There is nothing more interesting than a mystery, and what makes a human being tick is one of the biggest ones. If you love anything and everything crime-related and helping people, a career in the criminal justice sector might be for you. An online Bachelor of Science degree in criminal science will open many doors where you can serve, help your community and keep people safe.
However, taking an online criminal justice degree does not limit you to a career in law enforcement. In fact, criminal justice applies to many jobs in various fields. For example, choosing an online college that offers this degree, such as the Central Christian College of Kansas, will kickstart your career in a new, exciting world of opportunities. The courses are designed by experienced experts and taught by instructors with a rich background in law and policing. Programs will cover a wide range of subjects related to protecting others, solving crimes, and dealing with offenders. In addition, the courses include criminal law, forensics, crisis management, and corrections.
To help you decide whether taking a criminal justice degree is the right step for you, let’s consider what skills you need in this field. We’ll also go through the career paths you can choose in criminal justice after taking the course.
Essential soft skills for the criminal justice field
Soft skills are just as necessary, if not more so than hard skills. These core skills take your work above and beyond the job description and elevate your role and the service you provide. People working in the field of criminal justice have multi-faceted functions. They must protect the community while making quick, critical decisions under pressure or in a crisis. Learning to rely on your gut but remaining vigilant and observant are crucial for a successful outcome of any situation. These skills come with experience and learning about them from professionals.
Being a good leader isn’t about you but your team. Strong and healthy leadership brings out the best abilities of all your squad and motivates them to work towards a common goal. A good leader understands that everyone’s voice and opinion are essential. However, they can take a painful decision while bringing everyone on board. You can practice leadership skills at any level of an organization – you don’t need a title to be a good leader. Giving a good example to those around you and teaching what you know will lift others. So does being organized and keeping everything on track.
A strong leader will shine in a career in criminal justice. Whether leading a team, working with colleagues, or helping the public, this skill will help you climb the career ladder while providing value to society.
Active listening and learning
Change is the only constant in life. Learning new information and life skills keeps our brains and bodies thriving instead of surviving. One of the best ways to achieve this is to listen actively. Law enforcement and criminal justice people need to learn how to listen. Actively listening to what people have to say with an open mind allows you to gather information, give grounded advice and understand different points of view. Through active listening, criminal justice professionals can take in what is being said verbally and non-verbally, analyze it and provide helpful feedback. The speaker also feels seen and heard without being judged.
Individuals with criminal justice careers sometimes need to make split-second decisions. Working in a fast-paced environment means you need to be able to assess a situation and act quickly. Thinking on your feet requires a cool head and sharp observation skills. The thought process where you observe, analyze, interpret, and problem-solve often occur in minutes, if not seconds.
No detail is too small or insignificant, especially in criminal justice. Whether working in law enforcement, as a private investigator or learning about international fraud patterns, the skill of observation is essential. People on this career path are detail-oriented, meticulous, and observant as they know that everything can give them more information. Giving importance to details can make or break a case or solve or lose a crime. Learn how to sharpen your observation prowess with tried techniques by former law enforcement tutors.
This soft skill is at the top of the list to help you succeed in criminal justice. Effective communication goes beyond speaking or sending the correct email. This skill involves many factors, including body language, confidence, respect, listening, empathy, and emotional intelligence. It consists of knowing when and how to use the suitable medium. Communication helps create a connection between people, even with different points of view. Those working in law enforcement and related areas need to be effective communicators, whether speaking to victims, police officers, journalists, writing legal documents, or testifying in court.
Ethical decision making
Criminal justice professionals sometimes need to make a split-second decision when under pressure or pressed for time. However, these decisions must protect the community while preventing harmful actions. Learning to navigate any field with an ethical background in racial issues and socioeconomic challenges, for example, while protecting citizens’ rights, allows any professional to uphold the law and their principles.
The importance of maintaining high standards as a criminal justice worker today holds true more than ever. A high standard of personal and professional integrity means that the right decision will be taken whether or not someone else is watching. Listening to other people’s viewpoints and giving them the space to be seen and heard will lead to trust and confidence in your work and the system. It will also help create a connection with the victim, person, and department, leading to understanding.
Important Technical Skills in Criminal Justice
Images are a vital tool for anyone working in criminal justice. They can provide the final evidence stamp to reports, discredit testimony or challenge a statement. Learning to take clear photos with the proper lighting and exposure can help win your case.
Working in criminal justice means that you will need to write up official reports. These might even be presented in court as evidence. Good writing skills and a clean writing style with clear descriptions are essential for effective communication.
Research is integral to any role in the criminal justice profession. Libraries and departments are now online. Computer literacy is essential with all the information available online, including official documents.
One of the main ways to get information is by speaking to people. With research and preparation, you will know the right questions to ask and how to listen for the answers.
Career paths in criminal justice
Jobs in criminal justice go far beyond working in law enforcement. You can choose to work in the private and public sectors through an in-depth course. We’ll give you an idea of what you can choose, and the salary range you can expect.
The US Marshal Service was set up in 1789, making it the oldest federal law enforcement agency. Marshals have the broadest arrest authority in the country compared to other federal law enforcement agencies. They help local and state agencies find and catch the most violent fugitives. Recent data by the US Marshal department reveals that, on average, they arrest 337 offenders daily. They also ensure the health, security, and safety of government witnesses and their immediate family.
Such witnesses need protection to testify against criminals such as drug traffickers, organized crime members, and terrorists. Marshals are also responsible for transporting criminals across the country on the ground and in the air. They manage and dispose of seized and forfeited properties bought by criminals through criminal activities. The Marshals Service currently manages more than $3.1 billion worth of properties across the US. The starting salary for a Marshal ranges from $38,500 to $48,000 and rises to $128,690. The average salary is around $77,210.
Crime scene officer
This previously little-known law enforcement department has become a household name thanks to the hugely popular television series and its spinoffs. Crime scene investigators provide the police with the evidence they need to close a case. They also help state prosecutors make their cases in court.
Crime scene officers collect evidence from a crime scene and put it together to recreate the incident. However, their role goes beyond boiler suits and rubber gloves. They need to be able to present and explain their findings clearly in court as a state witness. This career requires observation, attention to detail, communication, and problem-solving skills. A Bachelor of Science degree in criminal justice is the first stepping stone to becoming a crime scene officer. The average wage is $48,401 and can go up to $79,000.
The role of a private investigator has evolved from the stereotypical search for the spouse’s secret lover. Although that is still a popular service, modern private investigators can provide background checks, locate missing persons, asset investigations, surveillance, insurance and fraud investigations, and much more. Some even offer screenings of potential tenants or employees to provide extra peace of mind.
Gone are the days when a private investigator was the underdog trying to scrape by. A modern investigator needs a unique skill set to succeed. These include critical thinking, observation, responsiveness, and being quick to act. A legal background is crucial to know when to toe the line before taking action. A private investigator needs good communication skills to liaise with the client or give testimony in court.
Education and experience directly relate to a private investigator’s salary like any other job. Private investigators are usually paid by the hour, and a recent study found that the highest earning private investigators receive up to $90,000 a year. An online course can give you the right skills you need to take the first steps on this career path.
Fish and game warden
Fish and game wardens work with federal or state agencies to protect and conserve wildlife and fish by enforcing laws. They are also responsible for preserving and managing wildlife and improving natural habitats. This job combines enforcement, education, and conservation with state agencies. Wardens can also issue hunting and fishing licenses, organize or participate in search and rescue operations and provide backup to law enforcement agencies in rural areas. They also focus on preventing illegal poaching and can appear as witnesses in court. Wardens have the power to impound vehicles or weapons used illegally or confiscate illegally caught fish or game. Aside from this, they carry out census counts of wildlife and monitor industrial polluters. They typically cover vast amounts of terrain. In fact, there are only 35 wardens for the state’s 110,000 square miles in Nevada. This job is for those who love to be out in the wild, at one with nature. The average wage is around $60,730 and can go up to $79,330.
Immigration and customs enforcement agent
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, also known as ICE, protects the country’s borders from illegal immigrants, terrorists, drug traffickers, and cross-border crime. With thousands of officers across the US, ICE is the largest investigative agency in the Department of Homeland Security. Their duties range from border patrol, human trafficking, child exploitation, cyber-crime, deportation, and intelligence gathering. ICE agents also collaborate with other federal agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Border Patrol, and others within the Department of Homeland Security. A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice is a must to get started in ICE, which offers a variety of roles, including:
- Deportation Officer (DO)
- Detention and Deportation Officer (DDO)
- HSI (Homeland Security Investigations) Special Agent
- Immigration Enforcement Agent (IEA)
- Intelligence Officer
- Management and Program Analyst
- Mission Support Specialist
- Criminal Research Specialist
- Investigative Assistant
- Technical Enforcement Officer
The starting salary for an ICE agent is $41,200 and goes up to $128,690, with an average salary of $80,000.
Police officers are the first responders in the community, and are responsible for public safety and law enforcement. In addition, their role is educational and preventative. Officers investigate crimes and accidents, patrol areas to ensure that civilians obey the law, arrest suspects, and collect evidence. They can issue citations for minor offenses like traffic violations and testify in court. However, police officers also help build relationships with the community, especially the vulnerable. They are the first point of contact that many people have with criminal justice professionals, giving the role a huge responsibility. Police officers must continue to further their education to keep up with the latest research. A law enforcement officer’s base salary is an estimated $55,500 year, while the most experienced can make up to $80,000.
There is no such thing as a typical day for an FBI agent. This criminal justice professional enforces many federal laws and performs various roles in the Bureau. More than 35,000 people work with the FBI, including special agents, intelligence analysts, language specialists, scientists, and information technology specialists. Agents in the field offices testify in federal court, execute search warrants and gather evidence. Some agents focus on specialized fields like training, fingerprinting, lab services, and public affairs, while others are supervisors or managers.
FBI agents must be ready to work long hours and relocate to different parts of the world at a moment’s notice. The duties of a special agent include compiling information and developing a case, working with local law enforcement, gathering evidence, and carrying out surveillance. Agents also investigate foreign operatives, criminals, and terrorists, participate in raids and arrests and interview suspects.
Although the entry process to join the FBI is rigorous, a criminal justice degree will pave the way to becoming an agent. With so many people working at the FBI, it is hard to pinpoint an average salary. However, the starting salary is around $20,175 and can go up to $536,075, with a median range of about $96,709.
Why not study for a Bachelor of Science in criminal science degree with the Central Christian College of Kansas? The course works around your needs, whether these are financial or time-bound. It is offered several times during the year, allowing you to find a six-week gap that works in your schedule. You can even take it during the summer when the kids are on holiday and busy with their own activities. Because the modules are only six weeks long and online, the course is completely accessible. Aside from this, you won’t be charged any application or transcript fees to sign up for the online criminal justice degree. There is no hassle with entry requirements either. All you need is your high school diploma, GED, or higher education transcript. You can also transfer previous college credits to speed up your degree.
Why Do the Majority of Car Accidents Take Place in Residential Areas?
One of the biggest killers in America is traffic. Road conditions, driving habits, and traffic volumes contribute to car accidents. These dangers are especially prevalent in residential neighborhoods. In fact, about half of all car accidents that happen in the country take place within a mile of home. This phenomenon is known as the “car crash suburbanization” effect, and it plays a significant role in why so many incidents happen where they do. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the percentage of car accidents that happen close to homes is more than 1 in 4. In urban areas, this number can be even higher. This is because drivers are more likely to speed or drive distractedly when they know they are close to their homes.
Let’s explore further what causes car crashes in residential areas and how you can stay safer from these dangers.
The dangers of distracted driving are well-documented. After all, as we discussed above, they make up one-half of all car accidents that happen in the country. This is because distractions like phone use, texting, and eating are common while behind the wheel. 79% of drivers admit to regularly engaging in some form of distracted driving. People are often distracted when they reach their home street, leading to car accidents in residential areas.
Speed and Unsafe Lane Changes
In many cases, excessive speed is also a critical factor in causing car crashes. This is especially true when driving too fast in adverse road conditions. In terms of car accidents outside of residential areas, this issue often occurs in rural areas that lack traffic control. Excess speed also leads to unsafe lane changes. This is due to your decreased reaction time while driving. It’s easy to make a careless lane change when you’re in a hurry or simply not paying attention to the road. This is a significant cause of car accidents in residential areas.
Road Conditions and Weather
Bad road conditions and wet weather are also common factors in car accidents in residential areas. These two factors can cause dangerous car accidents anywhere, not just the residential area. Poor road conditions, for example, can lead to tire blowouts, which endangers you and other people on the road. Wet weather also plays a role in car crashes in residential areas due to the increased risk of hydroplaning. This happens when the tires are not sufficiently hydrophobic to keep them from sliding on wet roads. Bad weather conditions, like heavy rain or black ice, are the leading cause of car accidents in residential areas.
Bad Traffic Behavior
Finally, you should be aware that bad traffic behavior, like aggressive driving and excessive speeding, is also a significant cause of car accidents in residential areas. This is especially true when driving outside of your typical driving patterns.
As you can see, many potential causes of car accidents exist in residential areas. With this in mind, it’s vital to be aware of the dangers and practice defensive driving. This can help you stay safer on the road and limit the likelihood of being involved in a car crash.
Why Work With Legal Recruiters and How To Find the Best Ones
Legal recruiters are an invaluable resource for attorneys, paralegals, and legal assistants. They have the expertise to assist you in finding the right job or the perfect candidate for an open position.
Their industry knowledge can help you find a position to make the most of your skills and experience. Additionally, their connections can get you in front of hiring managers who might have yet to hear of you.
Why work with a legal recruiter?
Working with a legal recruiter offers many benefits if you’re a law firm or organization looking for top-notch candidates. The same is true if you’re a lawyer wanting to be part of a company’s legal team.
Advantages to the Job Hirer
Legal professionals are in high demand, and finding top-tier applicants suited to your company’s needs can be challenging. You need to find the right person fast to move your business forward. However, there’s so much competition for these positions that it could be an uphill battle.
Luckily, there is a solution: hiring with the assistance of a legal recruiter. With this, you’ll be able to focus on your business matters most. You can do this while still getting the best possible candidates. You’ll get access to experienced recruiters helping companies like yours find the perfect fit for their open positions.
Advantages to the Job Searcher
If you are a job searcher, you may need help figuring out where to start looking for new opportunities. You may know what kind of work you’d like to do. However, you may need to find exactly what type of firm or company is suitable for you.
You may need clarifications about the area of the legal profession you want to specialize in. You might also require some ideas on what would be best for your career.
Working with a legal recruiter can help take some guesswork out of this process. You will also have more control over your career path.
How To Find the Best Legal Recruiters
Finding the best legal recruiters can take time and effort, as many options are available. If you’re thinking about working with one, there are several things to remember.
Reach Out to Different Recruiters
You can reach out to different recruiters by using LinkedIn or other social media platforms. You can also ask your colleagues if they know any excellent legal recruiters.
It’s essential to check their credentials before you hire them. You can check their website and look at their testimonials from previous clients. You should consider them one of your top choices if they have many positive reviews.
Go for recruiters who listen intently to your needs, goals, and vision. Ensure that you’re on the same page to avoid misunderstandings and hiring issues along the way.
Consider Local Legal Recruiters
Local recruiters have a strong understanding of the local market. If you’re hiring, they can help you find the best candidates who can better serve your target market. A local lawyer recruiter will be able to tailor their search to your specific location and needs.
Local legal recruiters can also offer more personalized service than larger firms. They have easier access to a wealth of information about the law firm or company you’re interested in working for.
Request for References
Legal recruiters work with people and maintain various relationships. When you ask them for references, you’ll want to know more than just names and numbers.
Ask for clients who have recently worked with your potential recruiting partner. Call those people directly and ask about their experience working with the recruiter.
You’ll also want to talk to the recruiters about the process of finding candidates. Ask them about the length of time it took them to find candidates or whether they were successful in hiring.
Find What You Need With the Help of Legal Recruiters
Working with legal recruiters can save job seekers and hiring law firms time, money, and effort. These recruitment firms have qualified human resources who can fill positions in the hiring organizations.
Apart from that, these firms understand the local market. They know where to search for candidates to fill their applicant pool. With them, you’ll make hiring and selection decisions easier.
What to Look for in a Toronto Employment Lawyer
If you feel that your rights are being violated by your employer, or there is a recurring issue in the workplace that makes you uncomfortable, or you were recently terminated and was told that you were not entitled to any severance or that you are only legally entitled to what they gave you, you should start looking for the best employment lawyer for you.
It could take time before you feel comfortable with someone you trust but considering what’s at stake, you should not take chances you might regret later on. The lawyer-client relationship in employment law cases can last years, and they must have your full confidence. Here are the important things to look for when meeting with potential employment lawyers.
Lawyers are generally not shy about sharing their professional accomplishments and experience on their website bio pages. Many will include links to news articles they were quoted in, or that was about one of their cases, clips of their tv appearances, links to their most successful cases, etc.
Read through as much as you can, and look for cases that are similar to your own – keeping in mind that every case is unique, and it’s the small differences that often decide the outcomes. Note how far back those cases go and how recent their latest reported case was to help put their experience into context.
Keep in mind; however, that while experience is certainly important; it should not be the only factor you consider in your decision. If you walk into a consultation with your mind already made up, you might ignore warning signs that they are not the right fit for your case.
The topics you discuss with your employment lawyer can get personal. People depend on their jobs to support their families, so they are emotionally invested in what happens in the workplace and workplace issues can create understandably emotional situations.
Assessing how comfortable you feel around someone is more instinctual than analytical, so the best guide is how natural the conversation felt, that there was equal give and take, they listened to you and that they remembered what you told them during the conversation and referenced it when it was relevant to do so.
Remember that your comfort level applies to the lawyer’s firm as well. Some people prefer retaining a lawyer who works in a large, busy firm and others feel more comfortable meeting their employment lawyer in a small, quiet office. You may have to meet with your employment lawyer several times a year, so their location is also a factor.
First and foremost, if you meet with a lawyer, their fees should be completely transparent, and actually, the lawyer should make it a point of confirming with you that you understand their fees for service, exactly what you will and won’t be charged for when payments are due and how much – approximately – you might pay in total for various possible outcomes.
If you EVER meet with a lawyer, employment or otherwise, who doesn’t have structured fees or tells you that they don’t invoice clients to save them from paying taxes, do not hire this person and consider reporting them to the Law Society of Ontario.
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