5 Interesting Potential Careers For A Criminology Major

Criminology is an intriguing field. Criminology major students explore an array of fascinating topics covering the psychology and sociology of crime. They address questions such as, “Why do people commit crimes?” and “Do criminals think differently?” The sociology addresses questions like, “How should criminals be punished?” or “What can society do to deter crime?” 

A criminology degree opens the doors to several different career paths. Here are some of the more common careers for a criminology major

A pair of silver handcuffs.


This is the most notable career for criminology majors. Criminologists collect and analyze both quantitative and qualitative data related to criminal activity. They pore over statistics of criminal activities in specific geographical locations or within specific demographics. They also interview and profile suspected and convicted criminals. Using these insights, they help develop public policy as it relates to deterring crime or to identify potential criminals. 

Criminologists often work together with police forces, government lawmakers and policymakers to put their plans into action. They may also work as professors in colleges and universities, nurturing new generations of criminologists. 

Probation and Parole Officer

Probation and parole officers work closely with individuals who have gone through the correctional system and are now on probation or parole. They help offenders and ex-prisoners re-enter society and find jobs. Additionally, they monitor their activities regularly and intervene when and if they need to. This role calls for a high level of empathy while still being able to project authority. 

As a probation or parole officer, you must be able to empathize with ex-convicts in order to help rehabilitate them. However, you must also be able to project authority to get them to obey your directions. In this role, you will also work closely with prison services, social services, and the police. 


The exact tasks that an investigator carries out will depend on the organization they work for. The 2 most common investigator jobs are criminal investigators and compliance investigators. 

Criminal investigators focus on investigating suspected criminal activities. They work mainly with city police departments and the FBI. Criminal investigators who work with the police typically look into suspected criminal activity at local or state levels. Also, those who work with the FBI look into suspected criminal activities at the federal level. Keep in mind, the number of students enrolling in criminology programs has surged in recent years. This is thanks in part due to popular TV shows like Criminal Minds, CSI, Law & Order, and White Collar

Compliance investigators investigate the internal activity of the organization they are hired by. Their job is to ensure that the organization is in compliance with local, state, and federal laws as well as the company’s self-established policies. Compliance investigators are employed by various organizations from private corporations to universities and government agencies at local, state, and federal levels.  

Public Detective

Public detectives work with local, state, and federal government agencies where they investigate criminal activities. They are usually assigned to specific areas within the agency that hires them. Those that are assigned to the CID or criminal investigations department look into crimes such as robberies and suspicious deaths.

Detectives that work in the fraud department only investigate suspected fraud. Detectives assigned to the drugs only investigate drug-related crimes. Likewise, those in the cyber squad look into all online criminal activities. 


Love the idea of studying criminology, but don’t have a taste for fieldwork? A criminology lecturer may be a great career path for you. It’s a great way to impart your love and knowledge of criminology to future generations. Lecturers stay up to date on the latest investigative techniques. They also explore investigative techniques from around the world so they can help broaden their students’ horizons. 

A criminology major can lead to a wide range of exciting career paths. Whichever career path you choose, you know you will be working to make the world a safer place. 

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