Criminal Justice Core Curriculum – Criminology

While the average criminal justice student will be required to undergo a host of courses designed to increase their working knowledge about the criminal justice system, the most influential of these courses is criminology. In fact, many students will utilize the topics covered within this course within their daily life as a criminal justice system employee. Whether you wish to enter the workforce as a law enforcement officer, corrections officer or a criminal psychologist, criminology lays the foundation for all other specialty courses.

The Basics of Criminology

Criminology courses within the realm of criminal justice degrees are available within the associate, bachelor’s and master’s degree levels. It’s within this course, students are taught the basics of the crime and criminal behavior. In fact, this course is so detailed many students decide to major in criminal justice with a concentration in criminology. Check here for the full list of the elements of a criminology course. Several basic elements of which are outlined below:

Study of Criminal Behavior – Within this topic, students discuss the various elements of criminal behavior. Topics generally discuss criminal behavior in the general population as well as in specific cultural settings. By delving into the general and focused topics of criminal behavior, students are given a better understanding of the psychology behind a criminal.

Socioeconomic Influences – How do the economic statistics within a particular social group influence the role and activity of criminal behavior? Within this topic, students discuss the various impact socioeconomic influences have on criminal behavior and actions.

Sociocultural Influences – The culture in which a person is raised can directly influence the level of criminal behavior. While there are exceptions to every rule, by understanding the role a culture has on the development of criminal behavior, they’re able to grasp a better understanding on how law enforcement and crime prevention techniques must be altered based upon the culture in which they operate.

Juvenile Delinquency – This topic, within the criminology course discusses the process of criminal behavior in juveniles. This topic pieces together information from social workers and juvenile psychology to understand how a child’s environment alters the psychological and emotional development of said child. This is an essential topic for those wishing to enter a career working with juvenile offenders.

Victimology – While this topic is generally discussed within its own course, many criminology course briefly touches upon the role a victim plays within specific types of crime. Concepts such as how victims are treated within the criminal justice system and how victims should approach reporting a crime is often discussed.



Careers in Law Enforcement with a Criminal Justice Degree

The criminal justice industry is one of the fastest expanding career fields in not only job opportunities but also in positions within this branch of the criminal justice system. If you’re interested in working directly with your community in order to make it a safer place, then a career within the law enforcement division of criminal justice may be your ideal choice. While there several obvious career choices, such as becoming a police officer, there are several others career opportunities for those with a criminal justice degree.

Criminal Justice Schools Today advises that if you’re interested in a specific career, it’s best to discuss this career with an advisor within your school to ensure you take advantage of select electives and coursework. Doing so not only prepares you for a specific career, but it also ensures that you’re highly competitive within this field.

Law Enforcement Career Options

When you have a criminal justice degree, there are many career options available to you. It’s important to note that some of these careers require specific levels of education, such as a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Regardless, the foundation of any of the following careers is a respected and conclusive degree in criminal justice.

CIA Agent – There are few criminal justice careers that have been as publicized as a CIA, or Central Intelligence Agency, officer. Within this government branch, there are several career possibilities. These include:

Operations Officer – This professional is responsible for collecting vital information throughout a clandestine operation. These professionals work with domestic and international sources to gather vital intelligence data. This is a highly stressful, and somewhat dangerous, job.

Collection Management Officer – Also referred to as CMOs, these professionals serve as a liaison between various government officials.

Compliance Officer – As a compliance officer, you’ll work directly with local and state governments to ensure various laws and regulations are not only enforced, but enforced according to state laws. Generally, these professionals specialize in worker rights, licensing and environmental laws; however, regardless of their specialty, these professionals share similar responsibilities.

These officers are responsible for reviewing complaints and gathering information in order to investigate these complaints to determine whether or not government officials have broken the law. If a violation is found, these officers issue citations to individuals and suggest various changes to processes and procedures.

Crime Scene Investigators – As a crime scene investigator, you’re responsible for securing crime scenes, collecting and examining physical evidence, photographing crime scenes, documenting physical evidence and testifying as a witness in trials and other courtroom proceedings. This is a hands-on position and it’s vital to determine the actual causes, victims and perpetrators within a crime.