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What Can I Do With a Master s in Criminal Justice?
Criminal justice is a popular discipline for students seeking either associate s or bachelor s degrees. A criminal justice major can go on to become a patrol officer or a detective or work in corrections among other things. But what about a master s degree in the subject? What kind of careers in criminal justice await those who go on to graduate study?
A masters in criminal justice opens the door to many opportunities. Anyone who wants to teach at a college level will need a master s at minimum. A criminal justice degree at the graduate level will also be necessary for anyone who wants to work in creating public policy, advising senators, representatives and other people in government about issues in the field.
But many other criminal justice jobs that are more hands-on require advanced degrees as well. For example, a student who wants to work for the FBI will have an advantage with a master s degree while anyone who wants to work as a forensic psychologist will be required to hold an advanced degree. A forensic psychologist uses psychology within the legal system. Multiple degrees in both psychology and criminal justice would be helpful in this case.
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Criminology is another profession that requires an advanced degree. Criminologists work with statistics and surveys. They may study the criminal mind and make recommendations about how to better address problems of crime. They conduct research and work with people who have various roles in law enforcement.
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The job of a criminal profiler is one that is often seen in television shows, movies and books, and it can be an exciting field in which to work. Criminal profilers examine crime scenes, the victims and the manner in which the crimes are committed, among other things, in order to form a hypothesis about the person likely to have committed the crime. Graduate work is required for anyone who wishes to enter this field.
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Finally, while a police officer or detective will not need a master s degree, someone who wants to advance to administrative positions may find it useful or required.
Some criminal justice colleges and criminal justice schools offer online degrees. Online criminal justice degrees can prepare one just as well as degrees earned in regular college classrooms. Many people think of a bachelor s in criminal justice as a terminal degree, but there are many more opportunities.