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How to Become a Criminal Justice Specialist

With the right training, you can start an exciting career in the criminal justice field. Although the United States Department of Labor reports that criminal justice openings continue to grow throughout the country, experts advise job seekers to complete certified criminal justice degree programs to qualify for the best positions.

Requirements for criminal justice training vary from state to state. When applying for a highly physical position, like a corrections official or a parole officer, you may need to pass an athletic assessment. Some communities require job applicants to complete a standardized test. A growing number of agencies also require job applicants to pass an ethics examination. However, nearly all criminal justice job openings require at least a bachelor’s degree for consideration.

The types of courses you take during your undergraduate experience can shape the path of your criminal justice career. Corrections agencies prefer to hire candidates with social work and psychology classes on their college transcripts, in addition to criminal justice courses. Investigative bureaus like to recruit candidates with concentrations in science.

If your own undergraduate coursework does not reflect the kind of skills that hiring officers look for, you can bolster your credentials with a criminal justice certificate program. By rounding out your academic experience with concentrated courses in law, research, and investigation, you can gain a competitive edge in your job interview process.

With many colleges and universities offering online courses and other criminal justice distance learning programs, you can even plan for an upcoming career change without upsetting your current work and family roles.


Related Career Resources

Criminal Justice Colleges and Schools

Criminal Justice Career Information

Criminal Justice Career Traits

Criminal Justice Career Outlook and Salary Information


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