Criminal Justice majors study what it means to be a criminal and how justice is maintained when crimes are committed. It’s similar to a degree in Law Enforcement, except it doesn’t have the gun training and is more geared for what happens after the criminal is caught – the stuff that happens in courts and beyond. There are some careers in Criminal Justice for those with an associate’s degree, but for most work you’ll want a bachelor’s degree as your starting-off point.
Criminal Justice majors are likely glued to the television screen during all the cops and crime shows. They are fascinated by the judicial process. Even “Judge Judy” is probably a favorite. They also like taking sociology classes and learning about why people are the way they are.
Criminal Justice majors will end up working with really diverse people, and their job will involve making sure people pay their debt to society as well as helping them rehabilitate and change their ways. Strong interpersonal skills are a huge plus when it comes to meeting these goals.
Criminal Justice can be a dark field – there’s plenty of unpleasant things going on in the world. If you get nightmares when you watch villains on Saturday morning cartoons, you will likely go into cardiac arrest as a Criminal Justice major.
As a Criminal Justice major, you’ll learn how the courts work, what the laws are regarding different groups like juveniles, and how a criminal’s mind works. You’ll take psychology, history and government classes in addition to your other studies.
There’s a lot of ways to go with a Criminal Justice degree. Some options are becoming a corrections officer (also known as guards in prisons), probation officer, or social worker.
Drive the speed limit. Sounds silly, but it’s true – many Criminal Justice majors look for jobs in law enforcement, and so much as an unpaid speeding ticket can keep you from getting the job. Keep your record clean and you’ll be just fine.
Take advantage of opportunities to network. That could take the form of an internship, class projects or campus clubs and organizations. Who you know matters, and what kind of impression you make can be critical.