5 Career Choices for Your Criminal Justice Degree

Seasoned criminal justice professionals understand that their job opportunities reach much further than becoming a police officer or sheriff. Criminal justice professionals can still create positive change for their communities by using their degree and experience to serve and excel in other positions.
Whether you are currently employed in an area of criminal justice or are considering a career in the field, here are some career options, as well as their educational requirements.

1. Corrections: A 5 percent increase is expected within the corrections industry over the next six years, adding a total of 43,000 additional bailiff and corrections officer positions for criminal justice professionals. The best prospects will be with private sector prison companies who are now being contracted to provide services to many state prison systems.

2. Courts: Many career choices exist within the judicial system in several areas. While the local sheriff's department may handle security for court locations, there are other related criminal justice jobs including clerks, records personnel and transcriptionists.

3. Social Services: Social service choices in the field of criminal justice include social work, juvenile justice and alcohol and drug counseling, among others. Most of these options require a minimum of a college degree, internship and professional licensing. Many agencies also employ a full-time social worker, professionals who manage family relational issues and serve as a source of information for their department, accessing services that many would not consider a police responsibility.

4. Support Services: With the recent economic downturn, many jobs that were once performed by officers were civilianized. These specialized duties require additional education and professional training and could include crime scene technician, accident re-constructionist or property/evidence manager.

5. Telecommunicators: A criminal justice career as a police, fire and ambulance dispatcher is gratifying. The outlook for criminal justice jobs in this field is expected to increase by 8 percent (almost an additional 100,000 positions) by 2021. The availability of cell phones has increased the number of calls telecommunicators handle daily. Those with a military background in communications would do well in this career field.
Learn more about criminal justice degree options available at Columbia Southern University by visiting our website.