blog: Learn about the programs, news, and more of the NRA from this blog.
  7. NRA Watch: This blog will help you stay on top of what the NRA is up to.
  8. NRA-ILA: Check out this blog from the National Rifle Association’s Institute for Legislative Action to find out about new developments in gun laws.
  9. The Right to Bear Arms: Learn about defense, gun politics, and more from this blog.
  10. Trigger Finger: Trigger Finger is all about the latest in gun laws.
  11. On Second Opinion: Here you’ll find fact checking of modern opinions on Second Amendment history.
  12. The Ready Line: The Ready Line writes about America’s arms war on the most attacked civil right.
  13. Alphecca: Read this Vermont gun nut’s blog to see the latest about media, politics, and more about guns.
  14. Gun Rights Blog: The Gun Rights Blog is all about citizens asserting their second amendment right, as well as news about self defense and gun control.
  15. Lawyers, Guns and Money: Follow this blog to learn how lawyers, guns, and money all relate to each other.

Self Defense

Find out how citizens are defending themselves through these blogs.

  1. Civilian Gun Self-Defense Blog: On this blog, you’ll learn about various civilians that used their guns in self defense.
  2. Hell in a Handbasket: This blogger is a professional self defense instructor.
  3. Nurse With a Gun: This nurse works in areas where law enforcement refuses to enter without backup.
  4. The Survivalist Blog: The Survivalist is all about surviving when things get tough.
  5. Gun Watch: Gun Watch monitors the people’s right to effective self defense.

Shooting Sports

Check out these blogs to learn about competitive shooting.

  1. Bullet Boy: Bullet Boy is a gun enthusiast who has been a shooter all his life.
  2. The Pretty Pistolera: Read this blog to follow the adventures of a girly-girl in competitive shooting.
  3. Bull Gang Tactical Weapons Team: This blog is written by a team of tactical weapon shooters.
  4. James Marchington: On this blog, you’ll read the thoughts of the editor of Sporting Shooter Magazine.
  5. Carteach0: This blogger loves to shoot, and writes about it here.

Hunting

These blogs celebrate the thrill of the hunt.

  1. Hunt, Eat, Live!: Here you’ll read about outdoor adventures in hunting.
  2. Fat of the Land: Fat of the Land is a food blog about eating well with foraged food.
  3. Big Buck Zone: Big Buck Zone writes about scoring the big one.
  4. The Hunter’s Wife: Read the musings and adventures of a hunter’s wife on this blog.
  5. The Hog Blog: On this blog, you’ll read all about hunting hogs.
  6. Nigel Allen’s Airgun Blog: Nigel Allen hunts almost exclusively with air rifles.
  7. Hunter Angler Gardener Cook: Learn about honest food and wild game recipes here.
  8. Gun Safety Innovations: This blog is all about helping hunters be as safe as possible.

Society’s Curiosity with Crime Scene Investigators

 

Crime scene investigator is one career which is not cut out of for everyone, but remains one which captures many peoples’ imaginations.  Crime shows such as Law and Order have contributed to this growing interest in both forensic science and crime scene investigations which lead to the question: how does one become a crime scene investigator?

There are many different methods in which to become a crime scene investigator, but most employers require individuals to have a background in some field of science, mostly biology or chemistry.  A science degree provides individuals with the expertise needed in order to evaluate evidence through various scientific tests.  Other agencies require some police work experience, so that employees are trained as to how to react to crime scenes or other ‘intense’ situations.  Depending on the position that is open, many crime scene investigators will not have to ever delve directly into the aftermath of a violent crime, but will be in charge of analyzing evidence and determining whether there is any DNA evidence. 

Other agencies may require a degree that is specifically pointed toward the position, such as online degrees in Crime Scene Investigations.  These degrees have grown in prominence over the years, since many applicants for this job do not have the necessary background: either they are lacking in the science aspect or the police-work aspect.  By making a specific degree program that caters to this career, it has thus allowed more students to excel upon graduation within their field. 

Regardless of what crime scene investigators truly do, society has developed a romantic notion of their careers based on many crime movies and television shows.  These shows tend to depict that crime scene investigations always come up with a conviction for the perpetrator, but in real-life this rarely happens as there is usually little evidence from the crime scene.  However, this career still involves a great deal of work and analysis, as well as the knowledge that you are performing a job which betters society in apprehending criminals. 

Crime scene investigators will probably paint a different picture than that which society thinks of their career, complete with long hours and little progress with the case.  However, regardless of any outcome, the fact that they are still intent on discovering what happened within the crime is a valuable part of our criminal justice system and has helped to prove that many people were innocently convicted or other people are guilty and need to be arrested.  Society will always have a need for this specific career within the field and as technology advances, this science will become better suited to immediately determine who committed the crime without a loss of valuable time.