Jobs with criminal justice degree is the standard, but certifications can take you a long way when it comes to landing a job. It’s all well and good to have a diploma in your belt. But in order to improve your job prospects, you need to obtain at least an additional certification.
Having an extra certification in any area of the criminal justice field will show your employer that you have some mastery of that particular field. This gives you more credibility since you have more credentials than the “ordinary” graduate. For them, it shows that you have gone the extra mile in order to enhance your competence in your field. As a result, employers will be able to give you a very strong consideration.
How Criminal Justice Certifications Beef Up Your Resume
Criminal justice certifications may show that you have certain specific sets of skills or are specialized in a certain field or position which the employer is looking to fill. When pursuing these certifications, you need to know which ones are the most suitable or hold the best prospects for your career. Some certifications will greatly boost your career or open pathways to success in criminal justice field. On the other hand, there are some certifications which are only resume-builders. These don’t really add much value career-wise.
There are things that you should look out for when choosing certifications that you are interested in pursuing. For example, look at the requirements of the certifications. There are some that are easily obtainable while others require a more rigorous threshold to get.
You should also check if the certification is a requirement or necessity in the career that you are pursuing. Do not just take it because it is there for the taking. Check if it aligns with your career objectives. Spend your money and time on those certifications that you really need rather than on vanity certifications that you won’t really use. In criminal justice practice, some of the essential certifications include the following:
Criminal Justice Certification
Adding a criminal justice certification to your existing credentials is one of the best ways to enhance your skills and also improve your job prospects. The certificate program can introduce you to a host of career-relevant topics that you can apply in your professional work. It will enhance both your skills and knowledge when it comes to ensuring public safety as well as law and order.
Criminal justice certification is often designed for professionals interested in expanding their knowledge on issues of public safety with regards to the criminal justice department and law enforcement. Getting this certification can also be a stepping stone to obtaining your graduate degree in criminal justice. Check to ensure that your program has the requisite accreditation. Make sure that they are regionally accredited to ensure that your credits are easily transferable to other programs such as master’s degrees and other similar specializations.
Crime Scene Technician Certification
Crime scene technicians are involved in the investigation of crimes by carrying out an analysis on the scene where the crime has been committed. They collect evidence at the crime scene, carrying out data evaluation and finally, presenting their findings.
To be a good crime scene technician, you must have a meticulous attention to detail. Law enforcement officials are often under intense scrutiny by attorneys, juries, and the general public. This is because they rely on them to do their work in the most professional way in order to help society in solving crimes. Certification programs help to develop the expertise and competence in discharging your duty as a crime scene technician.
Most of the crime scene technicians training programs are held in short duration and take anywhere from 6-18 months. Students or professionals undertaking these courses may also choose from various types of certificates. There are those courses which are better suited for those with high school diplomas or equivalent. This is also applicable if you’re just entering the field of criminal justice. It’s also ideal for people with bachelor’s or master’s degree level. Take note that some of the certificate programs are restricted to law enforcement professionals.
Private Investigator Certification
Getting the requisite training along with certification is a very important for success in private investigator practice. Private investigations is generally a career which is multifaceted and you will need a diverse set of skills in order to succeed. Training is not just about achieving a good resume with your clients but it is a requirement for state licensure. Private investigators can obtain formal training such as associate’s, bachelor’s or even master’s degree in fields such as criminal justice, psychology, or criminology.
A private investigator certification is, however, ideal for anyone who wants to learn about the technical aspects of the private investigations job. These certificate courses can cover areas such as:
- Investigations of business crimes
- Carrying out background research and investigations
- Legal investigations
- Locating missing persons and skip tracing
- Police Officer Certifications
- The police officer certifications can qualify the law enforcement officials in a variety of specializations. These can include the following:
- Accident reconstruction
- Arson investigation
- Criminal Investigations
- Crime Scene Technology
- Narcotics investigations
- Crime and intelligence analysis
- Drug recognition
Professionals may also take additional tests in addition to their certifications in order to demonstrate their competence in their roles.
Here are some criminal justice certification programs you may want to check out:
- Criminal Justice Undergraduate Certificate – Boston University
- Criminal Justice Specialization Graduate Certificate – Capella University
- Online Certificate Program – Michigan State University
- Online Certificate in Justice Studies – Southern New Hampshire University
- Criminal Justice Certificate -UMass Amherst
- Criminal Justice Certificate – Ashworth College (Online)
- Management & Supervision Certificate in Criminal Justice – Kaplan University