The Difference Between Criminology and Criminal Justice
For those who haven't yet decided what to study, it's important to distinguish between criminology and criminal justice. Though they are certainly complimentary fields of study, they focus on different side of the same coin.
People who study criminology look at crime as a social phenomenon and thus a social problem. They study all aspects of crime and its affects on society as a whole. Students of criminal justice, on the other hand, focus on the system in which crime is detected, prosecuted and punished.
Careers in Criminology
Criminology careers tend to be more academic in focus than those in criminal justice, though there is some overlap between the two. It is also not uncommon for a person to earn a bachelor's degree in criminal justice and a master's in criminology, or vice versa.
Many of the nonacademic careers available in the criminology field may not require any college training at all. These often overlap within the realm of criminal justice and are typically entry-level jobs. A degree is far more conducive to future advancement and will often mean the difference in getting hired or promoted.
- Learn more about the benefits of a college education in criminology or criminal justice.
People who earn a bachelor's degree can expect to find jobs such as:
- Police officer
- Corrections Officer
- Forensic science technician
- Probation and community control officer
- Loss prevention specialist
Perhaps the most notable career available to criminology majors, of course, is that of a criminologist. Though a master's or doctorate degree is typically required, criminologists specialize in a number of different areas, such as environmental criminology. They have also been responsible for improving police activities and functions through innovations such as community-oriented policing and predictive policing. Criminologists work in a variety of environments, including:
- Colleges and universities
- Legislative bodies
- Public policy areas
Criminologists may work as college professors or as advisors to state legislatures or Congress. They help form public policy as it relates to the prevention of crime. They often work closely with police departments to help them better serve their communities.
- Criminal profiler
- Jury consultant
- Prison psychologist
- Expert witness
- Psychological investigative services
To work as a forensic psychologist, a master's degree or a doctorate in psychology will often be necessary in addition to any undergraduate degree earned.
More Criminology Careers
Other careers available to criminology majors include:
- Private investigator
- Insurance fraud investigator
- Security specialist
Crime impacts nearly every aspect of society. As a result, nearly every industry has a need for investigative services, loss prevention or fraud protection.
- Learn more about finding the perfect job in criminology for you
In addition, a degree in criminology can lay the foundation for other related careers, such as attorneys, counselors and social workers.
Great Benefits, Great Experiences
Earning a degree in criminology can open the door to a host of fascinating and rewarding careers. Jobs both in criminal justice and criminology often offer a significant measure of security. They also typically provide excellent healthcare and retirement benefits.
Perhaps more important than the financial benefits, though, is the knowledge that the work one does in the field of criminology or criminal justice helps improve communities and society. People who earn criminology degrees have a unique opportunity to make their world a better place.
- If these career options don't get you exited, learn more about other great jobs in criminology and criminal justice.
- Want to know more? Learn all about the highest paying jobs in criminology and criminal justice