A degree in criminology can prepare a student for a career in the criminal justice system. An undergraduate degree is also a starting point for a career in forensics such as a forensic psychologist. Students may also move into a masters or doctoral degree program or pursue a career with the undergraduate degree.
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An undergraduate degree in criminology can prepare a student to work in law enforcement. A bachelor's degree qualifies a student for work as a police officer, probation officer, bailiff, corrections officer or an agent working with the FBI or CIA. Law enforcement agencies may have additional requirements for officers such as physical requirements. The criminologist learns investigation techniques while completing an undergraduate degree.
Individuals may also work as a private investigator with a degree in criminology. Each state has different requirements for a private investigator license, which may include passing an examination. The private investigator works for private clients, businesses and lawyers to gather data and information. The private investigator may work for a firm or operate as a self-employed private detective in the state. Private detectives perform background checks for companies and individuals, using the investigative techniques learnt with a criminology degree.
Criminologists may work in security overseeing the property of private companies or government facilities. The security worker with a degree in criminology may advance with a security firm to a management position. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a security officer may not need a bachelor's degree education to work in the field, but education in criminal justice may provide opportunities for advancement.
Criminology majors may work as a legal assistant or a paralegal assistant in a law firm. The criminology major prepares a student for investigative work, which may be helpful in law offices handling criminal cases. A legal assistant or a paralegal position may require additional training to work in the position. Criminology majors may qualify for certification with additional training.
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