Students looking to launch a career in criminology should start by earning a bachelor's degree in psychology, sociology or a related criminal justice discipline. A bachelor's degree from an accredited school or college will qualify students for entry level criminal justice jobs. Those interested in advancing their career and becoming full fledged criminologist should also earn a master's degree or PhD in psychology, criminology or a related field of behavioral science.
Criminologists are expert crime analysts and as such must have an indepth understanding of crime rates and statistics. They must be familiar with and able to utilize the most current crime fighting technologies and techniques. The ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, is another important trait that criminologists must possess, as they must provide their superiors, associates and even the public with clear and thorough reports and briefings. Aspiring criminologists should augment their education with courses in statistics, computer science and writing.
If you're currently involved in law enforcement, with at least three or more years of experience, then a bachelor's degree may be all you need to make the transition into a career in criminology. You may also want to look into your state's criminologist licensure requirements. Some states require licensing, while other do not.
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