Criminal Justice Professions Video: Career Options for a Degree in Criminal Justice

Criminal Justice Professions Video: Career Options for a Degree in Criminal Justice Transcript

Careers in law enforcement are among the most important in society. Police, detectives, corrections personnel and probation and parole officers contribute to the safety and welfare of the population. A degree in criminal justice puts graduates in an ideal position to pursue law enforcement jobs at local, county, state and federal levels.


Criminal justice professionals are vitally important in the life of our nation. Police, detectives, corrections personnel, probation officers and other law enforcement officials contribute to the safety and welfare of the population. They are also instrumental in protecting private and public property while maintaining the rule of law. These law enforcement and judiciary officers deal with everything from minor offenses (such as traffic violations) to more serious incidents of violent behavior. Often the work of criminal justice professionals is quite dangerous, a fact that makes their work of inestimable value in our daily lives.

Job Skills and Duties

Law enforcement professionals perform in a variety of criminal justice roles. Police officers have perhaps the most dangerous duties. These officials work on our nation's streets to prevent crime and ticket or apprehend those who do break laws. Often their work puts them in direct contact with individuals who are so violent that lives may be put in jeopardy. Detectives also work in the field, though their work more often entails investigation of a crime after it has already happened. While occurring in the locked-down environment of a prison or jail, corrections officers also come into contact with people who may be dangerous after their incarceration. No less important, parole and probations officers work with the courts to help prevent convicted criminals from becoming multiple offenders. The criminal justice system is designed to rehabilitate offenders via their respective punishments. Parole and probations staff work to keep those who have been punished on a straight path after being convicted.

Training Required

Criminal justice professionals may have different educational backgrounds depending upon their role in preventing or prosecuting crime. Many police departments require at least an associate degree in criminal justice or a related field and undergo intensive on-the-job training within their respective police academies. Corrections officers often have a background in law enforcement or a related field. Probations and parole officers make use of slightly differing skills and are usually required to have a bachelor's degree in counseling, criminal justice or another related field. Those seeking positions at the federal level may have to complete advanced studies, substantial work in the field or both. Due to the nature of law enforcement work, significant physical and personal qualifications are often required at all levels of law enforcement.

Well Known Jobs Within this Field of Expertise

There are many capacities in which criminal justice professionals work including local, county, state and federal agencies. At each of these levels, criminal justice professionals of all stripes are responsible for carrying out core duties in their respective jurisdictions. For example, police officers employed by a city are often responsible for preventing crime within a city's limits. On the other end of the spectrum, officers in federal agencies (such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation) may be engaged in law enforcement activities throughout the world.


A career in criminal justice is generally well suited for those who enjoy making a difference in the lives of others. Given the dangerous nature of much of their work, these professionals must be strongly dedicated to public safety and the rule of law. For those with integrity who are committed to these principles, law enforcement can provide exciting opportunities.


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