For many people, their impressions of Criminal Justice and Law come from television and movies. And there are good reasons why people find stories about Criminal Justice and Law so fascinating! In real life, like in the movies, the people in these fields deal with the big questions of right and wrong, good and evil, danger and safety.
That’s because the fields of Criminal Justice and Law cover the entire system of law enforcement and corrections. If you go into this area you might focus on studying the law, or understanding criminal behavior.
Criminal Justice and Law can offer rewarding, meaningful careers for people who choose these fields. If you are a curious problem solver, and you want to have a direct, positive impact on your community, this could be the right path for you.
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Fields of Study in Criminal Justice and Law
There are a lot of potential careers you could choose in Criminal Justice and Law, and they generally fall into three categories: legal, protective service, and social service.
People in legal occupations – like lawyers, judges, paralegals, and legal assistants – study and apply the law. These are the people who work in legal firms and court rooms, trying cases and advising clients. If you are a great writer and have strong analytic skills, you may be very successful in a legal career.
But if you are more motivated to provide safety and security for your community, you might prefer a career in protective service. As the workers who are responsible for catching accused criminals and enforcing the law, police, detectives, and correctional officers fall into this category.
Finally, some jobs in Criminal Justice and Law are classified as social service positions. Probation officers are one example of this type of role. They help to rehabilitate people who have been convicted of crimes, and they work to help them rejoin their communities.
Benefits of Working in Criminal Justice and Law
If you want to use your skills and talents to serve your community, Criminal Justice and Law could be a great career for you. These jobs also require sharp problem solving skills, and can draw on other disciplines like psychology or science.
The work can be high pressure, though. Some jobs can involve physical danger, or emotionally charged situations. But the reason that these careers can be so stressful is that the work is so important. When you have a strong sense of purpose in your career, that can lead to a high level of job satisfaction.
Future of Criminal Justice and Law
The outlook for careers in Criminal Justice and Law is generally pretty strong. According to the Bureau for Labor Statistics, the need for workers in legal occupations is projected to grow 10 percent from 2016 to 2026.
For some jobs in Criminal Justice and Law, demand will vary a lot depending on your location. Some communities will have a greater need for police officers than others, while corporate lawyers will likely have more opportunities in large cities where many businesses are located.
Technology will have a huge impact on how Criminal Justice and Law professionals work in the future. Developments like facial recognition tools will help law enforcement to apprehend people suspected of crimes, while big data will have an impact on the way that lawyers process information in criminal proceedings.