In today’s tough job market, landing a secure, stable job can seem like an unattainable goal. While unemployment rates are at record lows, universities, colleges, and technical schools are producing more graduates than ever, and job competition is fierce. People who hold a versatile degree, like one in criminal justice, can rest assured that when a great opportunity slips by, there’s another one right around the corner. But a career in criminal justice isn’t for everyone. Let’s look at a few reasons why the intriguing, rewarding field of criminal justice might (or might not) be right for you.
A + B = C, right? Not in criminal justice. To succeed in this field, you’ll need to expect the unexpected. Criminal justice professionals have to be flexible and quick-witted. They need to think on their feet, and grow, change, and adapt as needed. A job in criminal justice will keep you on your toes.
It Demands a Level Head
Criminal justice professionals encounter and collaborate with a range of unique people with unique perspectives, values, and beliefs. A great criminal justice professional can set aside his or her feelings in favor of the pursuit of justice.
It's Definitely Not Monotonous
For a professional in criminal justice, no two days are precisely the same. It’s unlikely you’ll ever find yourself at a desk performing repetitive, mindless tasks for an extended period. If a consistent routine is important to you, then criminal justice might not be a great fit. If you believe that variety is the spice of life, though, you can count on a career in criminal justice to deliver just that.
It Offers Job Security
Demand for professionals in criminal justice, including law enforcement, crime scene investigation, and criminology, is on the rise. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts growth in all these professions across the next decade.
The Benefits Are Great
Careers in criminal justice are diverse, but in general, employers need criminal justice professionals to stay in tiptop shape - both mentally and physically - and they often provide health and wellness benefits to keep their employees healthier for longer. Some employers, most commonly those in the public sector, offer very attractive insurance and retirement benefits.
There's Room for Advancement
Entry-level salaries for criminal justice professionals are generally at or above the national average, and there’s plenty of room to grow. Some employers will even help with the costs of advanced certificates (in fields like financial crime investigation, computer forensics, and addiction training) for professionals who wish to specialize in a particular area of criminal justice.
Before you can pursue an exciting career in criminal justice, you’ll need to take the first step: choosing the right school. Many schools offer degrees in criminal justice. Some people prefer a school that’s closest to home; others opt for the school with the lowest tuition rates. Whatever the deciding factor, ensure you choose a school that’s legitimate and accredited. Some employers may refuse to recognize a degree from a school that’s not regionally accredited. A degree from a school that only has national accreditation isn’t necessarily lower quality or less legitimate, but it may limit your options when you begin your job hunt. You can earn your degree online, on-campus, full-time, or part-time. If you’re passionate about a career in criminal justice, it’s within reach.