What Can You Do With a Criminal Justice Degree?

A criminal justice degree from an accredited program prepares you for a wide range of careers in the legal, law enforcement and corrections fields on the local, state and federal levels.

Of course, you can use it to become a police officer, but that’s not your only option. There are several organizations geared toward law enforcement where criminal justice degree holders may work as police officers, investigators or in other roles. Here are a few:

Criminal justice grads can also work in the private sector, for insurance companies, private investigators, or security companies. Additionally, people in criminal justice programs can choose to specialize in more research-oriented roles, such as forensic science.

Forensicists often work as field or laboratory analysts at a local, state or national level crime lab. Popularized by top-rated television franchise CSI, (crime scene investigators), criminalist and forensic lab technicians have become highly sought-after careers.

There are two types of forensicist: Field analysts collect evidence and process crime scenes, while lab analysts run tests on evidence collected from the field. This can include running DNA and other chemical tests, firearm and bullet testing, or trace evidence analysis. Many cases are resolved on the scientific conclusions of evidence, making forensic science one of the most interesting fields you can pursue as a criminal justice graduate.

A criminal justice degree can also be a good pre-law program for those who want to pursue a career as a prosecutor, defense lawyer, legal representative, or any number of other positions.

Click to learn more about the types of criminal justice degree, or see specific information about different schools in criminal justice. You can also find more information on the different types of criminal justice career.