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Beginning a Career in Criminology

With the rise in popularity of police shows interest in the field of criminology has grown. Our culture has developed a need to know, a need to understand, and a need to question everything. People are constantly striving to learn new ideas, and to understand how investigators get from point A to point B when analyzing crime scene details. The public is intrigued, and this has driven an increase in the availability in formal education to learn about criminals, their behaviors, and processing evidence to catch them.

One could ask if there was significant interest in the area of forensic science prior to popular television shows such as CSI. Or was there significant interest in the behavioral aspects of career criminals prior to television shows such as Criminal Minds? The answer is yes, it was just not as widespread, or so in our face so to speak. The knowledge was out there; however, it has evolved and become more advanced in recent years. The glamour of television police dramas has drawn many individuals to the criminal science classrooms.

Before making such a leap, make an honest evaluation of yourself. Does the sight of blood make you sick? Do you like gore, guts, and gizzards? If so, this may be the right career path for you. However, if the sight of something grizzly makes you gag, you might want to look elsewhere, or limit your focus to the laboratory work with DNA, etc. No matter which way you go, there is excitement in the field.

A degree in the Criminal Sciences will include classes in law, sociology, and of course, abnormal psychology. The more advanced your degree, i.e. Master’s or PhD. the better your chances for a higher profile position with either the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The salary of such jobs is impressive, but so are the skills and importance of the job.

Criminology is not just the science of murders, rapists, and kidnappers; it includes research and analysis into foreign activities, computer crimes, and other white color type crimes. In the end crime is crime, and the country needs more people well versed in the study of criminals and their behavior in order to solve pending cases.

Begin your education with a thorough discussion with a school counselor. Make sure this career path is right for you. Take the counselor’s advice regarding what classes to take and when. In the end a rewarding career is yours for the taking.

*Law enforcement agencies may require additional training.

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