Criminal Justice: Outside Law Enforcement


You’re interested in studying criminal justice, but don’t see yourself on the front lines, say as a police officer, state marshall, FBI agent or in another law enforcement role. Not to worry, there are a number of other criminal justice career options open to you.

Keeping People Safe

If you are interested in safeguarding people and property, you can work behind the scenes as a security coordinator. This is not a security guard, but someone who works with facilities and large properties, such as hospitals, corporate offices, entertainment venues or educational institutions to develop and coordinate protection programs. They are also responsible for monitoring and providing information and feedback to security guards and management of facilities.

Investigating Crime

If you’re interested in investigating crime and determining how a crime was committed, there are a number of job opportunities. If you are good at science, you might consider a career as a forensic science technician. Forensic science technicians collect evidence such as hair samples and fingerprints, document and catalog evidence, then analyze that evidence in a laboratory and summarize the findings. If you’re logically minded and good at analyzing data, you might be interested in a career as a fraud investigator. These investigators look into insurance and credit card fraud by researching records and transactions, and interviewing people.

Another type of investigator that may appeal to those who are more computer and technologically savvy is a forensic computer investigator. Computer investigators collect electronic evidence and track cybercrime by recovering lost or erased data, and help create and test measures that protect computer systems from hackers.

Legal Support

If you’re not interested in or ready to go to law school to become a lawyer but want to work in the legal field, there are other options to consider. A paralegal or a legal assistant works in a law firm to support lawyers by conducting legal research, drafting documents, and maintaining files. A court reporter works in the court system with responsibilities that include transcribing court proceedings, depositions or other legal activities. Other career options include a career as an arbitrator or mediator, both of whom work with disputing parties to resolve conflicts outside the court system.   

Helping Others

If you want to remain in the criminal justice field but are more interested in helping others, you might consider becoming a victim advocate. Victim advocates support crime victims by offering information, emotional support, and help finding resources and completing paperwork, among other responsibilities. Working as a probation or community control officer is another type of career focused on assisting others. These officers report to the court system and work with those convicted of a crime. They are responsible for ensuring that convicted criminals meet the conditions of their sentences set by the court.

Criminal Justice at Norwalk Community College

No matter which direction you take with your education in criminal justice, you can start at Norwalk Community College. Here, you can earn an associate’s degree in criminal justice focusing on three areas: criminal justice system, law enforcement, and courts and corrections. These courses will prepare you for entry-level careers as support personnel in juvenile justice, social service agencies, corrections, private security, law offices and the criminal courts. To learn more, visit our Criminal Justice Department page or contact us today.