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Quick Facts

  • 445 - Bachelor's degrees in criminal justice awarded in 2015-16
  • Fall 2015 - Launch of new doctoral program in criminal justice
  • 4 - UCF campuses offering a bachelor's degree in criminal justice (Orlando, Cocoa, Daytona Beach, Valencia West)
  • 1 - Rank of online undergraduate program by

Career Opportunities

Crime Analyst - FBI Approved PhotoThe career opportunities for graduates in criminal justice are unlimited. Graduates can become police, correctional or probation officers, administrators, police chiefs, crime analysts, private security administrators, superintendents, sheriffs, attorneys, program directors or elected officials.

The outlook for students entering law enforcement or the correctional fields is expected to be good. Although the level of government spending influences the employment in these areas, the recent support of more professionals in these areas is a trend that is expected to continue. The need to replace currently employed professionals who transfer to other occupations or leave the labor force, coupled with rising employment demand, should generate thousands of job openings each year. With experience and additional education, qualified professionals may advance to supervisory, administrative or counseling positions.

In addition to speaking with an advisor, any of the books listed below might help students decide on a career in criminal justice:

  • Johnston, Coy H. (2015). Careers in Criminal Justice. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications.
  • Harr, J. Scott, and Karen M. Hess. (2010). Careers in Criminal Justice and Related Professions: From Internship to Promotion (Sixth Edition). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
  • The Justice Research Association. (2003). Your Criminal Justice Career: A Guidebook. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Stephens, W. Richard, Jr. (2001). Careers in Criminal Justice (Second Edition). Upper Saddle, NJ: Prentice Hall

What Can I Do With a Degree in Criminal Justice?

Many occupations today require college-educated individuals who can write and speak well, solve problems, learn new information quickly, and work well with others on a team. This means that college graduates use their education in a wide variety of fields. A future career may relate as much to a student's personal career interests, work values and transferable skills as his or her specific academic major.

Criminal justice, legal studies and protective services are the study of several interrelated fields that focus on the effective implementation of law and legal procedures as well as the relationship of laws to the safety and protection of life and property. Legal services are more concerned with research and support related to the understanding and interpretation of law, legal procedures and practices. Study in law enforcement concentrates on the implementation of laws aimed at ensuring the peaceful cooperation, security and safety of human lives and property.

Some possible career choices include:

  • Border Patrol Officer
  • Correction Officer
  • Detective
  • Rehabilitation Councilor
  • Administration
  • Community Relations Officer
  • Immigration Agent
  • U.S. Customs Agent
  • Case Worker
  • Parole/Probation Officer
  • Crime Scene Investigator
  • Criminal Investigator
  • Drug Enforcement Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Forensic Science Specialist
  • FBI Agent
  • U.S. Marshall
  • Secret Service Agent
  • Juvenile Probation Officer
  • Private Investigator
One of the benefits of conducting international fieldwork is the opportunity to become engrossed in a different culture.
— William Moreto,  Assistant Professor
The people I worked with ... put me in every scenario possible and allowed me to experience it first hand.
— Max Thedy,  former student intern who worked with law enforcement rangers in Cape Town, South Africa
I cannot stress enough the importance of the basic research skills and knowledge, combined with an understanding of data analysis for those planning to be leaders in the field of criminal justice.
— Roberto Hugh Potter,  Criminal Justice Department Professor
I would not be in the position I have today if it weren’t for the Criminal Justice Program at UCF.
— Carl Metzger,  M.S. in Criminal Justice, '03; Deputy Chief, University of Central Florida
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