Is a Career in Criminology Right for You?

Lately, the field of criminology has attracted much attention, something which is somewhat due to the glamour portrayed in the assortment of popular crime-related TV shows such as NCIS, CSI, Criminal Minds, and more. But, what exactly is a criminologist? These professionals are employed by local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and are responsible for a variety of job duties. This could include analyzing criminal behavior, studying criminal methods and using this information to create logical interpretations and explanations, and in turn using this analysis in order to contribute towards coming up with a prevention or prediction of criminal activity. As you can see, this is a very interesting career choice, however, is it the right one for you?


The field of criminology is home to a wide range of career options, most of which are anything but your regular 9-5 office job. A fast-paced and exciting field, criminologists tend to be attracted to the idea of working in a job which allows them to contribute to the bettering of society. But, along with this, in order to become a successful criminologist, you will need to be attracted to the type of environment found within the field and the energy and motivation that it requires. You will need to be passionate about the work for sure.


If you are hoping to get a job that you will not need to attend college prior to, criminology may not be the best field for you. In order to land a job in most areas of the field of criminology, you will need to have obtained a relevant college degree, for example an online degree in criminology or a criminal justice degree, depending on the type of work that you are hoping to do once you graduate. Once you have gained your degree you can also go on to undertake further study such as a master’s degree or even a doctorate which will improve your job prospects and open up even more opportunities for your career.


The main role of many criminologists is to determine various causes of crime and work to prevent this. An online criminology degree will teach you all that you need to know about the various theories of crime, for example general strain theory, labelling theory, biological and psychological positivism, feminist criminology, and political viewpoints such as left and right realism which will help you to understand the various possible causes of crime. But, as a criminologist, it’s down to you which of the theories you agree with the most when applying them to your work. Researching is absolutely essential as although the theories provide many good ideas, the possible reasons for crime are vast and diverse, with criminals and criminality itself being quite complicated. In order to be a good fit for this role you will need to be a good researcher and able to form new ideas.

Do you think that you have what it takes to be a criminologist?

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