Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Guest Post: Starting Out in the Criminal Justice Field

It’s college graduation season and new graduates are ready to tackle our teetering job market. For many college students, a job in the criminal justice field is an attractive career choice; certain specialties in particular continue to grow. For example, interest in forensics, computer security and homeland security seems ever expanding. A 2011 article in U.S. News even names homeland security as one of nine "hot college majors" with over 300 programs created in the field since 9/11. How is the criminal justice field changing, though, and what do these changes mean for students?

Those looking to start out in criminal justice today will likely face a different landscape than the criminal justice professionals before them, with different requirements and expectations. Four-year bachelor’s programs in criminal justice and even Master’s degrees are becoming more and more common as students look to secure positions in the criminal justice field. Those already working in the field are seeing an increased emphasis on evidence-based practice, community-based corrections and technology.

To gauge what this new criminal justice field might look like,, an online education and career resource for aspiring criminal justice professionals, spoke with Cabell Cropper, executive director of the National Criminal Justice Association (NCJA). The NCJA is comprised of members from across criminal justice, including law enforcement, courts, corrections, law, government, education and more. The Association works with this wide spectrum of criminal justice practitioners to communicate on issues of criminal justice policy and practice.

Who better to explain to students what they can expect from the field today than the Executive Director of the NCJA? In the interview, Mr. Cropper goes over how criminal justice students can prepare for the field and even offers some of his views on the future of the discipline. In addition, he discusses how students can benefit and learn from the NCJA itself. The video is a must-see for students looking to get their foot in the door in an increasingly competitive criminal justice field.

The full video is available at:

Blog post courtesy of Jane Dashevsky from, an online resource for criminal justice education.


  1. If you are interested in entering the police field I strongly suggest you read my new book, “Arrested Development: A Veteran Police Chief Sounds Off About Protest, Racism, Corruption and the Seven Steps Necessary to Improve Our Nation’s Police.” It is part autobiography, police history and improvement manual. For more, and the connection with JPI's new report on police increase see my blog at

  2. There are many diverse possibilities when choosing between online psychology degree programs. Throughout the last hundred years, psychology has been an increasingly popular field to study for a lot of students.

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  3. becoming criminal justice is huge achievement of life. Its enough to get money as well as popularity

  4. Many students are actually considering criminal justice colleges, perhaps influenced by CSI? haha :)