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Is a career path such as criminology worth it?

I’m currently a junior in high school and have always want to be a vet like a ton of kids when they’re younger. However, I recently started thinking about criminal psychology after watching “The Silence of the Lambs”. I just felt like that was something that I absolutely wanted to be. But I want to know if a path like criminal psychology, or even other careers in criminal justice/criminology are really worth it or not. Meaning: are they boring, interesting, emotional draining, etc.

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Phyllis’s Answer

Hi Miranda,

Wow, you sure are on your way to a great career no matter what you wind up doing with all of that curiosity and range of ideas about what you might like to be and that is so awesome. A little over 10 years ago I found myself watching a show called The First 48 & it profiled detectives and police officers and crime scenes and what it took to try to solve a crime within the 48 hours which according to the show, are the most crucial hours for gathering evidence. I was living in NY City at the time and thought to myself that I'd like to become a detective, but I didn't realize that you need to be a police officer first and I had aged out of the acceptable age limit to start a career in the police department. But I sure did like watching the show and imagining what it would've been like!

I have a few friends that are police officers and one of those friends is on his way to becoming a detective and I can assure you that you will not be bored in the criminology field. I'm not sure if there's an age limit to applying for a police job in Illinois so if you want detective work, make sure you look into that detail. Criminal psychology sure does sound interesting as well, and I imagine you would be counseling people who have a lot of serious mental health issues and that would be an extremely valuable career as they will need help.

It's also important to keep in mind that you may be at the scene of crimes or have to see pictures from a crime scene that can be mentally disturbing and emotionally draining. However, if you always keep in mind to take care of you by establishing an exercise routine (that can really help out with stressful feelings) or having your own counselor to talk to, for example, you can make it through. It's also important to remember that you may be working hours that you're not used to but over time you will get used to that. You're going to be amazing at whatever path you choose!

Best to you,
Phyllis
Thank you comment icon Thank you, this is really helpful. Miranda
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Yassine’s Answer

Hi Miranda. Pursuing a career in criminology and criminal psychology can be an exciting and stimulating field. However, it can also be emotionally draining at times. As a criminologist or criminal psychologist, you might have to deal with difficult subject matter like violent crime, victim impact, and traumatic environments. That being said, if you are passionate about understanding and helping criminals and victims alike, then this type of work could be extremely rewarding.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Yassine! Miranda
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Robert’s Answer

Hello Miranda. Like you when I was in middle school I wanted to be a Vet. My life evolved and I went into law enforcement retiring 4 years ago as an Adult Parole Agent with the California Department of Corrections. I hold a degree in Criminology and I can honestly say I truly enjoyed my career and did a fair job of making a good salary and retirement. A Criminology degree can lead you into many area’s of law enforcement. You can work with the FBI, State Investigators, Corrections, local police and Sheriff as well as private security. There are criminal psychologists that work in prisons both state and federal as well as probation and parole agents. Good luck in all your endeavors
Thank you comment icon I am really grateful you took the time to answer this question. Miranda
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