The Student Room Group

5 careers for criminology and criminal behaviour graduates

A criminology degree prepares you for a career in the criminal justice sector. Here are some of the career paths you could find yourself in with this degree.

Law enforcement (Detective)
Thrive on challenges, solve problems and uphold justice.

Detectives are responsible for managing investigations. These can include robbery, drugs, domestic violence, and public and child protection. Detectives also work on company fraud, cybercrime, homicide, and terrorism cases.

Your role may involve specialist work with:
▪️ the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), handling a range of incidents. This can include suspicious death, serious assault and major property theft

▪️ the Fraud Squad, investigating company and financial fraud

▪️ the Drugs Squad, handling drug trafficking investigations

▪️ the Firearms Squad investigating offences involving firearms, including hostage situations

▪️ child protection services, handling offences against children

▪️ the Special Branch, investigating incidents relating to national and international security

You'll need further professional training to work in specialist units. It’s possible to transfer between units during your career.

Analyse data, identify suspects, solve crime.

Criminal intelligence analysts study data to identify behaviour patterns. They work with authorities to help prevent criminal activity and convict criminals.

Your role could involve using data to:
▪️ identify links between crimes and potential suspects

▪️ identify trends to prevent crime. This can include drug trafficking, cybercrime, financial fraud, and terrorism

▪️ work with local and global data through local and international crime reports

▪️ identify crime hotspots

▪️ profile suspects and verified criminals in collaboration with external agencies

▪️ relate historical criminal characteristics to new cases

A relevant Master’s degree could be help you compete for roles.
With experience, you could become a Chief of Security or a Security Director.

Probation Officer
Impact lives and bring about real-world change.

Probation officers manage offenders to protect the public. They reduce reoffending by helping offenders make better life choices.

Your role could involve:
▪️ working with offenders in courts, in the community and in custody

▪️ interacting with offenders, victims, police, and prison service colleagues on a regular basis

▪️ protecting the public by collaborating with other agencies in the criminal justice system. You might work with the police, local authorities, courts and health services

▪️ providing specialist reports to prison governors and parole review boards

▪️ working with victims of crime to ensure their well-being and to make sure their voices are heard

Your usual place of work could be an office, prison, court, or community setting. You may also travel and visit clients in their homes.

You’re likely to need experience of working with challenging behaviour. Experience could come through either paid or voluntary placements.

You'll also need to complete probation officer training. This training can last 15 to 21 months, depending on your qualifications.

Civil Service
Play an essential role in government departments and agencies.
As a criminology graduate, you'll have strong critical thinking, analytical and communications skills. This will help you stand out to employers inside and outside the criminal justice sector.

Your role in the Civil Service could involve:
▪️ working with the public, making a real difference to peoples' lives

▪️ conducting research and writing reports which contribute to policy

▪️ taking an impartial interest in economic and political issues

▪️ handling enquiries from members of the public. You may also work with other civil servants and organisations

Most departments will offer on-the-job training. This includes learning from experienced staff and attending in-house training courses.

Graduates can join The Civil Service Fast Stream. This scheme allows graduates to gain experience and offers opportunities to progress.

There are many departments and agencies that you can move into as your career progresses. You may specialise in areas such as research or policy development.

Community Development Worker
Empower individuals, families, and communities.

Community development workers help communities bring about social change. They improve the quality of life in their local area.

Your role could involve:
▪️ providing a link between communities and local authority and voluntary sector providers. You could work with the police, social workers and teachers

▪️ confronting inequality and working with disadvantaged communities

▪️ working on projects tackling specific issues such as mental health and drug abuse. You could work with the homeless, unemployed, minorities, and families with young children

▪️ helping empower communities to make sense of the issues that affect their lives

▪️ setting goals for improvement and responding to problems through active participation

▪️ developing new resources in liaison with the community, to test existing programmes

You'll need to be accessible to the communities you serve. This means your work may include unsocial hours, such as evenings and weekends. A postgraduate qualification could help you progress to senior positions.

What's your dream career in the sector? :smile:

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