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. According to U.S. News & World Report, “Criminology majors get a broad education in the law, research methods, and sociology and psychology.” 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 online 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 U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers who have a bachelor’s degree earn on average 39% 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?
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. Many criminology careers are investigative or research-oriented, such as forensic science technician and criminal profiler. Criminology professionals tend to be in high demand. Job openings for forensic science technicians, sometimes called crime scene investigators, for example, are expected to enjoy a 16% growth rate between now and 2030. Forensic science technicians are responsible for preserving and analyzing vital evidence. There are many other career opportunities to pursue with a degree in criminology, a field that enjoys a consistently promising job market as an essential service to society.
Learn more about the Arkansas State online BA in Criminology program.