A career in law enforcement requires a special kind of person. A combination of qualities including a love of the law, an innate sense of fairness, a desire to serve and the ability to stay calm are just some of the traits needed for a successful criminal justice career. An education in criminal justice can prepare you for the following types of jobs:
• Police officer
• FBI or CIA agent
• Private investigator
• Homeland Security employee
• DEA agent
• Crime scene technician
• Private security services/bodyguard
• Insurance and fraud investigator
While there are a wide variety of opportunities available for those with criminal justice degrees, ultimately, networking is key to finding a job. Social networking online can help students to start making connections early. It’s even possible to use LinkedIn to find a job. Here’s how:
1. Choose a Degree
A degree in criminal justice will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to thrive in the field. Programs focus on crime, justice and the legal system. The amount of education you’ll need will depend upon your specific career goals. Both associate’s and bachelor’s degree programs are available in criminal justice. There are also certificates and advanced degrees available in areas such as forensics and for those wishing to teach.
2. Connect with LinkedIn
If you don’t already have an account, sign up for a free LinkedIn account.
3. Make Your Profile Amazing
Fill out your profile in as detailed a manner as possible. Take advantage of the tools offered in LinkedIn Labs. Signal can help you to sort through industry news; Resume Builder can help you craft an amazing resume when you’re ready to do so.
4. Make Connections
Connect with fellow students and any other contacts you have made related to your chosen field of criminal justice. Continue to connect with new people throughout your entire academic career.
5. Choose a Specialty
As your education progresses, zero in on where you’d like to focus in terms of a specific job. Update your LinkedIn profile accordingly to reflect this new information. Make it clear in your profile what type of job you are looking for and engage contacts that can help you get there.
Your education is primary to your future in criminal justice, but you can also use LinkedIn to find a job. Be sure to balance your studies with networking and making quality contacts throughout your entire time in college.