Sailing and snooping: exciting criminal justice careers
So you’ve been watching a lot of CSI and you think you’d like to get an online degree in criminal justice. But did you know that this is a large and rapidly growing field? Once you have a criminal justice degree, your options are almost limitless.
Love the ocean? Don’t get seasick easily? Consider being an officer in the United States Coast Guard. This career will take you places you’ve never been before – literally. The Coast Guard is involved in maritime law enforcement, mariner assistance, and search and rescue. Their mission is to protect the public, the environment, and the United States’ economic and security interests. You may be responsible for rescuing stranded boaters, inspecting boats, arresting illegal aliens and seizing illegal drugs.
Water not your thing? How about a job with the ATF? The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives is charged with making our country safer. The Bureau investigates crimes involving firearms and explosives, acts of arson, and illegal trafficking of alcohol and tobacco products. Your criminal justice degree will come in handy here because you’ll need to know a lot about specific laws regarding alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives as well as the best ways to enforce them.
Maybe you like to work alone and want to serve the public in your own way. How about a career as a private investigator? You’ll help individuals, businesses and attorneys by finding and analyzing information. You may be asked to solve a real-life mystery or uncover facts about legal, financial or personal matters for your clients. Or you could dig up dirt on a mayoral candidate, or provide proof of infidelity for a divorce. Private investigators need to be able to keep a secret and blend into the background. You have to conduct surveillance, interview witnesses and maybe even go undercover. Private eyes need to keep up with federal, state and local legislation, such as privacy laws, that might affect your work. The legality of certain methods may be unclear, and investigators and detectives must make judgment calls when deciding how to pursue a case. You’ll also need to know how to collect evidence so that it can be used in a court case.
Or perhaps you’d rather just listen to trials. Court reporters record everything that is said during a trial. Some court reporters freelance on the side by taking meeting notes for large corporations. Others make extra money working for TV stations, transcribing real-time broadcasts for the hard of hearing. You’ll need to be incredibly accurate and detail-oriented to take on this career. You’ll also require some additional training to use the stenotype machine. After doing this job for a while, you may know more about court procedures than many lawyers do!
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