A branch of sociology, criminology is the study of human behavior and social ties of a crime after it has been committed. Criminologists are the professionals who graduate criminology from an institute and enter the field to prevent crime by studying every aspect of the crimes that have happened before.
As it is a branch of sociology, the main purpose of criminology is to study the social aspects of a crime. The study does not cover only the social aspects related to victims but also the criminals and society. Generally, the causes, types, and reasons of criminal intent as well as its effects on the lives of victims, their relatives, community, and the criminals themselves are the different factors that define criminology and a criminologist.
Working of criminology and criminologists
By applying different theories of criminology to a crime that has been committed, criminologists try to answer the following questions.
- What are the locations, causes, frequency, and types of crime?
- How does it affect the victims and their families?
- What are its effects on society?
- Why did a criminal commit the crime?
- What is the reaction of people, community, and government to the crimes committed?
By answering the above questions by the application of a single theory of criminology or multiple theories, criminologists find out the intent, the reasons for a crime to prevent it from happening in the future. It is for the purpose of making society and the world a better place free of any crime.
Criminology career opportunities
So, is criminology a good career choice?
There are multiple criminology career paths after getting a criminology degree. After knowing about the following career choices, we will let you decide if criminology is a good career choice or not.
Criminologists are the professionals who need to have a Master’s degree at the least and they work for different private firms, universities, NGOs, legislation authorities, and research institutes. The job description of criminologists is to help police authorities in their police work. Using their expertise, knowledge, and observational skills, criminologists inform police about the reasons for crime and provide insights on how to solve different crimes. In some cases, with their predictive police work, they help the authorities prevent crimes. A criminologist has a median annual salary of about $83,420 which is more than many other professions. It is one of the most reputable fields to choose from.
Criminology graduates as private investigators do the police work for different clients who have enough resources and reasons to hire one. Private investigators have their own resources and they cannot take help from the police. Using their own channels, money, and contacts, they have to solve the crimes that they have been hired for. To become appealing to clients, a bachelor’s degree in criminology will speed things a lot, and a Master’s degree will land you any case you want. Private investigators work on an hourly basis and the starting rate is more than $25 per hour. After they get experience from the field and have their own clientele, they can charge whatever they want.
In the capacity of a probation officer, a criminology graduate is in a suitable position to help ex-criminals lead a good and normal life upon coming from jail. A probation officer meets them regularly, keeps an eye on their behaviors, and suggests any psychological treatment to help them cope with the world in a better way. Probation officers have an average salary of $50,000 which can vary according to your experience and success rate.
A forensic scientist is one of the most rewarding and successful criminology career options. Forensic scientists study crime scenes, collect data by looking at the evidence, collect samples, and analyze them by running lab tests on them. In the end, they accumulate all the data and help detectives decide about the different possible alternatives of a crime scene. In short, they help detectives and police catch the real culprits and get them behind bars. The average annual salary of forensic scientists is $69,000 which is a pretty handsome sum compared to other fields.
In addition to the different job options given above, plenty of other career options are available with the same or more average annual salaries. Such jobs include a criminology professor, lawyer, forensic psychologist, and others ranging from $60,000 to more than $80,000 annual median wages.
So, seeing all the different options and knowing about the different career options, do you think criminology is a viable career?
In our opinion, yes, it is.