Choosing Your Career Path After Earning Your Online Criminal Justice Degree

Choosing Your Career Path After Earning Your Online Criminal Justice Degree

Courtroom with podium, row of gray chairs on wheels, and jurors in background

Students who earn a criminal justice degree can pursue a wide range of career paths. Graduates are not limited to law enforcement – there are many unique career opportunities in forensics, corrections, and even counterterrorism. Here, Faulkner University, with a main campus in Montgomery, Alabama, highlights a few of the different paths that criminal justice students can select after graduation.

Offering a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice, Faulkner University has both traditional campus-based and online degree programs to accommodate students’ needs.

Career Paths in Criminal Justice

With so many different potential career paths, there’s no shortage of ways you can use your criminal justice degree after graduation. Some of the more popular career options include:

Law Enforcement

Working as a police officer is a rewarding job that lets you serve your community while taking on a variety of challenges each day. While a bachelor’s degree is not a requirement for every police department, it is a great way to make yourself stand out and help you advance in your career.

Paralegal or Legal Assistant

If you have an interest in the legal system, a criminal justice degree is a great way to gain foundational knowledge and skills. Some criminal justice graduates go on to work as paralegals, assisting lawyers through a wide range of different tasks. Paralegals and legal assistants may conduct research, organize information and documents, communicate with other law firms, and serve as a liaison between attorneys and clients.

Crime Scene Investigator

A crime scene investigator is called upon as soon as a crime happens. They document their findings on the scene and are tasked with collecting and organizing every piece of evidence. Often, they work for state or federal law enforcement agencies. Professionals in this field need to have keen observational skills and be highly organized.

Forensic Scientist

Forensic scientists use data collection, observation, and analysis to support law enforcement. Professionals in the field of forensics get to work with cutting-edge technology, including DNA analysis, psychological profiling, and criminology. If you are interested in the intersection of science and law, this may be an ideal field for you.

Corrections Officer

Some criminal justice students choose to work in the prison system. They may work with individuals who are incarcerated, on parole, or rehabilitated. Corrections officers work in state or federal prisons. Their responsibilities may include attending court hearings, monitoring inmates, performing intake or release procedures, or supervising other officers.


Correctional counselors help offenders navigate the process of rehabilitation, so they are prepared to re-enter society. These counselors may be court-appointed, or they may work for private corrections companies. They may work with offenders one-on-one or in groups, offering support and connecting inmates with social services.

Homeland Security and Counterterrorism

Individuals who work in homeland security focus on protecting communities across the United States. They may specialize in disaster preparedness, emergency management, or counterterrorism. Many individuals in this field work for government agencies, such as the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Private Sector Careers

While some criminal justice graduates serve in local, state, or federal government agencies, others choose to pursue careers in the private sector. Some work as security guards or loss prevention specialists for private companies, such as hotels or retail businesses. Others work in academic or healthcare facilities. As individuals gain more experience in security management, they may move into supervisory or consulting roles. Plus, a greater need for cybersecurity and digital forensics expertise means opportunities in the private sector will continue to grow.

Learn More About Criminal Justice Degree Jobs

Students who are interested in the field of criminal justice can find a wide range of career opportunities after graduation. Take the first step at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama, where you can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Online Degree. This flexible degree program can be completed fully online or in a hybrid format that combines distance learning with in-person classes. Plus, the university’s career services program helps students prepare for existing careers with job fairs, networking opportunities, and interview skills development. To learn more about Faulkner University’s criminal justice degree programs, request info today. Or you can apply online.