Investing in education plays a critical role in your long-term career goals. When you want to work in criminal justice jobs, you want to make sure that you will earn enough to make it worth the cost of your education. Is a criminal justice degree worth it, when you just want to get a job? Absolutely; there are many criminal justice degree benefits that you don’t get without a degree. While specific income and career opportunities may vary based on your location, a criminal justice degree is worth the cost when you take measures to work in your field before and after you complete the program.
Is a Criminology Degree Useful? Only If You Use It
When you ask is a criminology degree useful, you are asking about your career opportunities. Networking is an important part of working in the criminal justice system, and most people get criminal justice jobs because of who they known – a connection within the department, a mutual acquaintance, or a fellow alumnus, for instance. You need to be willing to get out of your comfort zone and build up contacts to help with your career goals. Criminal justice degree benefits depend on the job you obtain after completing your education. Your contacts help you clarify your options and find positions when a legal office or company is hiring a new employee.
While you work on your degree, network with others in the program and connect to your professors. Get involved in school-related events that allow you to meet lawyers or professionals in criminal justice. Connecting with others will help you gain new opportunities by finding out about a job when it is available to criminal justice students. To really make the most of criminal justice degree benefits, you have to work the resources available to you, and the most important resource is people.
Internships and Volunteer Work
A criminal justice degree is worth it when you are willing to put in the effort and work to build up your resume. Criminal justice degree benefits include much more than just the degree itself. An internship, for instance, helps you build up your resume and gain work experience. Volunteer work helps in a similar way. When you volunteer with criminal justice associations or similar organizations, you are able to apply your knowledge to a specific situation. That helps you build up your skills and improve your career opportunities.
Joining Criminal Justice Associations and Organization
Criminal justice associations play an important role in finding a job after you complete your degree. Depending on your location and career goals, you can join a variety of different organizations. For example, you can join the Midwestern Criminal Justice Association when you plan to start a career in the Midwest. The Midwest Criminal Justice Association or the Southern Criminal Justice Association applies to a specific region of the country, so it may not offer the connections or skills you want for other areas.
The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences or the American Criminal Justice Association may offer more opportunities if you are unsure about your destination after completing a degree. If you are unsure about organizations with the right skills for your goals, you can consider the ACJS Conference or similar events that allow you to learn more about the opportunities available to students and new graduates.
Joining an association or an organization builds up your credentials before you graduate from the university or college. It is a professional organization, so you have a chance to learn more about the criminal justice system or to distinguish yourself from other new graduates with actions or work before you start a job or career. The focus of joining an organization is learning useful skills and networking with professionals in your chosen career path.
Is a Criminal Justice Degree Worth It?
So is a criminal justice degree worth it? That depends on whether you’re ready to make the most of the degree – not just sitting around waiting for a great job to come to you. Criminal justice jobs are worth the cost of your education when you take the time to get the right type of job for your goals. You will find that by networking, joining an association, and working as a volunteer or an intern, you will gain the experience you need to rise above other candidates and obtain a career in the criminal justice system.