Here’s a question for you, and I want you to answer honestly. Are you completely satisfied with your current job? And if not, do you know what to do about it? Have you considered going to school to begin a career in criminal justice?
This may be a good option for you if you are fascinated by the court system, if you can’t sleep at night when you hear about discriminatory practices, if you want to prevent violent crimes from threatening society, or if you want to publicize any injustices that are taking place in prisons. Some of these options require additional training, so be sure to consider the following angles before making the commitment.
What are Your Goals?
Think about your long-term career goals, and research what you need to do to achieve them. Many jobs in justice require specialized training or education. You may need a bachelor’s degree if you want to be a probation officer or correction treatment specialist. Classes in criminal justice may be useful for becoming a paralegal or detective. Administration of justice, police science and public administration classes can also help you out if you are or want to be a law enforcement officer, such as a security officer or member of the police force. Whatever your goals are, a timeline of necessary steps can make them more tangible.
Choose a Program
Hundreds of colleges and universities offer courses in criminal justice and related fields, so narrowing your choices is a major task. First, make sure the institution offers the classes or program you need. If you are planning to enroll in a degree program, check basic statistics. The Department of Education requires schools to report graduation rates, employment rates and on-time completion rates.
Online education is becoming increasingly popular and respected. You may consider online courses if you have work or family obligations. You can learn the material and complete your assignments on the schedule that works best for you.
Plan Your Time
If you are working and you have a family, you will need to be extremely organized to fit your education in, too. Carefully craft a daily or weekly schedule that will permit you to be successful. Write down your work hours. Then fill in the times that you plan to devote to your studies. Remember to leave some time for yourself and your family. A written schedule emphasizes that you will need to be educated to fulfill your goals in law enforcement, but it may also be encouraging because it demonstrates that you truly can advance your career.
Stay engaged in your field to increase your motivation. The National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJR) is an example of an organization to increase your dedication. The NCJR is a federally-funded organization, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice, and it supports research and provides resources to fight crime. You can sign up for regular news updates and get information about upcoming conferences and related events.
Every motivated, hardworking individual deserves a fulfilling career. If you are not yet on the right path, you may want to consider courses in criminal justice. They can open the doors to careers that let you fight for equal rights for everyone.