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Careers in Criminal Justice


Academia and Research

A Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice can be your first step toward a professional career in academia and research in criminology, criminal justice, sociology, and/or other related disciplines. Earning a Master's Degree, as well as a Doctorate, in any of these fields will open up doors to government research jobs as well as a university professorship. Since our program is theoretically, methodologically, and analytically based, our curriculum can prepare you for graduate studies. Our teaching and research internships also equip our students with the knowledge and ability to compete for graduate and research assistantships at your school of choice.


Law School

There are many disciplines in which you can major if you are interested in law. Criminal Justice is one of them. Recent graduates with a major in Criminal Justice have been admitted to such institutions as the University of Wisconsin Law School, Marquette University College of Law, Hamline University Law School, Drake University School of Law and the Ohio State University College of Law. Students who are not interested in law school have entered the paralegal profession. They are also working in insurance, private security and as investigators in a number of fields. Those who develop proficiency in data management, information systems, and use of spread sheet analysis have worked for the State Bureau of Audit, the state court administrative office as urban court managers and in other positions in business and industry.


Law Enforcement

Those graduates who focused on law enforcement are now working in local police or sheriff's departments, state agencies like the State Patrol, Natural Resources and federal agencies, such as the Secret Service, the Marshals' Service, Drug Enforcement Agency, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, the Department of Labor and the Border Patrol. While most graduates find positions in Wisconsin, some are serving with departments in Texas, Arizona, California, Illinois, Florida, and Colorado, just to mention a few locations. Many students find careers in private security. The State of Wisconsin requires certification before one can serve as a law enforcement officer. Our graduates receive this training from various Wisconsin Technical Colleges.


Institutional Corrections

This is a rapidly growing area of employment. Students who choose corrections-related course now work in juvenile and adult institutions, juvenile and adult probation and parole, juvenile and adult residential treatment for offenders, and in programs for mentally ill offenders and substance abuse. Several victim/witness programs in Wisconsin employ our graduates, many of them in management positions. Other graduates work in forensic mental health, family counseling, therapeutic recreation, and youth mentoring programs. Others work as criminal justice policy analysts or social workers in public defender offices. Many graduates have attained management positions, especially in state juvenile and adult corrections.

If you are looking for a job in corrections, you may find the information below useful:

The collaborative effort of the American Correctional Association, American Probation and Parole Association, American Jail Association and the Center for Innovative Public Policies, with funding from the Bureau of Justice Assistance has resulted in the creation of Discover Corrections, an informative website for those interested in pursuing a career in corrections. Through this website, potential employees can learn general information about the field and the types of job opportunities that are available. Employers are able to share job posting information, which allows job-seekers to locate jobs nationwide. Discover Corrections also provides employers with helpful information to improve employee retention and effectiveness. For more information,

Additional resources can be found at:


Getting a Job in a Criminal Justice Agency

Do not get arrested for any offense.

Virtually all criminal justice agencies do extensive background checks. Convictions for traffic violations, misdemeanors, as well as felonies may prevent you from entering the profession you are studying to master. Should you find yourself in such circumstances, your advisor may have suggestions about useful next steps. Such advice does not constitute legal counsel, nor can the advisor always keep such information confidential when preparing recommendations for graduate school or employment.

Check the Criminal Justice Program Bulletin Boards.

Job and volunteer positions are posted on a bulletin board outside of the Criminal Justice Office, Clow Faculty Building, Room 401. Work and volunteer experience can help you to focus your career goals and make you a desirable candidate for employment. For instance, many criminal justice majors interested in law enforcement serve as Community Service Officers in Oshkosh or surrounding communities. Part-time jobs may ultimately be helpful in your career. We also receive and post information about scholarships.

Criminal Justice Professional and Graduate School Admission Committees Look for Applicants with Leadership Experience in a Variety of Organizations.

There are two clubs directly related to criminal justice on the UW Oshkosh campus, Alpha Phi Sigma (the Criminal Justice Honor Society) and the Criminal Justice Association. These clubs help you to find study groups, serve as a means to get to know other students in the major and the faculty, and facilitate your finding employment during and after college. The organizations sponsor speakers, organize trips to criminal justice facilities, and sponsor an annual job fair. Working to set up the CJ Job Fair is one way to develop the kind of personal contacts who will help you begin your career. Students may also want to join the UW Oshkosh Pre-Law Society.


In Wisconsin You Must Be Certified Through the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Training and Standards to Work in Local Law Enforcement.

At present, this means successfully completing a 10 week course offered through Wisconsin System Technical Colleges. You can find information about these courses on the bulletin boards and from the department Program Assistant.

Click here to view a list of potential career opportunities in Criminal Justice


Criminal Justice Degree Schools

Careers in Criminal Justice

Whether you want to advance your criminal justice career or find a new job in the field, this page can help guide your research. It features educational requirements, salary information, job availability, an employment outlook table, and links to dozens of interviews, including exclusive videos with former King County Sheriff, Sue Rahr, and current Ada County Sheriff, Gary Raney.


Wisconsin Criminal Justice Schools

  • 30 schools offering criminal justice degrees in Wisconsin are in our database. (see below)
  • 15 offer associate’s degrees or certificates, 11 of them offer bachelor’s degrees and above, and 4 offer a mix of bachelor’s
  • We found no schools in Wisconsin ranked in US News and World Reports that have a criminal justice program
  • According to Kiplinger’s, Wisconsin has 3 universities ranked in the top 100 for “Values in Public Colleges”; #11 University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison, WI; #52 University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, La Crosse, WI; and #85 University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire, Eau Claire, WI
  • 10 campus-based and online schools in Wisconsin are available for requesting information.




by sarkof15 — last modified Aug 24, 2015 09:45 AM