A criminal justice degree can lead to a fulfilling and exciting career, of that there is no doubt. However, as a university can be incredibly expensive, you will want to make sure you are making the right decision before you apply. Here is what you need to know if you are interested in pursuing a degree in criminal justice.
It’s Not Criminology
This might sound silly, but it’s the first thing you need to know. You would be surprised at how often the two get confused. While they complement each other well, and the two fields often work together, the difference between criminal justice and criminology is huge. While criminology focuses on the crime itself, criminal justice concentrates on making laws, enforcing them, and all other sides of the justice system.
What You’ll Study
During a criminal justice course you will study all aspects of the law. From making them, and how legislation is passed, to enforcing them and everything that happens after a crime has been committed. There will be a comprehensive study of the legal system, as well as other systems around the world, as well as a look at how crime can affect not just its victims, but society as a whole. Modules you will study could include, but not be limited to:
- Policing in America
- Punishment and Corrections
- Criminal Justice Research
- Criminal Law
You will also have the option to study things like leadership in criminal justice and advanced crime analysis.
Criminal justice career opportunities are plentiful. Some of the areas you could find work include:
- You could play a role either in government or politics, helping to change and create new laws.
- Law Enforcement. A criminal justice degree would give you an in-depth knowledge of the law, making you a great candidate for a career within the law enforcement field.
- Once laws have been broken, someone with a criminal justice degree could help implement punishments, as well as rehabilitation, while looking at the law and making sure it still meets the needs of society.
- Social Services. Unfortunately, most crimes have a victim. A criminal justice degree would equip you with the skills, knowledge, and understanding needed to work in victim support. You could even work in the healthcare industry as a victim advocate.
As society evolves and changes, so does crime. New crimes emerge, criminals find new ways to exploit both people and technology for their own gains. Laws need to be amended or redesigned all the time, to protect the innocent and punish the guilty. There will never be a shortage of work for someone who holds a degree in criminal justice.
If you want to learn more about criminal justice courses look at those from Portland State University. Once you have made your decision, it couldn’t be easier to apply and get started on your journey to a rewarding career at the forefront of justice, making a real difference to the world around you.