Question: What Can I Do With a Major or Minor in Criminal Justice?
And the answer is….What do you want to do? Well, some people know from the time they are very young what they want to do with their lives, but for many it takes a while and a few false starts to figure it out. Here are some starters to help you out.
Careers in the Criminal Justice field can be found
at the local, county, state, and federal levels in fields such as Criminal
Law, Law Enforcement, Corrections, Juvenile Justice, Investigations, Crime
Prevention, Rehabilitation of Criminals, Administration of Justice, Private
Security and Loss Prevention, and Criminalistics and Forensic Sciences,
just to name a few.
You may also want to consider Grad School or Law School. Some students wish to continue their studies beyond the Bachelors Degree for a variety of reasons. Some careers require a Masters Degree or Ph.D.; for others an advanced degree is desirable and enhances chances of higher level careers and promotions. Even if you’re not sure whether Grad School or Law School is what you want, it’s a good idea to gear your undergraduate career with an eye toward the possibility and toward meeting admission requirements. Often students make the mistake of thinking "I already know I’m not going to go to Grad School," but often things change for them and they find themselves wanting to go, but having a more difficult time gaining admission because they didn’t gear themselves toward it early enough.
If I major in Criminal Justice, what should I minor in?
Much will depend on if you have plans for what kind of career you’re interested in and what they are. Many minors, though, can be easily used to enhance your job or graduate school prospects. Accounting, marketing, business, management, or computer sciences may help give you an edge in careers that investigate or prosecute White Collar Crime. Biology, chemistry, or other natural sciences may help you in the fields of forensics. Foreign Languages are desirable for many careers at all levels of government. A Journalism or Mass Communication minor may be helpful if your career plans take you into dealing with the news media. Sociology, Psychology, and Human Services are helpful for going into helping professions, probation, parole, juvenile justice, etc.
Discuss your career plans, thoughts, and ideas with
your parents and your advisor. Visit the Career Center at SJC. Ask other
students who may be minoring in an area you might like. Sometimes you’ll
take a class in an area that you hadn’t really thought much about, only
to discover that you like it, it goes with your CJ major, and you want
to minor in it.
Career Planning Tips and Strategies for Criminal Justice Majors
There are several things you can do to optimize your chances of getting into the career or grad school of your choice. Among them are:
Criminal Justice Employment and
Grad School Links
Police/Law Enforcement Job Links
Just a few of the many sites dedicated to helping people find jobs in law enforcement
Indiana Police Corps
The Police Corps is part of a federal program that pays up to $30,000 in scholarships to students who agree to a four-year commitment to work in a police agency in the state of Indiana. The scholarships can reimburse your completed years of college, or are paid on an annual basis for the remaining years. This web site is for the Indiana Police Corps—if you’re from another state, check to find out if your state participates in the program.
Corrections Job Links
Federal and State links for jobs in Corrections/Prisons
A New and Wide-Open Field that is rapidly becoming one of the more popular
Criminal Justice areas. And don’t forget that SJC has one of the leading
Forensic Scientists in the country on campus in the person of Dr. Neal
Haskell. Dr. Haskell will be glad to talk to you if you leave a message
and a phone number at: firstname.lastname@example.org
For law schools as well as grad schools for professional careers in law, paralegal, court reporting, etc.
Grad Schools in Criminal Justice and CJ-Related Areas
General CJ Job Links
Links for all kinds of jobs in the Criminal Justice field. Check these
sites out no matter what kind of career you’re interested in.
For Links to Careers in Juvenile Justice
Professional Associations may help the career-seeker in several ways: in networking, in making "a statement" to employers that you’re serious, professional, and cutting-edge, plus many associations have newsletters or other links to job postings.
Newspapers and Job Boards
Newsdirectory.com has links to online newspapers across the country for you to check out the classified ads. Job boards give you a variety of options to search with—here are a just a few.
Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook
A great resource for any job. Find out what the projections are for different kinds of jobs, what the job entails, what the problems in certain jobs are, and more!