With big changes being proposed around criminal justice and policing in the United States, many students are considering careers in this evolving field. If you’re considering a criminal justice major and are wondering how to get started, there are many resources out there that may help. For just a few steps you can take to begin your career in law enforcement, corrections, policing, or criminology in general, read on.
College Counseling and Interview Preparation Services
Students interested in a career in criminal justice may have concerns about the application process for top criminal justice programs. The truth is that these worries are unnecessary. In fact, there are agencies like Empowerly college counseling that can help you with interview preparation, testing, and the application process to get you into the school of your choice.
Whether you’re looking to enroll in an online bachelor’s degree program or you’re hoping to get into a four-year degree program on a college campus, agencies like Empowerly can work with you to increase your odds of getting that acceptance letter.
Police Officer Mentorship Programs
For some students, it’s helpful to get a law enforcement mentor before deciding to apply for a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice program. If you’re thinking of majoring in criminal justice, consider going to your local police department and asking about any mentorship programs they offer.
From police ride-along days to formal training for high school students, you might be surprised to learn about the variety of mentorship programs out there. Not only will a mentorship program help you to know if criminal justice is right for you, but it will serve you well during the admissions process at a criminal justice school.
When participating in a mentorship program, be sure to take note of the pros and cons of a criminal justice degree. Don’t hesitate to ask specific questions about things like the difference between a corrections officer and security management or a parole officer. Asking questions and getting honest answers is one way to find out what type of work you’d like to put your degree toward. It could make a big difference in how satisfied you ultimately are with your work.
Current Teachers and Counselors
One of the best resources most high school students have when it comes to applying to any college or program is the counselors who work in their school. Even if you’ve graduated, consider going to your school’s counseling office and asking for help from the career center or a counselor. High school counselors are trained to work with students making plans to earn an advanced degree. They have years of experience in helping a student to assess their interests and skills and can even work as essay editors and interview prep helpers.
Even if you’ve already earned your undergraduate degree and are looking for a graduate program in criminal justice, you might want to consider a visit to your college’s alumni and career services office. There, you’ll be able to get free career guidance and help with financial aid processing. While there, be sure to ask for recommendation letters from those who know you well.
At the end of the day, there’s no denying that the field of criminal justice is changing in the U.S. and around the globe. If working in the social service field in the area of criminal justice is something that’s always interested you, now might be a great time to put your skills and education to use to become a crime analyst, victim advocate, or community mental health worker in policing.
In taking the time to do your research ahead, finding the best schools, and making the most of the resources already out there for you, you’ll be taking that first step to a career that’s bound to make a difference.