Introduction to Criminal Justice Careers
Forensics & Criminology Jobs

Need a basic introduction to criminal justice? Our introduction to criminology will help you know if a career in criminal justice or forensic science is for you

As an introduction to criminology, let's first talk about what exactly it is and the role it plays on society. Then we can talk a little bit about the different jobs and specialties that work in the criminal justice world and how you can go about getting one yourself.

For now, though: a simple introduction to criminal justice.

  • Criminal Justice: The systems of law enforcement, the bar, corrections, the judiciary, and probation that are directly involved in the capture, examination, judging, imprisonment, and management of those suspected or convicted of criminal offenses.

It's a pretty broad definition, isn't it?

That's because criminal justice is a large world, where a vast number of systems, employees, and theories are put into practice to fight crime and defend the innocent.

It would be impossible for such a term to be specific.

In the following two sections we'll try to break it into smaller pieces that are easier to swallow so that you can get a better grasp on your introduction to forensic science, criminology, and criminal justice.

Introduction to Criminology

We know what the people involved in criminal justice are striving for (the answer is right there in the name: justice), but how do they go about doing it? What are the different roles they play?

Because it's such a broad concept, the list of people involved with your introduction to forensics and criminal justice in general, is a long one.

But to give you a taste of the specific people involved, here are a few jobs in a few different categories:

Law Enforcement:

  • Police Officer
  • Detective
  • FBI Agent
  • DEA Agent


  • Judge
  • Prosecuting Attorney
  • Defense Attorney
  • Jury
  • District Attorney
  • Paralegal
  • Legal Secretary


  • Warden
  • Probation Officer
  • Correction Officer
  • Prison Guard

Since this is just a bare bones introduction to criminal justice, we'll leave the more specific studies of these professions to later articles and focus now on what you can do to become a member of the criminal justice system, if that's something you really want.

Introduction to Criminal Justice
How to Become a Part of the Team

The first thing you need, despite what your professors and employers might tell you, is desire.

As we're sure you know, tt's easy to get caught up doing a job you don't like.

Way too many people work fifty to sixty hours a week for some generic corporation doing who knows what until they're in their forties or fifties. Few people's childhood dream is to be working with theoretical money, virtual partnerships, and unfathomably obtuse marketing strategies.

It's not their dream nor their wish. It just happens.

Then one day, some realize that they don't have to be unhappy for the rest of their lives. They could change if they wanted.

So, I had little conversation with myself (admit it, we all do it) and decided it was time to get out.

If you've ever wanted a stable, great paying career or simply wanted to work within the criminal justice system, dedicating your working hours to making a difference in the world, than a career in criminal justice may be just right for you--no matter what your age.

The truth is that if you want to be happy, if you want to be successful, and if you want to grow as a human being in the workplace, you have to do what fulfills you.

If the thought of being a part of the criminal justice world fulfills you, then go for it. If it doesn't, well... You may want to rethink all the options before you.

If you've decided that you have the desire, then it's time to take the next step (or what your professors and employers might call the first step) and that's getting educated.

You have two options before you:

  1. Quit your job, go into debt and go to a traditional, campus university
  2. Take classes at your leisure, stay out of debt and get your degree online, like so many are choosing these days.

There are many ways to get your criminology degree online and all of them sound far more appealing than debt, which is what happens if you go to a 'traditional' college.

Find a School!

Think a career in criminology is for you?

Then start here & find a school for you!

In later articles about jobs in criminal justice and detailed careers in criminal justice we'll cover just how you can get that degree you may need.

For now, though, it's important to know that this is what you truly want to do.

And if you've come to that conclusion?

Well, then, congratulations. You are on the road to success, happiness, and true fulfillment.

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