What You Can Do with a Criminal Justice Degree?

what can you do with a criminal justice degreeIf you’ve ever watched a television show or movie based around criminal activity or police work, chances are you’ve fantasized about a career in criminal justice. While such jobs may not be quite as glamorous as they’re made out to be in the entertainment industry, there are lots of exciting career opportunities for criminal justice majors. Often, the more exciting positions require an advanced degree, but a bachelor’s in criminal justice or even an associate’s degree is a good stepping off point. If you have an interest in criminal profiling and want to become more educated on various criminal justice concepts, consider a Crime Studies course at Udemy today. Any background knowledge you have on the subject can only help you in your pursuit to start an exciting career in criminal justice.


One branch of criminal justice careers you can get into with a criminal justice major is criminology, a field that combines sociology with criminal justice. Because of the heavy emphasis on sociology, you will likely need more than just a criminal justice degree to land a job in this department. An Introductory to Sociology course such as that offered by Udemy won’t hurt if you don’t have a working fundamental understanding of the subject at the moment.

There are several intriguing career options within the criminology category. You could be a criminologist, a professional crime scientist who studies criminal behavior and what factors generally contribute to it. Criminologists also evaluate the effectiveness of investigation methods and determine what kind of rehabilitation programs are the most successful for former criminals.

Another option within the criminology field would be working as a forensic psychologist. These experts have an extensive background in psychology as well as criminal justice experience, blending the two subjects together in the process of interviewing criminals to determine sanity levels, counseling mentally troubled inmates, and consulting with lawyers on crimes committed.

Law Enforcement

Probably the majority of careers for criminal justice majors fall in the law enforcement field. In this field, you won’t be focused so much on studying the reasons behind crimes and analyzing the statistical side of it so much as working to prevent them from occurring, apprehending suspects, and investigating crimes already undertaken.

Depending on your specialization, you can work in any number of positions inside law enforcement with a criminal justice degree. If you have a strong background in computers, you might consider a career in computer forensics, where you will be tasked with catching those who commit their crimes in the cyber world. You may be required to trace the location of cyber hackers, recover erased data from suspect hard drives, and analyze digital evidence.

You might also look into a career as a police officer or detective. In this profession, you’d be responsible for arresting law breaking individuals in order to protect society from harm. Detectives analyze crime scenes, gathering evidence and keeping careful documentation of observations. Additionally, law enforcement officers are often busy writing reports and may be needed to testify in a court of law, so strong communication skills are needed, both of the written and verbal variety.


Without an effective court system, criminal justice cannot be properly carried out. For that reason, there are always a number of jobs available for those with criminal justice backgrounds in the courts. The most basic task of the courts is to determine the guilt or innocence of those who stand accused of committing a crime, but there are several different specialized careers within this system.

Inside the courtroom itself, there are many professionals with a criminal justice background all gathered together. The bailiff, for instance, provide basic security within the courts, monitoring the surrounding area for potential threats and ensuring the vicinity is clean before a session starts.

There are also communication requirements for this position. Bailiffs introduce judges upon their entrance into the courtroom and instruct those in attendance about any procedures they need to be aware of. In extreme circumstances, a bailiff may be needed forcibly remove an individual from the proceedings in the event they are breaking the appointed rules or angry about a ruling.

If you have good listening skills and quick fingers, a career as a court reporter may be perfect for you. Court reporters transcribe all the important details of a court session, including meeting minutes, any speeches, and other proceedings. Because of the importance of word for word records in a court of law process, court reporters play a vital role, and their work must be accurate.


Lastly, there is the corrections branch of criminal justice. These professionals are responsible for working with those already tried and convicted of a crime. The responsibilities for employees in the correction field include sentencing criminals to appropriate sentences and enforcing corresponding punishments. The three main components of this system include incarceration, probation, and parole.

The most obvious career you might go into in this field is that of a corrections officer. In this position, you’ll be working in correctional facilities housing criminals who are awaiting trial. Corrections officers monitor the prisoners, provide security to the facilities, and break up any fights between inmates. Some correctional officers also work out of jails, prisons, and police agencies as well. As a corrections officer, you’ll also need to write extensive reports on the behavior of the inmates and keep a constant log on their activities.

You may also find working as a substance abuse counselor interesting. Substance abuse counselors are responsible for assisting people with overcoming addiction and staying sober over the long term. They may also be required to set up educational programs, group counseling sessions, and other events designed to help people stay away from drugs and alcohol. Substance abuse counselors must work closely with their patients and determine if further treatment is necessary after a certain amount of time.

If a management position sounds more appealing to you, perhaps you might be a natural fit for a career as a prison warden. Prison wardens oversee entire prisons or other correctional facilities, running everything from security administration, organizational budgeting, and inmate supervision methods.

A prisoner warden must have a variety of skills beyond criminal justice, however, as they are also responsible for public relations duties. They may be required to hold press conferences, issue press releases, and speak to community groups. Furthermore, they are in charge of every employee in the facility, so all hiring and firing responsibilities fall under their scope, and they must also provide training to new staff members. Employee management is a critical component of an administrative position such as this, but with the right criminal justice background and a Udemy course in developing skills among your employees, you may be ready to tackle anything.

If a career in criminal justice sounds appealing to you, get started today. You can start by checking out a course such as Udemy’s Computer Forensics Fundamentals to get an overview of one of the many career paths available with this type of degree. Enroll in one of Udemy’s many courses to get started on the path to your new career. There are no shortage of options in this field, and even if you’re starting at the very beginning of the process, you could have the job of your dream in no time at all with a college education and a little help from Udemy.