Criminal justice is a dynamic field where law enforcement, the court system, and corrections intersect. With a degree in criminal justice, you could build a career in any of the three or choose to take your knowledge and skills into the private sector. Some of the jobs you might apply for with a CJ degree include:
Nearly half of police officers in the U.S. hold a bachelor’s degree and many choose to major in Criminal Justice for its natural alignment to their future career. With your degree, you’ll be well-prepared for the police academy. Once you become an officer, you might patrol an assigned area, respond to emergency calls, or perform routine traffic stops. You serve arrest and search warrants and collect evidence at crime scenes. As you progress in your career, you may choose to become a police detective. In this role, you investigate serious crimes, such as homicides, assaults, and robberies. Demand for these professions is expected to grow steadily over the next 10 years.
While police officers track down evidence and capture criminals, probation and parole officers help them reenter society once they’ve paid their dues. In this role, you interview parolees to assess their progress, give them direction, and point them toward resources such as drug rehabilitation and job training. You also perform drug testing and monitor the activity of people under house arrest. Demand in the field is expected to be strong as community corrections is valued over incarceration in some situations. Also, as older workers retire and older inmates are released, there is a need for probation and parole officers to fill vacancies and serve a growing client base.
Do you like to work with kids? As a youth correctional officer, you help children and teenagers in juvenile detention centers who have broken the law or exhibit behavioral problems. You provide resources and tools that they could use to change those behaviors and improve their self-esteem. Working with social services, government agencies, and families, you help children grow and learn coping strategies and healthy ways to communicate. Your job is to guide the troubled youth in your community toward a better way of life.
Police officers may keep the community safe, but security managers keep businesses safe. If you choose to become a security manager, you would oversee the security for retail, corporate offices, nonprofits, or casinos. You help develop security protocol and procedures for loss prevention, theft, or fraud, and enforce them. You also hire and train security guards and ensure that employees are kept safe.
A background in criminal justice can also point toward a career as a paralegal. In this job, you help attorneys by researching past court cases for relevant precedents, maintaining electronic files, and tracking court filings. You draft affidavits, take notes during meetings and court proceedings, and schedule interviews with clients, witnesses, and lawyers. Employment of paralegals is projected to grow much faster than the average through the end of the decade. Most paralegals are employed by law firms, but large corporations are expected to expand their law departments in the coming years, contributing to the increase in paralegal job openings. If you have an interest in law, a career as a paralegal might even propel you toward law school and a future career as a lawyer.
A great first step toward any of these careers is an education in criminal justice. At Limestone University, we offer a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice that will prepare you for these jobs and much more. Our dedicated faculty have years of experience in the field and they’re ready to share their knowledge and insights with you. Click the button to learn more.
Criminal Justice is an exciting and ever-changing field of study, with new information gained each day. New technology and techniques continually push the boundaries of information gathering in Criminal Justice and students will become conversant in these areas.
This program is designed for Criminal Justice students who have an interest in law school or a law-related career. Courses will introduce students to a variety of practice areas while honing the same skills and knowledge as the Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice but with an emphasis on the discipline and practice of developing and adjudicating law.