Types of Criminal Justice Degrees and Careers

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If you have a passion for making the world a better place, you may be interested in law or justice studies. By choosing to earn a justice studies degree, you have a variety of career options available to you upon graduation.

GCU’s Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies gives you the opportunity to examine criminal theory and learn the components of the U.S. criminal justice system. A few of the topics covered in the program include crime and causation theories, objectives and strategies of police, data analysis, methods of research, and political impact of terrorism and emergency management. There are many other topics covered in the program, with resources and tools in place to help ensure that you have the chance to be successful upon graduation.

Below are just a few options you may choose to pursue after earning your justice studies degree:

Private Detective or Investigator

A private investigator is hired by a group or individual to investigate suspicious activity to gain useful information to support a criminal case. Many private investigators are hired by attorneys for specific civil cases in which they are needed.

Some responsibilities that a private detective or investigator have are observing crime scenes and documentations, operating laws for specific investigations, providing information for crime scenes, examining evidence and prosecuting victims. Some cases they can be involved with are family law, background checks and infidelity law.

Corrections Officer

Corrections officers supervise and protect prisons and jails while also being responsible for the care and control for those who are awaiting trial or being taken to prison. A prison officer enforces the rules to help keep both prisoners and outsiders safe.

Other duties they have are developing rules for jails, searching prisoners for drugs, conducting cell searches and reporting prisoners for misconduct. They also process prisoners who are entering and exiting the premises and inspect visitors and packages entering the prison.

FBI Agent

Agents for the FBI are there to serve, protect and defend the U.S. against threats of foreign intelligence or terrorism, and strictly enforce laws upon criminals. The process of application to become an FBI agent is rigorous, can be rewarding for an individual with a passion for serving justice.

Specific things you do as an FBI agent are creating information regarding criminals, collecting surveillance and evidence, observing data and investigating criminals.

Probation Officer

Probation officers observe individuals who have been sentenced and try to help them by providing advice. They make sure these people attend their specific appointments and provide information to the offenders.

They are known to be supervisors for their people, maintaining records for those who have been placed on probation, developing reports for court and making sure the individuals know the terms and conditions.

Police Officer

A police officer has many responsibilities for the safety and well-being of citizens. They protect the lives and property of individuals through the required laws within the state. Other duties they perform are conducting interviews with suspects, enforcing traffic laws and conducting investigations, responding to police service calls, writing tickets for traffic violations and acting as protection in public events, especially near unsafe areas.

Customs Officer

Customs officers work within seaports, airports or land ports. These workers help observe and inspect passengers, luggage and cargo. They do their best to help prevent any dangers to the passengers, such as getting rid of drugs or narcotics. Other duties they have can be collecting taxes on different goods that are entering or exiting the country.

Forensic Specialist

Forensic specialists are criminal investigators who collect and observe evidence or data that a team takes from a crime scene. The evidence usually involves traces of DNA, including hair, blood and any individual materials. They use certain tools to help document it. Other activities they conduct are taking photos from the crime scenes and testing the evidence in labs.

Fraud Investigator

These types of investigators interview victims of electronic transactions of fraud by working with officials of law enforcement and complainants. They also talk with witnesses and employees. They help evaluate certain cases involving suspected fraud and provide recommendations for future actions. Fraud investigators work with various types of businesses, including insurance companies, law enforcement agencies and financial banks.

Law School

A lawyer practices the law and works to protect and defend clients from unfair or unlawful punishment or imprisonment. This career requires strict knowledge of the law in order to solve specific theories or problems for any case they are given. Lawyers uphold justice and ensure that all parties are represented as fairly and as lawfully as possible. Those interested in this profession must apply and be accepted to a law school following completion of their undergraduate degree.

Graduate School

If you are passionate about criminology or law, you may decide to further your education. Grand Canyon University offers master’s degrees in criminal justice, with emphases in legal studies and law enforcement. These programs can help prepare you for a successful future in criminal justice or allow you to take your education even further to gain as much insight into the field as possible before going into your desired career.

Learn more about Grand Canyon University’s justice studies program or the College of Humanities and Social Sciences.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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