It can be easy to focus on which jobs you can apply for but it is important not to lose sight of the most important thing: what job would you most enjoy doing? A useful tip is to jot down anything you encounter during your course which particularly interests you – perhaps studying youth crime and justice really sparks something in you, in which case you may consider a range of careers with young people, perhaps learning about victimisation leaves you feeling passionate about supporting victims of crime, or maybe you develop a love of research and academic writing which will lead you on to further study or work researching criminal justice issues.
Before you start looking for jobs, a helpful exercise is to write down a list of your top five skills / strengths (what am I good at?), your values (what is important to me?) and what you most enjoy doing (what do I find satisfying?). The ideal job will be one which uses your skills, fits with your values and which you find personally satisfying. Keep your list in mind when you are researching and applying for jobs.
Your list may look like this:
Learning and expanding knowledge
Working for the public good
Supporting disadvantaged people to overcome barriers
Working together with others
Finding answers to difficult questions
For someone with a list like this a career in a third sector or government department running initiatives to support victims of crime or offenders would be perfect – you could use your skills in research and analysis to identify evidence to support initiatives or lobby for change, creativity to develop innovative ways to support people and your communication skills to get your message across to those who matter.
Everyone’s list will be different; not only will this exercise help you identify the work you will find the most satisfying, but it will also help you to demonstrate to employers exactly why you are the best person for the role.
Many of our students are looking to change careers mid-life, it can feel daunting but bear in mind that the drive and dedication you have shown by studying part-time whilst juggling all the other commitments in your life is a powerful positive which will impress employers – take it from someone who has done just that!
In addition to the traditional “3 Ps” of Prison – Probation – Police, the list of career options in which criminology graduates work is vast, including:
Community Development Worker
Forensic computer analyst
Local government officer
Charities working with victims or offenders
Criminal Intelligence Analyst
Youth Offending Officer
Arrest Referral Worker
SEN Teaching Assistant
Therapeutic Residential Childrens Support Worker
Take some time to have a look at jobs being advertised and do some research to see which would best suit you.