Do you like watching crime documents or series? Movies such as Goodfellas and Pulp fiction are amongst the most-watched films because of their portrayal of crime and justice. The suspense and mystery keep people hooked the entire time. Surprisingly, an interest in crime doesn’t have to stay within the realms of cinema and television. There is an absolute field of study devoted to this genre, criminology. It is the study of different aspects of crime and aggressive behavior.
Usually, people argue that criminology is one of the many sociology branches, but it is an interdisciplinary field in reality. It studies the institutions and individual mechanisms that work behind crimes, explaining criminal behavior. Similarly, it comprises criminal justice that focuses on the handling of crime and law enforcement. So, do you want to put criminals behind bars? As a criminology expert, you will investigate procedures and gather evidence to arrest criminals.
Simultaneously, you would be practicing in court as an investigator, crime scene technician, or criminal lawyer. Besides, the rising crime rate worldwide is increasing demand for criminology experts, reflecting bright career prospects. Here we are listing five tips to become a criminology expert.
Usually, students take subjects like law, world history, and psychology in high school to step into the criminology field. While these subjects can be helpful, they are not enough to begin a career in criminal justice. You have to complete a bachelor’s program to emerge as a successful criminology expert. However, the entire idea of returning to school can be overwhelming, especially if you have a part-time job. Fortunately, with eLearning opportunities, you can skip the classroom and take classes virtually.
Hence, look for an online criminal justice degree to kickstart your career in this field. It would cover various subjects such as deviance and crime control, youth justice, crime prevention, etc. You would get an opportunity to learn about the latest law enforcement practices. Additionally, students can also obtain credits to complete police academy training over their degree’s curriculum.
Acquire Criminal Justice Skills
A criminology expert has multiple roles and responsibilities in the field. Hence, you have to equip yourself with different skills to excel in this career. Here we are listing the top four criminal justice skills that every criminology expert should have.
- Ethics: A criminal justice professional should be able to differentiate between right and wrong. No matter how difficult the situation is, you have to uphold the ethical standards of society.
- Research: Do you have research skills? You will have to assess crime data, models and put all information together in reports in the criminal justice field. Thus, learn to analyze public policy and understand the impact of reforms on criminal justice.
- Communication: As a criminology expert, you would be talking to many people in formal and informal situations. Hence, you must know how to convey information and listen actively.
- Critical Thinking: The decisions related to criminal justice have a lasting impact. After all, you are putting a person behind bars for years. Hence, good judgment and critical thinking skills are essential. You should have social awareness and strong reasoning skills to make accurate decisions in challenging situations.
Choose A Specialization
Although criminology seems like a specialization itself, there are different specialties within this field. You can specialize in translational criminology, national security, or cybercrime. Otherwise, if you want to work directly with criminals, become a criminologist. You will get to improve policing protocols with predictive and community-oriented policing strategies. Similarly, you can also become a criminal justice expert. At times, there are accusations of crimes that people didn’t commit, but they have to go to jail because of a weak case. You can fight on behalf of these people and help them get justice.
Explore Networking Opportunities
The criminology world is quite different from other industries. You have to make connections in the industry to find crime patterns in the regions. Therefore, connect with top-leading detectives in the field to get your hands on some helpful information. You can also attend professional criminology conferences and seminars to learn about new developments and issues in the field. Perhaps, there could be a criminal gang led by underworld crime specialists.
Moreover, you can go through current research and published articles to learn about emerging trends in this field. It can help you apprehend criminal behaviors and what provokes people to indulge in crime. Also, go through documentation and forensics to find patterns in different types of illegal activities.
Gain Industry Experience
While completing your education program, step into the professional world. Instead of applying for a full-time job, look for internships to discern how things happen in the real world. It would help you gain first-hand experience, expanding your horizons. You will be working under criminal justice professionals who will guide you about working norms. Similarly, they will throw light on common challenges and how criminals plead guilty even when they haven’t committed the crime. After all, real-world challenges are different than cases you solve in books.
Criminal justice is a diverse field. From working with criminals to holding them accountable, a criminology career is different from conventional desk jobs. You will have to understand criminals’ mindset, control crime rates, and utilize crime reduction policies. Once you are sure about this career choice, pursue higher education and gain industry experience to make this world a crime-free place.