Career Development Center

Career Planning

Criminal Justice Major Career Planning Options

Criminal justice involves a wide array of public and private systems in the legal arena, especially those related to criminal law. Criminal justice majors will gain an understanding of the legal systems and delivery of justice through interdisciplinary courses that develop a grounding in the behavioral and social sciences and the biological sciences, all supported by a core curriculum that provides a strong liberal arts background, especially in the areas of critical thinking and communication. The curriculum challenges students to apply theoretical knowledge to real-life situations through a series of foundational courses culminating in a senior internship/practicum in a legal setting such as a police department, prosecutors office, or counseling agency. This major provides students with initial preparation in the areas of interpersonal, technological, and administrative skills and develops competencies in various current and expanding vocational areas including forensic psychology, juvenile justice, law and its administration, law enforcement and corrections, asset protection/private security, and forensic science. Visit the Rivier's History, Law and Political Science Department for information on degrees and course offerings.

Criminal Justice Major Skills 

Communication oral and written Decision-making 
Creative Counseling
Detail oriented Computer proficiency
Initiative Report writing
Interviewing Foreign language
Investigative Follow procedures and directions
Organization Presentation
Teamwork Crisis intervention
Management Research
Sensitivity to issues and culture Mediation
Interpersonal - working with all types of people Logic - critical thinking and problem solving

Career Paths in Criminal Justice 

Career opportunities are plentiful in the Criminal Justice field. A more security-conscious society and concerns about homeland security, crime rates, and related issues mean wider opportunities for graduates, as well as those who continue to graduate study. Forensic sciences, computer crime prevention, and national security are just a few examples as possible career choices.

Criminal Justice graduates may work as . . .
(The following are titles from across the industry. Some of these jobs may require education or experience beyond a bachelor's degree.)

Arson Investigator  Arbitrator
ATF Special Agent Bailiff
Bank Examiner Border Patrol Agent
Caseworker Claims Examiner
Clerks College/University Public Safety Official
Computer Crime Inspector Computer Forensics Operator
Counselor Crime Lab Analyst
Crime Scene Investigator Cyber Crime Specialist
Criminologist DEA Special Agent
Deputy U.S. Marshall Detective
District Attorney Environmental Conservation Officer
FAA Aviation Safety Inspector FBI/CIA Agent
Federal Officer Fish and Wildlife Officer
IRS Agent Lawyer
Legal Researcher Mediator
Photographer (crime scene) Public Defender
Secret Service Agent Sheriff
Victim Advocate Warden

Criminal Justice graduates may work at . . .  

Aftercare Facilities Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms
Business and Industry CIA/FBI
Colleges and Universities Computer Investigation Companies
Correctional Facilities Counseling Agencies
County Attorney's Office Courts
Crime Labs Customs Service
Delinquency Institutions Department of Treasury
Drug Enforcement Administration Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Aviation Administration Federal Trade Commission
Forensic Science Labs Homeland Security Agencies
IRS Justice Department
Law Firms Police Departments
Military Organizations National, State and Local Governments
Private Utility Companies Securities and Exchange Commission



Ways to Increase Employability 

  • Select electives that support an area of interest, e.g., forensic science, forensic psychology, law enforcement, court administration, lawyer, cyber crime and computer security .
  • Participate in volunteer and service learning opportunities related to an area of interest.
  • Join university and professional organizations that provide networking opportunities and enhance leadership skills.
  • Seek practical experience in areas of interest whenever possible.

Sources of Information on Majors, Careers, and Employment in Criminal Justice 

  • Rivier University Faculty
  • Academic Advisors
  • Professionals working in an area of interest
  • Professional Organizations
  • Related texts available at the Rivier University Library
  • Rivier University Career Development Center Counseling Staff, Website & other Resources

Professional Organizations Related to Criminal Justice 

Rivier University's Career Development Center Resources
Effective career decision-making evolves through a process of gathering accurate self-knowledge and significant information about the major or career being explored. The Rivier University Career Development Center offers individual counseling and career resources regarding self-assessment, career exploration, gaining practical experience, and job searching skills. For more information, contact us at 897-8246. The following is a partial list of career resources, available in our office, which may be of interest to Criminal Justice Majors:

  • Great Jobs for Criminal Justice Majors
  • Career Opportunities in Law and the Legal Industry
  • Guide to Law Enforcement Careers
  • FBI Careers
  • So You Want to Be a Lawyer: A Practical Guide to Law as a Career

Career Related Websites for Criminal Justice Majors 


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