A degree in criminal justice offers many different career opportunities within the criminal justice field. Some of the most common opportunities are as police officers, parole officers, forensic scientists and federal agents. Criminal justice degrees are available at different degree levels, such as certification, associates, bachelors, masters and doctorate.
One of the most common career paths for a criminal justice graduate is as a police officer. Police officers are among the most visible workers in criminal justice system. They apprehend criminals, prevent crime and provide security to citizens. Depending on the department, there are many opportunities to advance along multiple career tracks.
Parole officers deal with people that have been convicted of crimes by supervising their activities and maintaining regular contact with them. The goal is to keep the offender out of further trouble, assisting them with entering rehabilitation programs or helping them to find employment.
Forensic scientists are in charge of collecting, analyzing and summarizing findings of evidence from crime scenes. They usually have some expertise in DNA, blood, fingerprints or handwriting analysis. Through these methods, they help law enforcement capture criminals and can often be called upon to testify in court proceedings.
Federal agents work within the federal government. FBI agents investigate crimes that are covered under federal laws. CIA agents collect and analyze intelligence in order to protect the national security in the United States. Each agency has several career paths with ample opportunity for advancement.