Like it or not, crime is a part of life. As a result, there are many career opportunities around it. They are usually not quite like the television shows.
According to SocialWorkLicensure.org, “as an undergraduate, a behavioural analyst typically majors in psychology, education, or a related field. This person then goes on to earn his or her Master’s degree in behavioural analysis. Those programs include training in research methods, interventions, and behavioural assessments.”
Many employers require that aspiring behavioural analysts then pass the requirements to be a Board Certified Assistant Behaviour Analyst and a Board Certified Behavioral Analyst.
This is the career that made up the television show, “Criminal Minds.” It featured an elite group of profilers from the BAU (Behavioral Analysis Unit) in Quantico, Virginia, who flew across the country to solve crimes. It’s true that there is a BAU in Quantico, but these specialists don’t fly across the country to solve crimes. Instead, they have multiple experts units from terrorism to crimes against children that analyze the crime once it’s been committed.
According to Maryville University, “a degree in forensic psychology blends the foundational social sciences such as human development, sociology, and various disciplines of psychology with professional skills such as critical thinking, research methodology, criminal theory and investigation, and psychological testing.”
In order to obtain a degree in forensic psychology, an individual must first undergo a bachelor’s degree in psychology, criminal justice, criminology, or even pre-law. This person must strive for the highest GPA in order to increase his or her chances of acceptance into a Master’s program. Next, this individual must obtain state licensure and become board certified.
Forensic psychologists apply psychological theories into court systems. These days, it’s their expertise that helps maintain the right to a speedy trial. They are also there to help inform juries of the possible mental motivations behind the crime.
Some psychologists work in the jails and prisons. They are usually the ones who provide rehabilitation and who help with release preparation. Others are hired by local police departments as profilers or consultants. The very latter is what the television show, “CSI,” was based on. However, the show’s emphasis was on elite teams of crime scene investigators.
Crime Scene Investigator
In real life, crime scene investigators go by many names, including evidence technicians and criminalist officers. In the past, they were also trained as police officers.
Now, they are mostly scientists. According to ExploreHealthCareers.org, “they secure crime scenes; collect, document, and bag evidence; attend autopsies; and testify about their findings in court. They are also required to keep evidence portfolios and kits well-stocked as well as provide photographs, sketches, and diagrams of the scenes.” However, unlike what the television show “CSI” showed, these experts don’t usually question the suspects or victims.
As you can see, many crime specialization careers do parallel with the television shows. However, these professionals are usually a lot more involved with the suspects and victims than in real life. Either way, these careers are what makes it possible for the justice system to keep moving along.
As you are pursuing your career, you’re going to need to find a way to pay off your schooling! Check out this great article for help in paying off your student loans!