By Bretton Love
Criminology is an exciting career path in an extremely competitive field.
However, although criminology may be a challenging career path to follow, there are huge benefits, including enabling you to secure a meaningful and stimulating job that will interest you for years to come. Here are the top steps that you need to take before you can break into the field and the education that you need to complete them.
Research Potential Career Pathways
The first thing that you should do is to research potential career pathways as they each need different educational and experience-based requirements for you to be able to find a job in the field. However, if you cannot decide upon a career pathway, policing and criminology degrees can open up a vast range of career options for you, making you vastly more employable than if you try to go down the criminology route without a degree. If you decide to take a criminology degree with Wilfrid Laurier Online, you do not only have to become a criminologist, and they can guide you as to the vast array of opportunities that will be available to you.
The top career pathways for graduates of criminology include:
- Police officer
- Forensic science technician
- Probation officer
- Social Worker
- Loss prevention specialist
Choose Which Educational Route You Will Take
Although you will need a formal education in criminology for many of the highest salaried roles that are available to you, this is not always the case. If you are looking to learn the trade differently, there are other alternative routes that you can take instead of heading off to college.
Going to college is the quickest and most formal route into criminology, as it can provide you with all of the necessary tools that you need to make progress up the ranks of your career. Not only will it give you the best access to facilities, help you to gain a succinct knowledge of the workplace, and practical experience; it also allows you to find job opportunities, but you will also be able to obtain a qualification that can make your applications stand out.
However, for many of the roles in criminology, such as policing, all you have to do is to earn a high school diploma and then attend training academies, which can help you to learn all that you need to know in a hands-on and practical manner. You may also have to take certifications that are focused on specific roles, such as the Criminal Justice Standards examination for those that want to work within the prison system. You may also have to have a certain amount of experience or a past work record to apply for specific roles, with some jobs accepting military experience.
Know the Job Requirements
Once you have decided on your route, whether you are going to opt to take a degree or to head on a more alternative route, it is essential to have some idea of the exact educational requirements to ensure that you will be able to apply for the job roles that you are interested in in the future. This can change depending on the company and the job role that you are applying for. For instance, although many roles simply need you to have a high school diploma, other companies and job roles may ask you to have a degree as the bare minimum.
You should also check whether they are asking for a specific degree, such as one that is related to criminology, or whether they will accept a degree in any subject. Not only this, but some job roles, particularly leadership positions, often ask you to have a master’s or a similar qualification, as these usually focus on managerial aspects of your chosen career in criminology. However, you will be able to take master’s degrees at any time throughout your career, and you may be able to take these qualifications alongside your current job role.
Choose a Specialism
The steps that you take to prepare for your degree should also be linked to the specialism that you are considering, as this can affect the course that you choose and any further training or academic learning that you need to complete. You should look for courses that are focused on these specialisms, or which have extensive modules and units that are related to them.
The specialisms that you can choose from include aspects like:
- Counter fraud
Don’t Forget Networking and Experience
However, getting a career in criminology is not all about education, and it is paramount that you are also able to get the experience that you need to flourish in the role. Although most college degrees offer you practical modules that can ramp up your understanding of the workplace and allow you to hone your skills in a real-world environment, you should also take every opportunity that there is to get experience through work placements and internships while you are completing your degree. In fact, some job positions, such as policing, ask for minimum requirements for experience regardless of your qualifications, meaning that experience can sometimes be even more important than the qualifications on your resume.
In addition to this, education and work experience can prepare you for a career in criminology by allowing you to network with professionals who might be able to offer you job opportunities and to mentor you through the job-seeking process. By doing this, you can ensure that you can set yourself up for your future as a graduate and enable you to get the advice and guidance that you need to succeed.
Education can help you to prepare for a career in criminology in several ways. Not only can it ensure that you have the requirements that you need for your dream job, but it also allows you to get the right knowledge and experience to make instant progress in your new career.