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Careers in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Find Your Path to Public Service

Criminology and criminal justice represent unique but critically related approaches to understanding and addressing crime, including its victims and perpetrators. While criminologists endeavor to study the driving causes and potential consequences of criminal behavior, those who work in criminal justice leverage the resulting insight to detect and fight crime in action.

The online Master of Arts in Criminology and Criminal Justice program at Kent State University helps prepare you for the diverse career paths associated with criminology, or the theoretical exploration of crime, as well as the practical application and execution of criminal justice policies, policing and corrections practices, victim advocacy initiatives, and contemporary global security measures.

Your opportunity to serve and safeguard others starts here. Explore degree specialties in Corrections, Global Security, Policing and Victimology, and kickstart your career with Kent State.

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Earnings Outcomes in Criminology and Criminal Justice

Average salary for MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice graduates1

Because there are numerous professions that fall within the diverse fields of criminology and criminal justice, there is also a broad range in associated earnings potential. Below, view the current median annual salaries for common criminal justice and criminologist jobs, and remeber that your Kent State MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice could help you earn up to 20 percent more than professional peers with a bachelor’s degree only:2

  • $47,980 - Social workers3
  • $50,700 - Private detectives and investigators4
  • $51,410 - Probation officers and correctional treatment specialists5
  • $62,960 - Police and detectives6
  • $79,650 - Criminologists7
  • $83,320 - Detectives and criminal investigators8
  • $95,510 - Information security analysts9

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new law enforcement jobs expected by 202610

Criminal Justice or Criminology—Which Path Is Yours?

As the discipline that deals in the practical application of policy and research, criminal justice is associated most closely with law enforcement, court proceedings and criminal corrections. Professionals in this field may work as criminal investigators, probation officers or federal agents, but they may also work in research and policy development, aiming to improve existing policing or corrections practices.

On the other hand, criminologist jobs are focused almost entirely on investigative research and policy development, with leaders in the field being highly sought after in both the private sector and federal government agencies. A criminologist’s daily responsibilities can be surprisingly varied and may include:

  • Visiting crime scenes to collect evidence
  • Attending autopsies
  • Examining evidence
  • Exploring psychological causes of crime
  • Organizing evidence and providing statistical analyses

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Common Career Paths in Criminology and Criminal Justice

  • Criminologist
  • Police officer
  • Correctional officer
  • Probation and community control officer
  • Criminal investigator
  • Private detective
  • Paralegal
  • Criminal profiler
  • Jury consultant
  • U.S. Border Patrol agent
  • U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent
  • Drug Enforcement Administration agent
  • U.S. Marshal

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