Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

How Can I Learn More About Criminal Justice Careers?

How Can I Learn More About Criminal Justice Careers?

The best way to learn more about criminal justice careers is to first research each career individually and then ask those who are working in your preferred profession about their everyday work experience. If you are already in college, you may want to visit your university’s career center to speak with an advisor about careers in criminal justice. Many criminal justice professionals are willing to take the time to explain or even demonstrate what a day in the life of their job is like, and a variety of resources are available to help you kick off your research.

For instance, books like Great Jobs for Criminal Justice Majors are a helpful starting point for finding careers in which you would be most interested. You can even search out criminal justice careers online using the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which provides descriptions of the nature of the work done by many criminal justice professions.

After you have decided what criminal justice career to pursue, you should continue your research by searching out whether or not you will need a license or certification to practice your profession in your state, and if so, what it takes to be licensed. For instance, in California, you cannot represent yourself as a paralegal unless you have the appropriate combination of education and/or experience and agree to undergo continuing education every three years. Some states have less rigid statutes in place governing certain professions, but licensure by exam after completing an accredited program at an approved university is becoming the norm in many states.

You can usually get useful career information from professional organizations in different fields of criminal justice. Some examples of such organizations include: National Association of Legal Assistants (NALA), the National Court Reporters Association (NCRA), the Consortium of Forensic Science Organizations (CFSO), and the Federal Probation and Pretrial Officers Association (FPPOA). Professional organizations also inform you of the voluntary credentials that can help you get ahead in your future criminal justice career.

While you are in college, it would be wise to participate in an internship in a criminal justice field, to see how well-suited you might be for the profession. Internships give you a feel for the job and often allow you to shadow various criminal justice professionals, performing certain duties under professional supervision.