Hardly a day goes by where we don’t turn on our televisions and see some type of criminal-based or legal show, whether it’s NCIS, CSI, FBI or some other similar show. These shows are not only interesting to watch, but they also make criminology and criminal justice careers look extremely exciting and rewarding.

In most of these shows, you’ll find the characters hard at work either investigating crimes, profiling criminals or trying to prevent further crimes. Many of these jobs are possible with graduate degrees in criminology. Earning criminology degrees can open many doors for an interested individual. Here is an overview of criminology, criminal justice (CJ)and the various benefits of a criminology major.


Criminology vs CJ

We often see or hear the words criminology and CJ used interchangeably. While there are some similarities between the two, they are actually quite different. Criminology and CJ are both fields that offer many excellent career opportunities. It all comes down to what interests you most and what your career aspirations may happen to be.

CJ is a field that deals with law enforcement, the court system and corrections. Unlike criminology, CJ deals with directly confronting the acts of criminals in society. Students in a CJ program will learn about investigations, profiling, legal administration, the judicial process, system reform and legal organizations who enforce laws.


CJ professionals work in almost all stages of a criminal’s behavior. When crimes are committed, legal agents go to the scene of the crimes, obtain evidence, search for the perpetrator and often make an ar