We all want to become Sherlock after watching a captivating crime series on Netflix. There’s no denying that we imagined ourselves arguing in a courtroom after watching “How to Get Away with Murder.” Whether you’re a student trying to figure out career paths or an adult a little too obsessed with crime shows, there’s some good news for you.
The criminal justice profession is as respectable as any other one, probably more. Employment opportunities in this line of work come with a great deal of responsibility. Pursuing this profession is demanding and immensely challenging. However, if you have a passion for criminal justice, the experience can be enjoyable and rewarding. All you need is some commitment and a lot of dedication, and of course, a criminal justice education too.
There’s a lot to expect in the world of criminal law. Unlike boring desk jobs like accountants and customer care representatives, criminal justice jobs are way more fascinating. You can become an investigator, criminal psychologist, criminal lawyer, forensic investigator, police officer, legal assistant, legislator, etc. How cool does this sound? If you have a passion for criminal justice and are confused regarding where to start, continue reading to get a head start.
Earn a Relevant Qualification
Almost every criminal justice job opening requires some educational requirement. Most often, it’s a criminal justice degree. Suppose you’re confused about which career path to pursue in criminal justice. In that case, this degree will render you enough knowledge and experience to help you make up your mind. Consider online criminal justice degrees for added convenience. These programs offer you all the insight you need to become a criminal justice expert. The coursework includes everything from criminal justice and criminology to psychology and criminal law. Online programs are less costly, and great to have a flexible schedule.
Sort Out Your Career Objective and Develop a Plan
Once you get enrolled in a degree, move to the next step, i.e., developing a career plan. It’s essential to construct a roadmap and establish objectives once you’ve decided the path you choose to go within your criminal law profession. Every job will undoubtedly have its own set of criteria, such as the specialized training required to be a law enforcement officer and certain challenges like those associated with gender roles in the police force, for example. . Make a list of the prerequisites for your chosen job and estimate how long it will take you to accomplish each one. To remain on schedule, establish goals like engaging in training, attending relevant workshops and seminars, doing internships, looking for a job, etc. Most people fail at their careers because they don’t have a thought-over plan. They go with the flow.
Explore Your Career Options in the Criminal Justice Profession
You’re in this line of work because you love to investigate. Well, here’s your first opportunity to do so. Investigate some potential jobs that interest you. Contemplate your future and make a pro-con list for each. The decisions you make right now will have a more significant impact on your future. To avoid wasting the most important years of your life, make a career choice that you will not regret later. A criminal justice degree can open countless doors of opportunities for you. Ask yourself whether you like running around on the streets catching bandits, or arguing in courtrooms, or conducting lab tests? When you have your interests lined up, you’ll know which career choice suits you best. There’s nothing better than following your passion and doing what you love.
Get In Touch With the Professionals and Start Networking
Before you jump into any career, criminal justice or not, you should always get in touch with someone experienced in this line of work. The professionals can guide you regarding what to watch out for and the repercussions and consequences of every decision you make. Joining an online community of criminal justice professionals will help. It’ll help you keep up with the swings and trends in this profession. It’s also a great way of networking with other people who have similar interests. If there isn’t a local community for criminal justice in your area, consider it as an opportunity to start one. The best platform to make professional connections is LinkedIn. Set up your profile over there and start connecting. Remember, this career is also one where recognition holds great value.
Attend Events and Conferences
Your online community will update you regarding the criminal justice seminars and workshops happening in your vicinity. They’ll also help you sign up for them. Gaining extra credits in your courses can also get you free passes for one of these events occasionally. Through these events, you can also find mentors to follow and look up to for guidance. Takedown any information presented and learn from the journey of renowned lawyers, officers, and other criminal justice professionals. Note how they made their name in this profession and start walking in their footsteps. You might also edit your roadmap to add more goals after attending one of these events. Various employment opportunities always follow these events. The people you connect with over there may offer to intern for them or work under their mentorship.
Sign Up For Internships
Once you get enrolled in a criminal justice degree, start working on gaining relevant experience. In a time like this, when the competition couldn’t be any wilder, walking out with a mere bachelor’s degree will not suffice. Internships will not just offer you some pre-hand experience. They’ll also get you an upper hand from competitors when you search for employment. Interning for different criminal justice departments will also help you shortlist what you officially want to work for. It’ll grant you a real-time idea of how the work environment is in your field of interest. Therefore, you can shift career choices before it’s too late. These years of your education play a crucial role in shaping your future. Use them wisely.
The Bottom Line
A criminal justice degree sends a plethora of opportunities your way to kick start your career. However, you’ll need to do some of the work yourself during and after your degree. First off, construct a roadmap and establish your goals and stick to them. Join a local community to keep yourself updated. Connect with people with similar interests and get inspiration from their goals. Find a mentor to look up to and hunt for potential internship opportunities around them. The more experience you have, the better it will be for your future. This experience will also help you determine which career path to pursue in criminal justice.