“Employment of forensic science technicians is projected to grow 6 percent from 2012 to 2022. Competition for jobs will be strong because of substantial interest in forensic science,” as evidenced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. While criminal justice degrees can sometimes seem limiting when it comes to career options, flourishing occupations like forensic scientists and crime analysts are starting to show how diverse the degree can be.

(Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Burton)

(Photo Courtesy of Jennifer Burton)

Jennifer Burton, Crime Analyst for the Frederick Police Department near Baltimore in Maryland, shows how she was able to use her criminal justice education to succeed in the field.

What inspired you to enter this field?

“Although I knew I did not want to be an officer, there were many other civilian jobs available that assist police departments. I obtained an A.A. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice and a master’s degree in Criminal Justice with a specialization in Law Enforcement. I knew further education would set me apart from others applying for the same jobs.”

How has your education helped to further your career?

“My educational experiences have greatly helped me in my current position. Specific projects helped me realize my passion for problem/crime analysis. After completing research on crime analyst positions in the Baltimore/DC area, I knew that I had more than enough education, as many jobs only require a bachelor’s degree. Outside educational experiences helped my writing skills, with public speaking and contributed to making me a well-rounded individual.”

What advice can you offer others going into this field?

“Along with education, you should volunteer on campus, participate in clubs or honor societies and, most importantly, complete an internship. This shows agencies that you are dedicated, can manage your time and can handle the stress of juggling multiple things simultaneously. These extracurricular activities will provide experience in public speaking and leadership; it’s also important to master the art of writing. You must be able to write well in order to make it in this field. Fill your elective classes with extra writing courses. You will be glad you did this by time you graduate and start working in the field.”

Sara Lugardo is a professional writer out of Chicago, Illinois. She has a bachelor’s in communication and is currently working on her master’s. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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