Careers for Graduates with a Degree in Criminal Justice

In the United States in the post 9/11 world there are definitely many careers for graduates with a degree in criminal justice. Not surprisingly, the national demand for safety and security has resulted in a rapid upturn in careers for graduates with a degree in criminal justice, especially along our nation’s borders and in our large metropolitan areas. Just as graduates with a degree in criminal justice are needed to demonstrate vigilance in the face of international terrorism there continues to be many careers for graduates with a degree in criminal justice dedicated to carrying out the routine business of daily law enforcement. For graduates with a degree in criminal justice, career choices today are undeniably diverse and widespread.

Local Police Working on a local police force may initially seem dull when compared to other careers for graduates with a degree in criminal justice. Still, working in local law enforcement allows many graduates with a degree in criminal justice to become part of local leadership teams seeking to improve the safety and quality of life in neighborhoods across the nation. Police working in local communities come to know the families, the schools, businesses , youth groups and really become invested in the future of the locale in which they work .

The number of careers for graduates with a degree in criminal justice are limited by local budgets and job applicants will often encounter residency requirements, but the pay schedule, benefits and extensive overtime opportunities may convince candidates to patiently wait for local vacancies to occur. Candidates for local law enforcement positions who have earned a degree in criminal justice enhance their initial hiring chances and the likelihood of future promotions and career advancement.

State Police Careers for graduates with a degree in criminal justice are also available on the state level. State Police positions are considerably fewer in number than local police jobs but the need for a degree in criminal justice tends to be critical. This is because at the state level, careers for graduates with a degree in criminal justice involve more than just the typical highway patrol or crowd control details. Frequently the work is dangerous and may involve undercover operations, criminal investigations, co-ordinating regional law enforcement efforts and assisting local police with crime control. State police officers also can train for specialized functions such as helicopter work, canine units, mounted police and motorized units .

Because of their high skill level and frequently dangerous assignments, state police qualify for good pay, excellent benefits and frequent high paying overtime assignments. Careers with the state police are limited in number and highly competitive
Most states require candidates to undergo additional physical and academic training and pass a rigorous state police exam before being appointed to a state police job. Graduates with a degree in criminal justice who are in sound physical health and have perhaps some previous law enforcement experience or special skills can consider themselves definitely in the running.

Federal Service For graduates with a degree in criminal justice who have aspirations to work at the federal level, opportunities abound, but of course so do candidates. The federal government employs thousands of graduates with a degree in criminal justice in departments like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Drug Enforcement Agency, Naturalization and Immigration, Alcohol-Tobacco and Firearms, Secret Service and the law enforcement arms of a variety of lesser known federal bodies.

These federal positions are generally thought to be more competitive, more demanding and likely to involve relocation to Washington, D.C, regional offices or to locations for specialized assignments. Still for some graduates with a degree in criminal justice, federal jobs are seen as the pinnacle of the criminal justice employment field. Federal law enforcement officers are more likely to use state of the art equipment and receive frequent training, promotion and transfer opportunities.
The respect that attaches to federal employment , an enviable salary and benefits program, and the level of excitement provided by ordinary details creates a large pool of applicants for federal positions. For sure someone has to fill these thousands of jobs and that someone probably will bring a degree in criminal justice to their interview.

Private Positions Graduates with a degree in criminal justice can find professional jobs outside of public employment. in our security minded society many large corporations, colleges and universities, entertainment complexes, utility companies, banks, transportation facilities, and private companies and individuals all retain the services of private security companies. Many of these private agencies are owned, operated and staffed by graduates with a degree in criminal justice. While such companies may not provide the authority or the level of command that belong to government officials, they do seem to provide more that adequate salaries and benefits along with jobs that allow graduates with a degree in criminal justice to use the skills and knowledge they have acquired in college.

In both the private and public sector of today’s economy, there is a large and indeed a growing need for qualified personnel to keep people, property and governments safe and secure. At each juncture of this security net there are jobs available for the qualified graduate with a degree in criminal justice.

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