What is a Criminologist and Is It For You?

A criminologist studies normal social behavior and how certain factors influence deviation from that norm. They analyze crime and criminal behavior and attempt to explain it. By focusing on the study of crime and criminal law criminologists are able to increase the chance of a criminal being apprehended and to predict patterns and motives for criminal behaviors.

To be effective in interpreting and analyzing criminal behavior, criminology as a field relies on psychology, sociology as well as biological and educational factors. Practitioners in this field have to crate profiles and present statistical information in an organized and easy to interpret manner. As a result, they must have an understanding of many disciplines, especially those dealing with human behavior.

Degree Programs

Degree programs cover a wide range of topics; insuring graduates are well prepared for the challenges of a criminology career. If you decide to pursue this area of study, you will learn about the government, sociology, psychology, juvenile delinquency, criminal law, constitutional law and criminal theory. Most degree programs in criminology will focus on the development of your statistical skill, writing, computer science and logic. Additional courses include forensics, abnormal psychology, corrections and research methods.

What do Criminologists do?

With an entry-level degree, you would spend your time doing data collections, report profiling, compiling crime statistics and develop proposals for crime prevention strategies. Those with a higher degree have more opportunities for advancement and higher pay. Additional education also allows one to specialize in a certain area of criminology. You could specialize and focus on a particular age group, certain types of crimes, crime prevention, criminal investigation, profiling or research. Criminologists may specialize in organizational research, victimology, corporate crime or juvenile justice.

With a degree in criminology, you could become a law enforcement agent, police officer or FBI agent as well as medical examiner. You could also go into the education field and teach aspiring criminologists. In the academic world, aside from teaching, you could conduct research and present and publish your work in the field. Finally, you could be employed by private security companies, state and federal correction systems, drug enforcement agencies as well as US customs.

Criminologists supply a great deal of knowledge to the study of drug addiction, juvenile justice, policing, police administration and policy, radical criminology and victimology. Criminologist’s duties can vary from reviewing a pattern of behavior and writing a profile of that demographic group, to going to crime scenes, attending autopsies, and questioning suspects.

Where do Criminologists work?

With this degree you can be employed by government agencies and universities. Their main role in these organizations is to advance teaching and research as well as policy assessment and institution. At universities criminologists teach criminology, legal studies, law and sociology while conducting research at the same time.

This degree will allow you to find a job in many different settings. Some common areas of employment are: airport security, corrections system, probation or parole officers, FBI, US customs and drug or other law enforcement agencies. Finally, private practices providing services for issues in law reform, crime statistics or adult corrections are frequent areas of employment.

Tags: