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Career Profile of a Criminologist

Job Descriptions December 5, 2012

A criminologist’s work focuses on the determination and analysis of criminal patterns on the basis of psychological, social and biographical factors. The identified patterns assist law enforcement in identifying potential criminals. Criminologists need to hold a degree (either graduate or postgraduate) to qualify for a job. In some states; they are required to complete a licensing exam.

Job Profile of a Criminologist

After studying various causative factors; criminologists try to determine why crimes are committed (by criminals). The criminal’s background, social and psychological concerns, and research data relating to arrests and crimes are all studied and considered to determine whether there were any biological factors leading to the commitment of the crime by the criminal. While delving into the criminal’s background, criminologists try to uncover events in the criminal’s life that may lead to commitment of the crime. Once they have accumulated information, criminologists use it to establish typical criminal profiles that can be employed thereafter by the law enforcement machinery in evaluating criminals in the future. Thus, the research conducted by criminologists assists law enforcement to determine criminal’s motives and efficiently capture the criminals.

Job Responsibilities of a Criminologist

An assessment of motivation, demographics and a pattern of behavior are performed base on a review done by a criminologist on criminal acts. Criminologists may visit an autopsy or a crime scene to determine whether the nature of the crime reveals a specific category that the criminal may fall into. Criminologists are expected to file a detailed report that encompasses their findings. Law enforcement can refer to reports on file whenever similar crimes are being committed; they are able to use a comparison of crimes and criminals, to assist in their law enforcement tasks.

Educational Prerequisites of a Criminologist

Criminologist focus on determination and analysis of criminal patterns serve to make criminology a highly intellectual profession. Accordingly, many undergraduates who aspire to become criminologists choose to major in subjects such as criminology, psychology and sociology. By majoring in these subjects; they get a better understanding of people’s actions as well as human nature. Prospective criminologists preferred subjects such as history and criminal justice.

It is possible to enter the field of criminology with a bachelor degree, but some criminologists want to pursue a master degree in behavioral science. A bachelor degree suffices to get an entry-level footing as a criminologist. However, a few criminologists who prefer continuing education opt to complete a master degree in behavioral science.

Career Prerequisites of a Criminologist

Prospective criminologists should be excited by the plethora of internship opportunities that are available. Such internship experience will make them a valuable candidate when they apply for full-time positions as criminologists. Before employment, a prospective criminologist has to go through strict security and criminal background checks. Most states have licensure norms to fulfill before allowing a potential criminologist to work there.

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