People sometimes confuse criminology and criminal justice. While the two are similar, there are distinctions. Criminology is the study of crime, its causes, and its effects. Students in criminology programs look at how race, ethnicity, education and socioeconomic status affect crime levels, as well as the various methods the justice system uses to process relevant data. Criminal justice is the system that identifies and manages crimes and criminals.
What Is the Value of a Criminology Degree?
A Bachelor of Arts in Criminology opens the door to many careers that would not be available to you otherwise. Criminology jobs that do not require a bachelor’s degree are usually entry-level, and they tend to pay less. While some criminology jobs require only an associate degree, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who have a bachelor’s degree earn on average 42.5 percent more than those who have only an associate degree.
Because a bachelor’s degree correlates to lower unemployment rates compared to an associate degree or a high school diploma, your new career opportunities and increased earning potential can be a very good return on your educational investment.
What Can You Expect in the Criminology Field?
Many criminology careers are investigative or research oriented, such as forensic science technicians and criminal profilers. Forensic technicians, sometimes called crime scene investigators, are responsible for preserving and analyzing vital evidence. Criminal profilers might study behavioral sciences and use information gleaned by experts and analysts to create a psychological profile of a suspect. Working in the growing field of criminology, you can expect to perform research on social demographics, environmental motivations and the other influences underlying criminal activity.
Learn more about the Arkansas State online BA in Criminology program.