Last Updated on January 18, 2023
The article below brings you one of the best information around. All you’ve got to do is keep reading to find out more. What’s more, the information is free! You will also discover recent, related posts on Master’s In Criminology, popular Criminology jobs, what you can do with masters in criminology, How to Choose a Master’s Program in Criminology, Programmatic Accreditation for Master’s Programs in Criminology, Master’s in Criminology Program Admissions and the average salaries in the US on infolearners
Millions of American work in public safety, investigating crimes and bringing perpetrators to justice. Criminologists are essential to this mission: Their advanced analytical skills allow them to identify criminal behavior patterns and develop public safety initiatives.
Nearly all criminology careers require an advanced degree and work experience. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects investigator jobs will grow 11% by 2026. Your first step toward entering this exciting field begins with selecting the right criminology master’s program. In this article, learn about potential careers, application processes, and resources that can turn your career dreams into a reality.
How to Choose a Master’s Program in Criminology
Decide whether an online or an on-campus program best fits your learning style. Research the top online master’s in criminology programs, many of which offer excellent education at competitive prices. Keep in mind that on-campus programs in your area may connect you to government agencies that employ criminologists, thus spending more for an on-campus program might mean a shorter job search post-graduation.
Examine each remaining program’s curriculum and graduation requirements. Consider which program can offer you a rigorous education in the specialty or concentration you need for your future career. Programs that include internships and practicums can make you a more competitive job applicant, as well.
Finally, pay attention to accreditation statuses. Each program on your shortlist should hold regional accreditation, and all online programs should also hold national accreditation. In the next section, you can learn more about a final form of accreditation that can tell you much about a program’s educational quality.
Programmatic Accreditation for Master’s Programs in Criminology
Programmatic accreditation agencies protect students against diploma mills, fraud, and subpar schools; it also shows that the program adequately prepares graduates for careers in the field. On their websites, agencies often warn students against attending programs that do not meet their standards. However, you should not automatically disregard a program just because it lacks programmatic accreditation from a specific agency.
As of the writing of this article, no one programmatic accreditation agency oversees all criminology programs in the United States. Organizations such as the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) do grant accreditation, but not on a large scale. On the ACJS website, learn how ACJS evaluates programs and then compare their criteria to the programs on your shortlist.
Master’s in Criminology Program Admissions
In many ways, applying to a criminology master’s program requires similar forms and materials as undergraduate applications. Expect the most significant difference when writing essays: prompts on criminology topics where you can express your opinions and discuss your professional goals. An application may even ask you to submit a work or academic sample instead of a traditional essay.
If you apply to online programs, expect more questions concerning your professional criminology experience. Online programs may either let you skip courses or award you credit if you possess specific professional experience. Unless otherwise stated by the university, lacking this experience does not lower your admission chances.
Apply to three to five universities that represent a mix of safety and reach schools. This way, you should receive an acceptance from at least one school and start your education as soon as possible. All schools you apply to should align with your academic needs and future plans.
Should I Get a Master’s in Criminology?
Criminology master’s programs appeal to recent college graduates and returning students with professional criminology experience. Recent college graduates without professional or personal obligations may discover that on-campus programs provide more significant benefits than online programs. For instance, working with professors and peers offers networking opportunities, which can help you land internships or post-graduate employment. You can also use your school’s counseling and career centers, which may connect you with public safety agencies.
Students already employed in public safety may want to attend school while continuing to work full time. To this end, they may consider online programs that let them view lectures and complete assignments asynchronously. Most online programs cost less than on-campus programs.
Both online and on-campus programs offer similar curricula designed to build a highly in-demand skill set including statistical analysis and analytical research. In class, expect to spend the majority of your time studying studying topics such as statistics, psychology, and law.
What Can I Do with a Master’s in Criminology?
Criminology master’s programs qualify graduates for management-level positions in law enforcement and emergency response. These positions command higher salaries. Other graduates apply their education and experience to the classroom, training the next generation of law enforcement professionals. Finally, some professionals with a master’s in criminology choose to work for themselves, taking on clients who require their expertise. When researching the following careers, keep in mind that even with a master’s degree, hiring agencies may still require you to possess significant work experience
Were you fascinated by the characters from movie series like ‘True Detective’, ‘CSI: Crime Scene Investigation’, or ‘Sherlock Holmes’, who played the detective or investigator role? Do you want to be just like them in real life? All you have to do is choose a degree in Criminal Law or Criminology, and you’ll be one of the people who play a major role in solving, understanding and preventing crimes.
Although both Criminology and Criminal Law deal with criminals and crimes, they focus on different aspects. Before choosing a degree and a career path, it’s important to know these differences.
Criminology focuses on analysing crimes and criminals in order to understand their motives and find ways to prevent future crimes. It also analyses trends and the impact of crimes on human societies. Another important aspect of Criminology is the evaluation of punishment and rehabilitation methods in order to determine their efficacy and ways to improve them.
Criminal Law deals with the criminal code and the laws directly related to criminal offences, charges, trials, and punishments for convicted criminals. The main focus of Criminal Law is to determine if a suspect broke the law, what were the consequences, and what punishments they deserve if they’re found guilty.
Before we explore some of the most popular career options, here are a few top places to study Criminal Law and Criminology:
- Masters in Criminal Law in the U.S.
- Masters in Criminal Law in Australia
- Masters in Criminology in the UK
- Masters in Criminology in Canada
Let’s look at some of the most popular Criminology jobs and the average salaries in the US according to PayScale:
1. Parole/Probation Officer – 43,000 USD/year
Both parole and probation officers have very similar jobs. The main difference is that probation officers work with convicted criminals who are on probation (which means they don’t have to go to prison), while parole officers work with criminals who have already served a sentence in prison. Here are a few examples of common tasks:
- Work with offenders/criminals and create a plan to reintegrate them in our society
- Help them find a place to live, employment or take treatment for mental health issues if it’s necessary
- Meet with offenders and administer drug tests
- Monitor and evaluate their overall progress
2. Criminal Psychologist – 57,600 USD/year
- Study criminals and crimes in order to understand why they break the law
- Evaluate offenders and establish what’s the risk of recidivism
- Work with law enforcement, making psychological assessments of suspects or criminals; this is often called offender or criminal profiling
- Counsel criminal offenders
3. Private Investigator/Detective – 53,300 USD/year
- Conduct interview with people to collect information and identify patterns
- Research information (on the internet or using other resources) to learn more about the suspect(s)
- Perform surveillance: follow suspects, record them and their activities
- Make reports and keep clients up to date with the progress/findings of the investigation
4. Crime Scene Investigator/Forensic Investigator – 46,000 USD/year
- Work with the police and attend crime scenes
- Preserve the crime scene and look for evidence that can be used in a criminal case
- Collect and sort different types of evidence
- Write reports about your findings and conclusions
Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten about Criminal Law careers. Here are some of the most popular options:
5. Criminal Lawyer – 79,800 USD/year
- Represent/defend clients facing criminal charges during trials in court
- Research criminal codes and procedural law
- Conduct investigation and interview witnesses to prepare a defence
- Draft, file, and argue motions and appeals
- Negotiate lesser charges with the prosecution
6. Paralegal/Legal Assistant – 46,700 USD/year
- Work with lawyers and help them perform their legal duties
- Prepare trial notes and legal briefs
- Conduct legal research
- Organise case files
7. Legislator – 52,000 USD/year
- Change existing legislation or work on passing new laws
- Take part in debates and discuss proposed legislation
- Work on budgets and policies
- Study Criminal Law or Criminology and you’ll never have a dull moment
If you decide to study a Criminal Law or Criminology degree, you’ll have a clear path to a dynamic, challenging and unpredictable career. Your job will be anything but boring, and although solving a case could take a long time, you’ll be extremely satisfied when it goes right.
Choosing any job in the Criminology and Criminal Law field will give you a feeling of empowerment to help others and truly make your community a safer place. If you think you’re fit for the daily adventure of catching the unlawful, start applying for a degree in Criminal Law or Criminology.