No matter what degree program you’re considering, your post-graduation career options will be foremost on your mind. If you’re interested in a criminal justice qualification, you might be intrigued to know that a degree in this field can open up doors to a number of careers — and some are definitely more interesting.
Go to school online to earn your Master of Science in Criminal and Social Justice, and you could enjoy an exciting career as a bounty hunter, a game warden or an intelligence analyst. Choose one of these unusual jobs, and you’ll never be without something to talk about at parties.
Game wardens work on the state or local level to enforce the laws that govern the fishing, hunting or trapping of wild animals. In some locations, game wardens also have the ability to enforce laws in general, which means they’re allowed to make arrests for non-game-related infractions.
In addition to managing wildlife populations, game wardens have multiple opportunities. Some game wardens work with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol and Homeland Security to patrol the country’s borders. They’re responsible for conducting search-and-rescue operations when people go missing in the wilderness and can help bring relief to areas affected by natural disasters. They investigate environmental crimes and educate the public about environmental regulations.
As a court reporter, you would work to create accurate verbatim transcripts of legal proceedings, depositions, speeches and meetings. Court reporters must guarantee that legal records are safe, complete and truthful.
In addition to your studies, you may also need to complete on-the-job training in order to work as a court reporter, depending on your jurisdiction’s requirements. Continuing education classes are necessary for most court reporters. You will also need to meet state licensing requirements in the state where you choose to work.
We don’t live in the Old West anymore, but bounty hunters still exist. They make their living by finding and apprehending fugitives and bringing them to justice. These days, bounty hunters are often called fugitive recovery agents, bail enforcement agents or bail fugitive investigators.
Bounty hunters work as independent contractors and earn a commission of 10 to 25 percent on each bond. As a bounty hunter, your earning potential is limited only by your ability to successfully apprehend fugitives. Advanced criminal justice studies will help you have a firm grasp of your rights and responsibilities as a member of this field. A degree will also help you better understand the psychology and motivations of the criminals you’re pursuing, which can give you an edge in finding them. Of course, some additional training in self-defense might not be a bad idea.
Criminal Intelligence Analyst
Criminal intelligence analysts help law enforcement by collecting, analyzing and interpreting the information they gather from law enforcement databases, geographic information systems, surveillance and intelligence networks. They identify patterns and trends to make law enforcement aware of emerging problems. Law enforcement can use the trends and patterns identified by criminal intelligence analysts in order to create strategies for reducing crime and protecting potential victims of crime.
Customs and Border Protection officers are responsible for enforcing U.S. customs law over every person and thing that leaves or enters the country. They work in airports, at seaports and at overland border crossings to stop people from smuggling goods in or out of the nation, to keep out illegal immigrants and to collect import taxes.
An advanced degree in criminal justice will give you a deep understanding of the forces that drive criminal behavior, which can help you immensely if you choose to pursue a career in customs. People skills are a must for customs agents. Foreign language skills are also very desirable among customs agents — if you have a second language, you’ll excel in a career with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
A degree in criminal justice can prepare you for a career in law enforcement, the legal system, forensics or criminal psychology. However, if you’re looking for something a little different, an advanced degree in criminal justice can also prepare you for more unique career options, so you can brag about your interesting job to anyone you meet.
Game wardens image by Nathan L. Hanks Jr. from Wikimedia Commons.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers image by James Tourtellotte from Wikimedia Commons.