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A Look at the Future of Criminal Justice

by Argosy University
February 23, 2012

Welcome to the second installment in our blog series taking a look at the future of some the occupational fields you’ll find here at Argosy University Online Programs. Today, we’re going to be looking at some trends and career outlooks in Criminal Justice.

Criminal Justice is an area that covers a very broad range of fields – from Law Enforcement to Corrections to Forensic Psychology to Substance Abuse and beyond. So what does the future hold? According to Bryan Vila, former chief of the Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice’s Crime Control and Prevention Research Division:

“Technological advances will also have a great influence on crime fighting. Developments in surveillance, biometrics, DNA analysis, and radio frequency identification microchips will enhance crime prevention and crime solving. Increasingly sophisticated intelligence databases will likely be used not only by police officers and analysts, but by the general public—as is now common with sex offender registries.

The future will also bring improvements in interoperability systems that allow officials to talk electronically to one another, particularly during emergencies. And, Vila concludes, better connection among people and agencies will lead to a decrease in the attractiveness and vulnerability of crime targets.”

So as these technological and other changes take hold, how will this impact the various fields within Criminal Justice? The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t have just one page on a career outlook dedicated to this industry however they do cover 3 main areas:

Police and Detectives

"Employment of police and detectives is expected to grow 10 percent over the 2008–18 decade, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Population growth is the main source of demand for police services.

"Overall opportunities in local police departments will be favorable for individuals who meet the psychological, personal, and physical qualifications. In addition to openings from employment growth, many openings will be created by the need to replace workers who retire and those who leave local agencies for Federal jobs and private-sector security jobs."

Probations and Corrections

"Employment of probation officers and correctional treatment specialists is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through 2018. Job opportunities are expected to be excellent.

"In addition to openings due to growth, many openings will be created by replacement needs, especially openings due to the large number of these workers who are expected to retire. This occupation is not attractive to some potential entrants due to relatively low earnings, heavy workloads, and high stress. For these reasons, job opportunities are expected to be excellent."

Private Detectives and Investigators

"Employment of private detectives and investigators is expected to grow 22 percent over the 2008–18 decade, much faster than the average for all occupations. Increased demand for private detectives and investigators will result from heightened security concerns, increased litigation, and the need to protect confidential information and property of all kinds.

"Keen competition is expected for most jobs because private detective and investigator careers attract many qualified people, including relatively young retirees from law enforcement and military careers. The best opportunities for new jobseekers will be in entry-level jobs in detective agencies. Opportunities are expected to be favorable for qualified computer forensic investigators.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg! For example, at Argosy University, in our Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree program, we offer 8 specializations:

  • Corrections
  • Customized Professional Concentration
  • Forensic Psychology
  • Homeland Security
  • Management
  • Police
  • Security Management
  • Substance Abuse

While some of these areas are covered above, you can see the diversity of opportunities available to individuals seeking to pursue a career in Criminal Justice. So, where can you look for even more information on this field? Doing some research on your own to find a field that interests you would be a good first step.

You can also check out this useful resource guide compiled by the National Criminal Justice Association, with links to many federal and local agencies where you can learn more about what different Criminal Justice organizations do.

We hope this post has been helpful to you, stay tuned for part 3 of our blog post series as we look at the future of Business careers.

Tags: criminal justice career series

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