Are there any books that I can read to help me decide if a criminology degree is right for me?
In considering an online criminology degree, you will find myriad books depicting the work involved in subfields of criminology. In Mind Hunter: Inside the FBI’s Elite Serial Crime Unit, Special Agent John Douglas tells true stories of serial murders in Alaska, Atlanta and Seattle, including interviews with Charles Manson, Ted Bundy and Ed Gein. Most relevant to the field of criminology is the author’s ability to build a psychological profile of each killer and victim based on their actions and habits. He even predicts their moves.
Another nonfiction book is Jon Ronson’s The Psychopath Test: A Journey through the Madness Industry. Ronson exposes the manipulation tactics of high-functioning psychopaths, some among well-known business leaders and politicians. He also explores diagnoses and treatments.
Even more intriguing to a candidate for an online degree in criminology is The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo, with its complex plot combining murder and white collar financial crime uncovered by the tattooed investigator’s Internet transgressions in hacking. Aside from the riveting plot, this first in Stieg Larsson’s trilogy is relevant for exposing acrimonious relations between factions of law enforcement, an observation sometimes missing even from a top criminology degree online program.
Of course, Alan Moore’s graphic novel From Hell is significant as the comic book version of Jack the Ripper, a still-unsolved case of interest to those in today’s criminology online graduate programs. Students can try to solve the mystery with clues from Moore’s comprehensive research while speculating about this classic.
What are some online resources that will give me ideas about how to use a degree in criminology?
Many organizations demonstrate how criminology degrees online are used around the world and why criminology degree requirements are important.
The American Board of Criminalistics supports scientific discovery concerning the measurement, control and prevention of crime. It provides opportunities to meet potential mentors.
The Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences promotes education, research and policy analysis for criminology educators and practitioners. It promotes an abundance of volunteer opportunities in research and with international agencies as well as provides information about career options, supplementing a career counseling component that may be missing from an online degree in criminology program.
Alpha Phi Sigma, a criminal justice honor society, encourages academic excellence, service and leadership. As a member, you learn what ethical and socially responsible behavior means within the field.
Moreover, innumerable online resources augment accredited criminology degree programs. Criminal Justice Conversations with David Onek, senior fellow at the Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice, are podcast conversations with law enforcement officials, policymakers, advocates and service providers.
Crime and Justice with Dan Schorr, the Inspector General of the city of Yonkers, tackles major cases and introduces students to leading figures in the world of criminal justice.
Gang Resistant Education and Training is a website that aims to deter youth from gang membership before they get involved in it.
What organizations accredit on-campus and online criminology degree programs?
There are a couple of organizations that accredit criminology degree programs: the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), which is a division of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, and the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS).
The HLC accredits degree-granting postsecondary educational institutions in the North Central region. The ACJS is an international organization that certifies online criminology degrees as well as on-campus programs based on faculty, curriculum, student resources and 6 other criteria. Both HLC and ACJS have accredited only a handful of criminology degree programs at American universities and only 1 of those was an online program. Most criminology and criminal justice programs are not accredited, though the colleges and universities that offer them are.
If you are planning on earning an online degree in criminology, you should check with the U.S. Department of Education to see which criminology online colleges are accredited.
Is a degree in criminology recession proof?
Criminology degrees online are not recession proof. While employment of forensic science technicians is expected to increase by 19% from 2010 to 2020, which is comparable to the average for all occupations, police and detective jobs are projected to increase only 7% from 2010 to 2020, less than the average for all occupations. Demand for public safety is likely to provide new openings for officers in local departments; however, both state and federal jobs may decrease.
The best criminology online degree programs prepare you for work in a variety of subfields, including forensics, law enforcement, homeland security, corrections, profiling, public administration of criminology services, crime prevention, cybersecurity, research and teaching. If 1 area loses jobs, another is likely to gain some. After serving several years in a criminal justice career, you could work as a consultant in private security or for the film and TV industries.