When trying to decide which criminal justice career you should pursue, you could think about what your favorite school subject is or was…Or think about which topics interest you as a whole—what types of movies, books, activities… have really fascinated you in the past and present.
There are so many different types of criminal justice professions requiring candidates with varied backgrounds, interests, talents and passions. Of course your favorite high school class or subject matter is not the only factor to consider. You also want to consider the type of education, experience and certifications that are required. But thinking about the topics you find most intriguing can help direct your career planning, when it comes to researching college and university programs, as well as prospective employers, and finding professionals in the field you may like to meet with to pick their brain.
Biology and/or Chemistry
Depending on which specialized profession you pursue within forensic sciences or criminalistics, you may need to delve into both biology and chemistry. However within these fields, there are some positions that are more tied to either chemistry or biology. For example:
- Toxicology/Drug Technician or Toxicologist
- Trace or Impression Evidence Examiner
- Forensic Chemist
- Forensic Entomologist
- DNA/Serology Analyst
Also if conservation biology and ecology are a passion, a Fish & Game Warden or similar position may interest you!
- Bloodstain Pattern Analyst
Numerous public, private and government agencies (at the local, state and national level) hire tech-savvy individuals. Relevant criminal justice careers include:
- Information Security Analyst
- Forensic Multimedia Analyst
- Digital Evidence Technician
- Cyber Security Investigator
History and Civics/Government
- Police Records Clerk/Archivist
- Forensic Anthropologist
- Crime Statistical Assistant or Statistician
- Construction manager or inspector with an Emergency Management agency (i.e. FEMA)
- Numerous specialized positions with the Military (such as an instrument or vehicle mechanic, air crew member, etc.)
English and Communications
- Crime Reporter/Journalist
- Media or Public Relations Specialist (i.e. for a law enforcement agency)
- Political Advisor
- Campaign Manager
- Speech Writer
- Press Secretary
A love for physical activity and sports can come in handy for numerous criminal justice professions. For example, it can not only help you pass the physical test to become a police officer, but as a law enforcement officer you might find yourself leading sport programs for youth. The same can be said for community and social service careers working with youth at risk and young offenders.
- Police/Emergency Dispatcher
- Probation or Parole Officer
- Victim Advocate
- Forensic Psychiatrist
Note that this is by no means a comprehensive list of careers that match school subjects or interest topics. Often you will also see a lot of crossover, where a career will be multidisciplinary (involve a myriad of subject areas). Also the above list reflects careers that require a range of educational levels.