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I will be majoring in Criminology in the fall. My career goal is to become a FBI profiler. After I graduate from college where would I apply next to reach my goal

I know I will need a lot of schooling to achieve my career goal. But I'm not sure how long or what I do after graduation since I haven't looked that far ahead. I would like to know what steps I am going to have to do to reach my goal. #criminology #criminal-justice #law-enforcement #fbi

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David’s Answer

Go to there website: fbi.gov. There is a page for careers, employment, and how to apply. Get the book: Special Agent (My Life on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI) by FBI Profiler Candice DeLong. That book pretty much spells out exactly what you need to do and what to expect. Any book by FBI Profiler John Douglas, is an excellent idea. You will already be learning from the best before you even graduate college. They are also very inspiring. I hope you stay inspired and that one day we will all be reading profiler books, written by you!

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ARIEL’s Answer

Congrats on beginning your educational journey. I was once in your shoes and I wish I had been given the advice I'm about to share with you.

First off, you will want to visit USAJOBS.com and look up all the requirements for the position you are interested in. Make sure you meet the requirements that are needed in order to pass a polygraph exam. Since you're young, please look at the drug and psychological policy and make sure you are able to get through that portion of the application process. Also, if you have bad eye sight, I would highly recommend that you get that corrected now so that won't be an issue later (that was my big hiccup) I have a few college friends that acquired a Master's degree in Criminology and have no use for it since they could not pass the polygraph exam. Look into that and be honest with yourself so you won't spend all your time and effort in a major that will not be valid for you. That's just the straight forward truth. I do not mean to discourage you at all, it's just a heads up.

If you can easily pass that, then I would recommend going on and getting a Master's degree in forensic Psychology. This will make your resume pop out from the competition.

Good Luck with your future endeavors.
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Renée’s Answer

Congratulations on your career goals and an early welcome to the field. May I suggest you pursue a master’s degree in either Forensic Psychology or Criminal Psychology; combined with your degree in Criminology, your professional profile will be highly competitive. You should also research the requirements to become an FBI agent and if possible see if internships are available with the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Unit or any other law enforcement agency to get some insight into investigations and profiling in practice. You also want to ensure you meet all the requirements to be an FBI agent by the time you are ready to apply. There are also a few interesting publications on criminal profiling which you could read for a more comprehensive understanding of the field. Former FBI profilers have written some very compelling books which over an at-the-crime-scene perspective. I hope this is helpful. Good luck with your academic pursuits and wishing you extraordinary career success.

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Grayson’s Answer

Your next place to apply would be the FBI. If you would like to gain expertise before entering the FBI, applying to local police departments, sheriffs departments, or any company that would be solid enough for you to gain experience along with your desired salary would be feasible. Once you've reached a period to where you have comfortably gained enough experience for that company or position; it is then when you would try to reach your maximum goal with applying to the FBI.


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Michael’s Answer

Hello Victoria D.  My name is Michael and your question caught my attention. Wow, I think it's great that you have such high aspirations! This is a topic in which I have some familiarity with so let's get started. I received my degree in criminology from Penn State. You are going to learn a lot of interesting material. I too have started my trek to the FBI and you're correct it is a long road. What the general public does not realize is that a "Profiler" in regards to the FBI is not an immediate position once you're in the Bureau. Most who hold the title as FBI Profiler have already had a pretty lengthy career with the FBI. Now you're original question "After I graduate from college where would I apply next to reach my goal?" :    

                                                                                        

 Well there are a number of routes you can take, but first I would focus on really getting into the major and see how you feel towards the end of sophomore year. The major will get much more in depth in the second half of undergrad. Once you're on the home stretch of undergrad you'll begin to see 2 broad options. One is going to work in the field, the other is continuing education (Masters/PhD/ grad school). Depending on how you feel, an option is looking into Law Enforcement whether that be at the local or state level. (There are wide variety of departments). After college I tested for Washington DC Police, Rockville MD Police, Howard County MD Police, Annapolis MD Police, Pittsburgh PA Police, and a few others. I also have pending applications for the US Capitol Police & US Secret Service Uniformed Division which are federal agencies. The process with Law Enforcement is lengthy and there are many steps one must go through before even being considered for a job. If you choose law enforcement don't get discouraged if it's taking a long time. Next, in order to work for the FBI you'll need 3 years of real work experience in any field (99% of the time) it does not have to specifically be police work. The only exception(s) to this are if you're fluent in multiple languages, or the Bureau has a high demand for a specific skills such as accounting at a given time. Again you do not specifically have to be a police officer but many choose that route. The FBI takes pride in its diverse personnel from all backgrounds. The military, full time or reserve is also a valued option. An alternative route is continuing education. If you decide you're very passionate, getting masters degree or Phd in criminology or related title is very useful. All programs vary in their focus & styles. Some great grad schools are Loyola University (Chicago), University of Illinois at Chicago, University of Maryland, just to name a few. I've had the privilege of meeting multiple FBI, ATF, and DEA agents as well as detectives and attorneys. You may find that you gravitate towards law while in undergrad. Law school is another option. This doesn't mean you have to practice law, but it's food for thought. The FBI loves law degrees. You could also take a shot at working probation or parole. Just be prepared you will see some ugly things on the job. That's just the nature. Currently I work for a large investment bank where I've had the exposure to investigating money laundering and combating terroristic financing. It's not my dream job, but I keep the over all goal in mind. What you can start doing now is trying your best to keep a clean record. Avoid frequent drug use and always be conscious of your decisions. Be careful with what you put on social media, it can always be found.                  

    To sum this up, first focus on getting settled in school and into the major. Trust me you'll learn fascinating things from theories of violence, Strain theory, the classical school, Cesare Lombroso, Cesare Beccaria, Jeremy Bentham, to areas of forensics.   Next, find your niche towards the end of undergrad and ponder whether you'd want to go work in the field (law enforcement, social services, corrections, probation/parole, banking investigations), or if you think diving into grad school or law school interests you.   Stay close with professors, get their opinions, ask questions. Lastly, don't get discouraged. It's a long road but fall in love with the process, and keep yourself clean. I wish you the best of luck!            -Michael N

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April’s Answer

Start off in law enforcement, try to graduate Massachusetts state trooper exam it’s challenging to see if it is the right fit for you.

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Ian’s Answer

Hello Victoria,
The answer to your question isn't exactly a simple one. In reality the role of an FBI criminal profiler isn't exactly what the general public might think, especially because of misinterpretations in crime-based television series. The real world application of this kind of work is most commonly seen in the field of forensic psychology. These individuals are licensed psychologists or psychiatrists who interview perpetrators or victims of a variety of crimes and come to a number of professional conclusions regarding their findings. They may serve as an expert witness on a case and are known to help in determining whether certain defendants might be considered sane enough for sentencing. You can YouTube Forensic Psychology to help understand what might be in the job description.

When choosing a college degree to best match this you could see how a degree in Psychology would greatly benefit you. It should be noted that in order to become a licensed psychologist you will need a minimum of a master's degree in the majority of states and likely a PhD to follow. It would be good to note that degrees in Criminal Justice often don't carry the needed prerequisite courses for transition to a Masters in Psychology. Take it from me, my sister was a devoted psychology graduate from Colorado State University but was deeply disappointed to find out that she would be unable to practice unless she pursued a master's degree. My advice would be to be very choosy with which university you decide on for a master's degree in psychology. There are several online programs out there that will grant you a degree but will not meet the requirements for licensing in your state.

Now when it comes to working for the FBI, the time to prepare yourself starts right now. It is notoriously difficult to land a job in the FBI, but anyone who is a dedicated hard worker with a clean background and an area of expertise certainly has a shot. These jobs can be few and far between, and the hiring process is long and thorough. Any kind of work that you can find at any stage between now and then in the criminal justice field will likely pay dividends toward your resume. Even if this means volunteering somewhere. With all this said, it will be a long road toward a license as a forensic psychologist, but from that point forward the job opportunities are certainly out there in high numbers. Correctional facilities in areas with higher crime rates are often desperate for qualified licensed counselors and psychologists to help with the treatment of their inmates. Even if it were to take you several years to land a great job with the FBI, you would likely have some once-in-a-lifetime experiences working as a forensic psychologist in one of these other settings.

I wish you the absolute best of luck and I'm very proud of you for choosing a career path dedicated to helping others.
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Rehana’s Answer

Hello go to fbi.gov there website has many steps and careers . You can also find out more on FBI and training

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Joe’s Answer

After you graduate, I would suggest that you apply for a position at a local police department. That will get you the needed experience to be competitive in a very tough FBI candidate market. After you have completed a few years as a law enforcement officer, apply at the FBI for an agent's position and work your way up in rank. Another alternative is to join the military, spend a few years there, and then apply for the FBI. Prior law enforcement or military experience will make you a much better candidate, and strengthen you possibilities of being chosen from the FBI pool.

Good luck!
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Yohanna’s Answer

Under go volunteer work with any related security organisation that can help you gain wealthy experience.After that,try an get certified by any certification body related to what you want to be.

Visit FBI career page read their terms and conditions and apply


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Patrick’s Answer

Victoria,

The majority of “profilers” in the FBI tend to be Senior Special Agents. This means working at the FBI for over a decade. In addition, there are not that many profilers within the FBI; under 100 total.

Don’t let that get you down. What I would suggest, as someone who has a current DOD clearance and 16 years working for the government, is while in college, apply for an FBI internship.

In the meantime, you will need to pass the FBI Special Agent physical fitness test. Start training now. It is far from easy. Also, since you cannot do this job until you are 21, consider joining either the Air or Army National Guard as a Security Forces Member/Military Police Officer. You can serve part time, be a law enforcement officer before your 21, and depending on the state, they will pay your tuition.

Lastly, don’t experiment with ANY drugs. The career you are choosing requires a TS/SCI clearance. You not pass with drug use...even marijuana. Lastly, don’t get into debt. The government will not pass you for a clearance if you have too much debt to income ratio.

Hope this helped!
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James’s Answer

Hello! Everyone who mentions additional schooling is right. But an internship is more important to get your foot in the door. If you can accomplish both at the same time, that's even better.
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Amanda’s Answer

If the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit is your goal, I suggest you look into a Forensic Linguistics masters, as several "founding fathers" of that unit currently teach that degree and some others, I'm assuming, and being in that program currently myself, I can tell you that much of the learning process is very related to profiling. I'm being taught by 2 former FBI forensic linguist/profilers of some note, and both were consultants on the TV show Criminal Minds, according to their bios. I'm enrolled in an online masters in Forensic Linguistics at California University of Pennsylvania, to give you an option.
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Arron’s Answer

Try to do the internship while in school. Also look at other federal law enforcement jobs i.e. U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations, U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, U.S. Capitol Police, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, U.S. Customs and Border Protection... just don't limit yourself to the FBI. If you can work and go to school, see if you can work campus security as well, just to show that you are on a serious trajectory towards your goal. Good luck.


Arron recommends the following next steps:

FBI Internship while in school.
https://www.fbijobs.gov/students/undergrad
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