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What Are the Different Careers in Criminology?

Most people who work in criminology have degrees in criminal justice.
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  • Written By: Erin Oxendine
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 17 April 2014
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The field of criminology involves studying criminal behavior and crime patterns. There are different careers in criminology ranging from victim specialists to parole officers. Some professionals in this occupation work as consultants while others are employed with government agencies. Most people who are in the criminology field have a criminal justice degree along with a background in psychology and behavioral science.

One of the careers in criminology is that of a criminologist who works with law enforcement, providing insight into criminal behavior and helping to track criminals. The criminologist analyzes criminals and victims of violent crimes to try to prevent crime. Some police agencies also employ these individuals to prepare reports regarding crime statistics on demographics such as the type of crime, location and frequency that it is committed.

Another of the many careers in criminology is that of a parole officer who works with the prison systems. The parole officer’s main responsibility is to monitor inmates released from prison and to alert law enforcement if the person violates the terms of his or her parole. It is also the officer’s job to assist the parolee with finding employment as well as providing referrals for psychologists and doctors. Another task this professional has to do is file recommendations with the court regarding the parolee if the officer determines the person is becoming a danger to himself or to society.

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People who want careers in criminology can also find employment as victim specialists. This professional assists victims and the families of victims who have suffered at the hands of a criminal. Some of the services a victim specialist provides include acting as a liaison for the family and law enforcement and providing counseling to children of violent crimes. These specialists also work with other providers such as doctors and therapists to help the victims get the medical attention and therapy that they need.

Individuals who are interested in some of the careers in criminology may prefer a teaching job. Professors of criminology teach at universities or community colleges around the world. Most professors lecture on subjects regarding criminal justice and criminology. Instructors also have to perform research, attend seminars and participate in board meetings.

Most careers in criminology require candidates to have degrees in criminology and an understanding of how crime affects society. Criminologists have to be able to work with other people, including law enforcement, victims and criminals. This occupation demands a person be willing to put in long hours, often in stressful conditions when working with the courts or prison systems.

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