What type of education do you need to become a criminologist?


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A professional criminologist must have a bachelors degree or masters degree to be considered for professional positions. Undergraduate courses useful for obtaining a criminologist job include criminology, psychology and sociology. Aspiring criminologists pursuing a graduate degree take courses in research and statistics, and some earn a behavioral sciences masters degree. Criminal justice courses are also useful in gaining a deeper understanding of the legal process, including how laws are enforced.

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Full Answer

A master's degree is often necessary to land certain jobs as a criminologist, so most aspirants should plan on continuing studies after earning a bachelor's degree. Criminologists must possess good analytical and reasoning skills to evaluate the reasons why criminals are motivated to commit certain illegal acts. Courses in behavioral sciences are valuable for learning how to conduct research into crimes and the effect crimes have on victims and the general population. Courses that involve analysis are relevant for combining data with human behavior to come up with theories useful to law enforcement.

Criminologists who wish to teach college-level courses or do advanced research usually have a doctorate degree. In addition to classes, internships are vital for gaining work experience in this field, and internship experience makes candidates more competitive during a job search. In many states, criminologists must have a license, and this involves passing a licensing exam.

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