While you might think criminology is just about profiling and catching criminals, the real story is even more interesting. Learn more about careers in this growing field.
There’s something about crime that captures our collective interest.
We are fascinated by unsolved murder mysteries with twisty turns and dead ends. Crafty con artists who defraud vulnerable clients. Dodgy festival organisers. Insidious cults. Serial killer dramas. Do you enjoy debating centuries-old cases such as Jack the Ripper? Are you interested in cases about computer hacking, the dark web and cybercrime? No matter the case, society is fascinated by crime.
Without further ado, welcome to your first assignment: The Case of the Curious Criminology Career.
Would a career in criminology suit you?
Think you have the qualities that make a great criminologist? See if you identify with any of the below.
- Get absorbed in the intricate details of investigations?
- Wonder about the contributing factors as to why a crime happened?
- Question how some people manage to trick others so convincingly?
- Approach problems logically and methodically?
- Have a compassionate nature?
- Enjoy exploring psychology and sociology?
- Want to help prevent criminal behaviour?
- Think about treatment of offenders?
- Believe you can make a positive impact in the justice system?
If you feel like the above describes you, criminology could be a great career option. Criminology is a little science, a little law, a little psychology, and a little sociology. It’s also a hands-on career with new technologies and techniques advancing the field all the time. One thing is for sure, you’ll never be bored! Discover our School of Law and Criminology for more details.
What kind of career can you have in criminology?
Your first step is a Bachelor of Criminology. Now let’s take a look at some popular career paths.
Criminologists are experts on the causes of crime. You might choose a career focused on events that have already taken place, gathering details and helping law enforcement to investigate the why and how of a crime. Or, you may choose to help prevent crime, looking at sociological patterns, personal characteristics and behaviours, and research data.
Technology and Crime
The impact of technology on crime is big news in today’s world. With a criminology degree, you could help protect business and individuals against online crime. Work directly with law enforcement and big business to detect and prevent crime.
With Australia’s only combined Bachelor of Criminology/Bachelor of Science (Forensic Biology and Toxicology) course, you could have more of a hands-on role in investigating crime. Day to day, you might be deep in fingerprint analysis, forensic chemistry, or determining cause of death weapons.
White collar crime
Wondering how some people manage to woo others so easily and fleece them of their money? With a major in White Collar and Corporate Crime, you’ll work with large corporations, law enforcement, and federal agencies. You could, for example, investigate and prevent embezzlement, insider trading, corruption, and pyramid schemes.
If you want a more people-focused role and/or assisting victims of crime, there are plenty of jobs of this nature. For example, you could become a victim support officer, youth officer, parole officer, family safety support officer, or court support services case manager.
If you want to work … as a criminal profiler
From Criminal Minds to Mindhunter, a job in profiling is a thrilling prospect. Examine behavioural patterns, personality traits and psychopathologies. Take in the latest studies and statistics in demographic, economic and social factors. Analyse crime scene details, and the relationship between the type of crime and associated factors.
While this, of course, sounds incredibly exciting, there’s actually no defined path to become a profiler. However if you are interested, you could potentially choose a Bachelor of Criminology (Criminal Behaviour) / Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, with further study to become a psychologist, or perhaps find your niche within law enforcement.
Picture where a degree from Murdoch could take you
With a degree in this field, you’ll understand the motives, methods and psychology of offenders and the experiences of victims. You’ll develop excellent critical-thinking skills to be able to work through a case methodically and factually with an open mind.
Professionals in this area work alongside local, federal and international law enforcement, or in government and legal roles. Others might work in laboratories or on crime scenes. Some might work with offenders in prisons, juvenile detention, or rehabilitation centres. And others could work with private companies in preventing and detecting crime.
Can I get a job? Future-proof your career
Criminology is a popular and competitive field, but as a Murdoch graduate you’ll have an edge over the competition. Some of our graduates have gone on to work with the Australian Signals Directorate, Australian Federal Police and Western Australian Police Force, the Coroner’s Office and the Department of Justice, Corrective Services and Consumer Protection.
Our students are able to tailor their study including combined degrees and specialised majors not found elsewhere in WA, and there’s plenty of hands-on training. Get to know the details here.
The Work Integrated Learning Program provides relevant industry experience, helps develop career strategies, and establishes a network of contacts with potential employers. For example, some of our students have interned with WA Police in the Evidence Based Policing Unit. And other students have worked with criminologists on the Cold Case Review Team, solving real cold cases.