What Can I Do with a Doctorate Degree in Criminology?

Doctoral degree programs in criminology usually focus on research and theories in the field and instruct students to apply current ideas towards research of their own. This article explains some of the most common careers of people who have doctorate degrees in criminology. Schools offering Criminology degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Careers for Graduates of Criminology Doctorate Degree Programs

Criminology is the study of criminal behavior. While bachelor's or master's degree programs in the field can lead to careers in criminal investigations or corrections, doctoral programs can prepare graduates for careers in research, government, consultation, policymaking, or academia. Graduates with a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Criminology usually have highly developed research skills and a firm grasp of the theoretical aspects of crime prevention and law enforcement. The most common areas for those with a Ph.D. in Criminology are listed in detail below.

Important Facts About Criminology Careers

Mean Salary (2018) $62,490 (for forensic science technicians)
Job Outlook (2016-2026) 17% (for forensic science technicians)
Key Skills Analytical, proficient at researching, an interest in government, laws, and criminology
Work Environment Office settings, academia

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Research Careers

Graduates of criminology Ph.D. programs often choose careers that make use of their research skills. They use their knowledge of quantitative and qualitative analysis, research design, and statistics to conduct criminological research. Researchers then apply the results of their studies to come up with new crime prevention theories. Furthermore, some graduates choose to research other social sciences, like sociology or psychology.

Policymaking Careers

Doctorate degree programs in criminology teach students theoretical information about the causes and effects that illegal activities have on individuals and society. Program graduates can often use this information to help the government create new laws that regulate behavior or new procedures that more effectively enforce current laws. Some people who hold a Ph.D. in Criminology run for public office, while others work for the government or private organizations that influence policy.

Academic Careers

Many people who graduate from doctorate programs in criminology elect to remain in the academic world as university professors or teachers. Since there is fierce competition for criminology professor positions, most people start out as teaching assistants or assistant professors to gain experience in the field before actively pursuing a career as a professor.

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