To comprehend different behavioral patterns within a variety of criminal activities and carry out a root cause analysis of crimes, criminologists collaborate with law enforcement specialists. You must study the legal implications, rehabilitation strategies, and other corrective action options while dealing with criminals to become a criminologist. You can decide if being a criminologist is the right career for you by understanding the training requirements. This article will cover how to become a criminologist, how to acquire the necessary skills and a few associated career paths.
Criminologists investigate the structural elements of crime scenes and try to comprehend the sociological roots and effects of crime. In some circumstances, they also research criminal psychology and create criminal profiles (like “Criminal Minds” and “The Profiler,” except more accurately). Their employment entails assisting in the investigation and prevention of crimes. Criminologists typically work for local police departments, state governments, or the federal government, however, others conduct research for commercial organizations.
Crime scene evidence collection and analysis are generally the domain of forensic science, whereas criminology deals with the psychological evaluation of a criminal’s choices. While criminology relies on researching the offender’s past mental history, trauma, and personality, forensic science relies more on tangible evidence like DNA, blood, hair, and fingerprints. Criminal law is another subject that criminology is frequently confused with. Criminal law, however, merely deals with how the legal system determines the severity of the crime committed to determining the appropriate punishment.
Important skills for a criminologist
Here is a list of the qualifications required to become a criminologist and work with law enforcement, investigative agency, or police forces:
- Legal proficiency
All criminologists must have a thorough understanding of the regional, federal, and state legal systems. This guarantees that all criminology-related duties are carried out following the law, taking into account the rights of the accused and the nature of the criminal case. Laws about your area of expertise in the industry suffice, therefore you do not need to be fully versed in all regulations and laws.
- Communication skills
Due to the significance of working with various stakeholders, such as criminals, accused parties, victims, attorneys, inspectors, or other legal contributors, communication skills are essential for every criminologist. Communication skills are necessary for managing emotionally charged interactions, conducting fresh investigations, and writing research papers on case developments. For further in-depth research, criminologists frequently interview criminals and share their findings.
- Problem-solving skills
Based on their analysis of research, conclusions, and likely outcomes of cases, criminologists work with vast amounts of data. Maintaining a problem-solving mindset makes it easier to analyze these data and develop reasonable case outcomes. Strong deductive and problem-solving abilities can hasten the legal process, enhance investigations, and guarantee greater victim support.
- Integrity and ethics
For a criminologist, it is essential to be able to adhere to the law impartially while maintaining morality and integrity. It is crucial to be conscious of your biases since how you treat offenders and victims affects the social fabric as a whole. In other words, a criminologist does not take gender, color, or religion into account while forming their conclusions.
As a criminologist, you must always explain the scientific justification for your conclusions and provide examples from past crimes. Strong analytical, logical, and statistical abilities are needed due to the huge volumes of subjective data. Criminologists are viewed as competent, trustworthy, and successful experts when they can interpret data and present it as support for their ultimate conclusion.
- Attention to detail
Every criminologist pays great attention to the tiniest facts that provide light on the reality of criminal situations. Criminologist frequently becomes entangled in complexities that reveal extra information about the link between the offender and victim when they pay close attention to the most preventable piece of information. Most significantly, this skill is most effective when applied to the investigation of the factors that led to the criminal’s inclination to commit such crimes.
If you are still planning to become a criminologist after having learned the distinctions between criminology, criminal law, and forensic science. We have outlined all of the essential procedures for becoming a criminologist.
• Completing 10+2 – To start, you must finish your 10+2 requirements. You can pursue it in any career, however, it would be best if you took sociology in grades 10+2. Since sociology will be your primary topic for the rest of your life, this will assist you by helping you lay the groundwork.
• Bachelor’s Degree – After passing the 10+2 exam, you can enroll in a bachelor’s program. We advise choosing a parapsychology or criminology B.Sc. or B.A. program. Courses in these topics are offered by numerous universities, including the esteemed Delhi University. You can choose courses in psychology or sociology if you are unable to get accepted into a criminology-related program. Some of India’s finest criminologists have pursued political science studies before arriving at their goals. As an alternative, you might enroll in a legal degree, such as a BA LLB, which would assist you in becoming a criminologist.
• Master’s Degree – If you want to become a criminologist, you must enroll in a master’s program. It makes it logical to choose those programs as well. You might even find courses that include forensic science. You can choose from the M.A. and M.Sc. programs in criminology.
• Foreign University – Some of the students want to pursue their higher education at institutions abroad. Of course, you are free to follow suit and pick the college or nation in which you want to pursue your studies. Numerous universities in the USA, Germany, the UK, and even Singapore offer criminology courses.
Career as a Criminologist in India
You should always be mindful of your professional alternatives while selecting a vocation. This factor must be taken into account because it is crucial to know what kind of work you will be able to obtain after completing the courses. What your professional path might look like when you become a criminologist is covered in this section.
After earning your criminology degree, you might be able to pursue careers as a criminologist, a medical investigator, a counselor, a social worker, a policymaker, a rehabilitation specialist, or something similar. Working directly with the enforcement authorities will be an opportunity for you. Many criminologists in India work for prestigious agencies including the CBI, NHRC, and NCPCR.
You also have the choice to work as a teacher in various universities if you choose to stay in academia. You will have the choice to mold your career after earning your master’s. You can collaborate with the enforcement division, legal organizations, research organizations, or NGOs.
Future Scope After Becoming a Criminologist
You have reviewed the employment opportunities available to you once you graduate as a criminologist. Future research would focus on a related area. Although there may not be much vertical growth in this region, you will have the opportunity to see tremendous horizontal growth. To obtain better prospects, you must establish yourself in the industry. Even better, you can cooperate with the jails and prisons to provide convicts there with counseling. The scope of the future depends on you and how you intend to move things forward from where you are now.
Getting a degree in forensic science or law might broaden your horizons. This will broaden your horizons to other professions and assist you in achieving the necessary growth. Overall, becoming a criminologist offers excellent career prospects. You may learn more about the field in the pros and cons section below, which will aid you in making a more informed decision about the vocation.
Pros of Criminology as a Career
Understanding the benefits of choosing a particular career is the greatest method to comprehend that career. We have outlined a few benefits of the criminologist field in this part.
• Social Cause – The opportunity to work for a social purpose is the first benefit of a profession in criminology. You have the power to positively influence society, and this career path is for those who want to effect change. You will play a significant part in this shift as a criminologist because India is moving toward a penal system that is based on reforms. These days, a lot of government agencies also employ criminologists.
• Niche Segment – In practically every field, there is fierce competition. In such a situation, some people yearn for a slightly lax environment. Consider becoming a criminologist if you’re seeking a comparable career path. Since this is a specialized market, your chances of success are very high. You can combine the social and legal systems, then demonstrate your abilities in practice.
• Different Option –A brand-new career path has emerged in recent years: criminologist. It has a great deal of enthusiasm. The world is filled with hatred, and working with offenders as a criminologist allows you to better your life. As a criminologist, you have the power to disrupt the system and restore it to functionality.
Cons of Criminology as a Career
There are drawbacks to every employee in one way or another. The disadvantages of being a criminologist are discussed in this article.
• Pay Scale – The fact that starting earnings for criminologists are so low is one of their biggest disadvantages. You will never make as much money as an engineer. Although you will have to work hard in the early stages of your career, your pay will increase as you advance in the industry. In all honesty, there are challenges in practically every industry in the beginning, but you should be able to handle a lower pay scale.
• Working Environment – Criminologists may find their actual working environment to be exceedingly difficult. You will also be battling public opinion, the media, and thinking. You could have to travel extensively for the job, and there might not be any set working hours. You ought to be ready for everything.
• Social Stigma – A stigma exists about the profession of criminologists. Since you would be collaborating closely with criminals, some individuals with limited outlooks could not welcome you into their social circle. In India, there is a stigma associated with these vocations, but if you have a strong enough mental fortitude to deal with it, you can disregard it.
If a criminologist joins a detective agency, they might anticipate an initial income of between Rs. 20,000 and Rs. 25,000 per month. While there are limits for those who work for themselves, salaries can rise over time and with expertise. From Rs. 2,000 per case to Rs. 1 lakh, they can be paid. This relies on the sensitivity of the information needed, the effort and length of time needed to do the work, and other factors.
Overall, if you’re seeking something unique, criminology is a good field to choose. You get a lot of exposure and a chance to take a chance in this industry. In India, the field is still developing, therefore you can encounter some difficulties. You can also work as a criminologist in other countries, such as the UK and Sweden, where there are more opportunities.