Career Development

7 Jobs For a Criminal Justice Graduate

A degree in criminal justice is useful, but jobs in the legal profession are hard to obtain. Firms want to stay more agile and they are cutting staff in an effort to promote that. Smaller teams are tackling larger case loads, and experience trumps education in many circumstances.

We’re not trying to discourage you from applying to legal jobs, but these tips may help those who are ready to work and having trouble finding the right fit.

Intelligence Analyst

A business intelligence analyst reviews competition in a particular industry with the goal of providing a report to an employer. This report details competitive opportunities that may exist for one company to succeed. It details where companies have gone right, and potential missed opportunities. These documents are crucial to keeping a business competitive. Those with a criminal justice degree are taught to be analytical, a skill suited to this position.

Loss Prevention

Those with criminal justice degrees are trained to understand the law, including investigative techniques. These skills come in handy in the field of loss prevention. Companies need leaders in this field to help establish security protocols for employees and customers. Managers in this field help dictate how to deal with problems, and how to plug potential holes in security.


Those who hold a degree of criminal justice at GMU are taught the impact crimes can have on a family. This level of empathy makes degree holders excellent candidates for counselors, where abuse in the home can make it difficult for victims to speak openly. The knowledge of the law will also help pinpoint potential legal problems versus issues that can be worked out within the family.

Law Enforcement

The police force was formed to protect and serve, as the motto goes, and those with degrees in criminal justice are set for great things. Studies in forensics may lead to crime scene investigative work; knowledge of how to deal with criminals could also form the basis for a position as a detective. These positions require people who have a concept of the law and understand how to exercise it responsibly.

The Bureau of Labor statistics do suggest that opportunities are limited by resources. Expect lower wages, but a steady job with an upward path for those who qualify.

Social Work

Similar to counseling, social work helps families rebuild after traumatic events. Those with degrees in criminal justice are taught to help people diagnose and solve problems on-site. They can also help direct people to further services for help, if the problem can’t be solved at home. In extreme cases, these workers may be authorized to intervene and stop a potential problem from happening.

More and more schools are grooming students to get a taste of the real world during their educations. A degree in criminal justice at GMU even requires 120 hours of internship in police departments, probation departments and private security companies.

Private Investigators

If you’ve ever watched the Maltese Falcon, you have a vague idea of what a private investigator does. Similar to an investigative reporter, PIs look into matters the police won’t attend to. They solve smaller crimes, or they may be hired to catch someone in the act. Whatever act that may be. This position requires someone with knowledge of privacy laws and criminal behavior.

State Parks

The duties of a ranger involve the general upkeep of a certain park. They typically monitor campsites and may spend long stretches of time alone in a state park, if the grounds are large enough. They keep a direct eye on nature and take steps to cite people who litter and damage state property. Rangers are like wildlife protectors who work in teams to ensure the safety of park grounds.

While unconventional, these positions all make use of the skills that a criminal justice degree holder might posess. If you’re having trouble landing any kind of job, try some outside the box thinking and look into a different career path.

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