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What Can You Do With A Criminal Justice Degree?

Criminal justice is a multidisciplinary field that offers graduates a wide range of career opportunities. From safeguarding communities to advocating tirelessly for the rights of victims, the possibilities are as varied as they are rewarding. Many criminal justice job prospects also come with respectable compensation, comprehensive benefits, and job stability. Deciding which career to pursue depends on what your interests are and what kind of work you want to do.

What Jobs Can You Get With A Criminal Justice Degree?

Jobs for criminal justice majors include roles in law enforcement, corrections, and even the legal system. While every job in the field has its own set of necessary skills and requirements, all criminal justice professionals should be able to demonstrate moral and ethical judgment, communication, conflict resolution, and legal knowledge.

Police Officer

Police officers maintain public safety by enforcing laws and responding to emergencies. On a typical day, they may patrol neighborhoods, investigate crimes, and make arrests. Police officers must understand the laws they are tasked with maintaining, including the rights of the accused. They should also be physically fit, be able to communicate effectively, and be able to remain calm under pressure.


Detectives typically serve as police officers first and are promoted to the role of detective after gaining experience in the force. Most have an area of specialization they work within, such as homicide, missing persons, or cold cases. Detectives often work multiple cases at one time, which involve gathering evidence, interviewing witnesses, and supplying information to district attorneys. A high level of critical thinking, attention to detail, and interviewing prowess is a must to succeed as a detective.

Probation Officer

Probation officers supervise those who have been placed on probation by the court. They monitor probationers and help them comply with court-ordered conditions to avoid serving jail time for their sentence. Communication, assessment, documentation and reporting, and conflict resolution are key abilities for probation officers.

Parole Officer

Parole officers work closely with individuals who have been released from prison on parole. Like probation officers, they supervise parolees to ensure proper compliance is met for parole conditions and that their subjects reintegrate back into society. They should have very similar skill sets to probation officers.

Corrections Officer

Also called prison guards or detention officers, corrections officers are in charge of maintaining order and security inside correctional facilities. They oversee inmates, conduct searches, and ensure that facility rules are followed. Physical fitness, crisis management, conflict resolution, and mental resilience are helpful skills to have when working in this role.

Intelligence Analyst

Intelligence analysts gather, review, and summarize data and other information related to criminal or security threats. They often work for law enforcement agencies, government organizations, or private sector institutions. Intelligence analysts need to be able to research, evaluate information, and develop strategies. Having a background in cybersecurity is also helpful.

Victim Advocate

Victim advocates provide emotional support and vital resources to victims of crime. They work with victims to navigate the complexities within the criminal justice system, often to obtain protection orders or access services. Compassion and empathy, case management, resource navigation, and cultural competency skills are essential to aiding victims effectively.

Emergency Management Specialist

Emergency management specialists develop and implement responses and recovery plans for disaster situations. Their work might involve compiling preparedness and response plans for anything from natural disasters to human-caused events to mass migration and displacement issues. Risk assessment, resource management, logistics, adaptability, and community engagement are vital skills in this role.

Court Clerk

Court clerks work within the judicial system in an administrative capacity. They manage court records, schedule hearings, and help judges or attorneys with other administrative tasks. Strong organizational, interpersonal, and multitasking skills are necessary for this position, as are attention to detail and discretion.

Earn Your Criminal Justice Degree At Villa

Interested in studying criminal justice? Villa Maria College is the right place. Our new criminal justice program offers students an exciting opportunity to gain key skills and make a positive impact in the field. Learn more at