Criminal Justice Career Requirements
The criminal justice field provides wide variety of job choices. From working on the local level as an officer or clerk, to the state level as a trooper or corrections officer, all the way to the federal level as an FBI agent or secret service agent, there are plenty of options! Jobs in this field are fairly steady, as there will always be a need for people to uphold our laws, and people to administer justice if those laws are broken.
People looking for a career in criminal justice are usually, at their core, interested in helping to improve their community. Specific required skills will vary depending on the position you choose. A job as a police officer would likely require physical stamina, while someone working in the field of forensics would need good computer skills. Just about any job in law enforcement will need good communication and people skills. You will need the ability to stay calm under pressure, and the ability to make quick decisions. Most jobs in this field will also require you to pass a lengthy criminal background check.
As far as educational requirements go, you will find a variety of answers as to what is necessary depending on your chosen profession, and depending on the level at which you want to work (local, state or federal). A job working as a local criminal justice officer will likely only require a high school diploma as a minimum. But a job working for a federal agency will likely require an advanced degree. Most colleges do offer degrees in law enforcement and criminal justice. So if you're looking for a job in this area, that's a great way to get started. Entry level applicants for most criminal justice jobs usually will have a brief period of training - the police academy for example.
Once you get above local, entry level jobs, you will likely find that work experience is required in addition to education. That's why many people in this field choose to either work while they're obtaining their degree, or go back to school and further their education once they have employment.
The following colleges offer programs that can help you become qualified for a Criminal Justice career: