Criminal psychology, also known as forensic psychology, is a field that combines psychology and criminal justice. With a degree in criminal psychology, there are several career paths you can pursue. Let’s explore some of the options available to you.
One of the most popular career paths for those with a degree in criminal psychology is law enforcement. As a law enforcement officer, you would be responsible for protecting and serving your community by enforcing laws and responding to emergencies. With your knowledge of human behavior and criminal psychology, you could help prevent crime by identifying potential threats and analyzing criminal behavior.
Another option within law enforcement is becoming a special agent. Special agents work for agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), or the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). As a special agent, you would investigate crimes related to your agency’s jurisdiction, such as organized crime or terrorism.
If you’re interested in working within the legal system but don’t want to become a police officer or special agent, you could pursue a career as a forensic psychologist. Forensic psychologists work with both criminals and victims to provide assessments that can be used in court proceedings. They may evaluate defendants’ mental health or competence to stand trial.
Another option within forensic psychology is becoming a victim advocate. Victim advocates work with victims of crimes to provide emotional support, connect them with resources such as counseling services or legal aid, and help them navigate the criminal justice system.
If you have a passion for teaching and research, pursuing an academic career may be right for you. With a degree in criminal psychology, you could teach courses on topics such as criminology, forensic psychology, or criminal behavior. You could also conduct research on topics related to crime and human behavior.
As a researcher, you would conduct studies to better understand criminal behavior and develop strategies for preventing crime. Your research could be used by law enforcement agencies, policymakers, and other professionals in the criminal justice system.
A degree in criminal psychology can open up a variety of career paths within the criminal justice system. Whether you’re interested in law enforcement, forensic psychology, or academia, there are many options available to you. With your knowledge of human behavior and criminal psychology, you could make a difference in your community by helping prevent crime and promoting justice.