Society and crimes have coexisted for a long time. Some anti-social elements in society resort to crimes and become trouble for society. Whenever you turn on the news, you will see crime reporting. Crime reporting is also of two types, this includes civil as well as criminal. With ever-increasing crime, it has become important to have experts in the field who can analyze and find the root cause of the criminal activity. Root cause analysis of the criminal activity can further help in the reduction of the crime. The analysis also helps the lawmaker in eliminating the loopholes in the present law system.
Talking about criminologist, they are the people who have studied criminology. To decode what a criminologist does, you need to understand what criminology means. Criminology is known to be a subset of sociology and it teaches you about the behaviour of criminals. The subject also teaches you about the cause of behaviour, legal aspects and rehabilitation of the criminal. The correction system revolves around criminology and it helps the experts in taking corrective action in case of any criminal activity. Deducing this, it can be said that criminologists are responsible for preventing and addressing criminal activity.
How is Criminology Different from Criminal Law or Forensic Science?
Many people confuse criminology with criminal law or forensic science. We don’t want you to make this assumption while choosing the subjects. This can be a blunder. So, let us help you in differentiating between the three subjects. We will start by talking about forensic Science. Forensic science is based on scientific evidence and it includes scientific analysis of evidence left behind during the crime. The people involved in forensic science follows an investigatory approach while looking out for visible and invisible evidence. They often look for evidence like blood, DNA samples, saliva, semen, hair and fingerprints during their work.
On contrary, the criminology is about the criminal’s psychological study. They try to understand the psychology of the criminal for committing the crime. Criminal law is different from criminology as it involves the study of law that revolves around criminal activities. The criminal law talks about the punishment for the crime and it also talks about how a crime can be avoided with legal punishments.
How to become a Criminologist in India?
If you have understood the difference between criminology, criminal law and forensic science and if you are still planning to go ahead and become a criminologist then we are going to cover more details in this section for you. We have listed all the major steps of how you can become a criminologist. Check out the details below.
- Completing 10+2 – The first step is to complete your 10+2. You can do it from any field but it would be better for you to have sociology as a subject in 10+2. This will help you by preparing your base since sociology is going to be your core subject for the rest of the life.
- Bachelor Degree – After completing 10+2, you can take admission in a bachelor course. We recommend opting for B.Sc. or a B.A. course in criminology or parapsychology. Many universities including the prestigious Delhi University offers courses in these subjects. If you are not able to secure admission in a criminology related course then you can also opt for courses in psychology or sociology. Some of the top criminologist of India has also studied political science and then made it to their destination. Alternatively, you can even pursue a law program like BA LLB and that would help you in becoming a criminologist.
- Master’s Degree – You need to opt for a Master Program when you are willing to be a criminologist. You may even find courses that are in a combination of forensic science and it makes sense to opt for those programs as well. There is M.A. and M.Sc. course in criminology and you can opt for them.
- Foreign University – Some of the students wish to opt for foreign universities for their higher education. You can certainly do the same and choose the university or the country where you would like to study. There are many universities in the USA, Germany, UK and even Singapore that offers you courses in criminology.
What are the Eligibility & Skills Required for becoming Criminologist?
You have been through the courses that you can do to become a criminologist. What about the eligibility criteria and skills required? In this section, we have covered those two details as well. Check them out now.
- The actual eligibility criteria is the criteria corresponding to the courses. You need to qualify for the course that you are planning to pursue.
- Apart from this, preference is given to science and humanities students. Avoid opting for commerce in 10+2.
- As a criminologist, you must have strong analytical skill along with listening skills. You should also be a good observer.
- Many organizations want the criminologist to have strong values. Along with this, they should have the ability to connect the dots.
- A criminologist is also expected to have good logical reasoning along with excellent communication. They should have a passion for driving the change.
What is the Admission Procedure for Criminology Courses?
We have listed some of the courses that you can pursue to become a criminologist. In this section, we are going to talk about the admission procedure associated with those courses. You can check them out below.
- Bachelor Degree – In B.A. and B.Sc., admission is usually given on a merit basis. In this case, it becomes very important for you to perform well in your 10+2. The higher the marks you have, the greater the chances of getting admission to a good college are. So, work hard during those two years to secure admission to a good college. Some of the colleges may have an entrance test but those are very few.
- Master’s Degree – Admission to Master’s is also based on a merit basis. You need to apply for the universities and a list is published after the initial round of shortlisting. You are then invited for GD and PI. All these things are required to get admission in Master’s Degree which includes B.A. or B.Sc. in the relevant field.
- Foreign University – The admission process in foreign universities varies from one country to another. In general, you need to have a statement of purpose, essays and a letter of recommendation as well. You can check for the assessment criteria and appear in the acceptable exams. Once you get t admission, you also have to meet the requirements for the student visa and language proficiency test like IELTS.
Career as a Criminologist in India
Whenever you choose a profession, you should be careful about the career options available to you. This consideration is required because it is important to understand the kind of job that you will be able to get after completing the courses. In this section, we have listed what your career path may look like after you become a criminologist.
After you become a criminologist, you may get to work on designations like crime investigator, medical investigator, counsellor, social worker, policymaker, rehabilitation specialist or something similar. You will get a chance to work closely with the enforcement agencies. In India, a lot of criminologist works with elite departments like CBI, NHRC and NCPCR.
If you would like to stay in academics then you also have an option to work as a teacher in some of the colleges. After the master’s you will have an option to shape your career. You can work with the enforcement department, law agencies, research agencies or NGOs.
Future Scope After Becoming Criminologist
You have read through the career options that you get after you become a criminologist. The future scope would be in a similar field. You may not get a lot of vertical growth in this area but you will get a chance to witness massive horizontal growth. You will have to make your mark in the field to get better opportunities. You can even work with the correction centres and counsel the inmates in the correction centres. The future scope depends on you and it depends on your plan to take it ahead from the position that you have.
You can expand your horizon by getting a degree in law or forensic science. This will open your horizon to new trades and it will also help you in getting the required growth. Overall, the prospects are great after you become a criminologist. You can read more about the field in the pros and cons in the section below and this will help you in judging the career in a better way.
Pros of Criminology as a Career
The best way to understand a career is to understand the advantages of opting for that field. In this section, we have listed some of the pros associated with the field of criminologist.
- Social Cause – The first pro associated with the career of a criminologist is that they get to work for a social cause. You can make a positive impact on society and this career path is for the people who would like to make a change. India is moving towards a punishment system that is based on reforms and working as a criminologist, you will have a major role to play in this change. Today, many government departments also hire criminologist for jobs.
- Niche Segment – There is huge competition in almost every field. In such a case, some people crave a domain that is slightly relaxed. If you are also looking for a similar option then you might want to try becoming a criminologist. It is a niche segment and you have a high chance of success here. You can integrate the social system with the legal system and prove yourself on the ground.
- Different Option – Criminologist is a new career option that has developed in recent years. It offers a lot of excitement. The world is full of hate and as a criminologist, you get a chance to work with criminals and you also get a chance to improve their lives. As a criminologist, you get an option to shake the system and get it working again.
Cons of Criminology as a Career
Each job has some or other disadvantage associated with it. In this article, we have listed some of the cons associated with becoming a criminologist.
- PayScale – One of the major drawbacks of working as a criminologist is that the starting salaries are very low. You are nowhere going to earn as much as an engineer. The salary will rise as you grow in the field but you will have to struggle in the initial days of your career. Honestly, almost every field has struggle in the initial days but you should be able to deal with a lower pay scale.
- Working Environment – The actual working environment for criminologist could be very challenging. You will be fighting with the opinion of the people, media and mindset as well. There might not be any fixed working hours and you might have to travel a lot for the job as well. You should be prepared for all this.
- Social Stigma – There is a stigma attached to the job of a criminologist. You will be working closely with the criminals and some people with a narrow mentality may not accept you in the social circle. There is a stigma attached to such jobs in India and if you have a strong mental aura to deal with it then you can ignore it.
Overall, criminology is a nice field to opt for if you are looking for something different. The field gives you a lot of exposure and a chance to take a chance. The field is still evolving in India and hence you might have to struggle a little. You can also work as a criminologist in foreign nations like UK and Sweden which have a better scope for criminologist. We have shared all the information in this article and you should not be able to make a decision based on the pros, cons, efforts and opportunities associated with the career of a criminologist. If you still have any questions about the career field or anything then you can reach out to us and we will try to guide you with the career option.
Rahul Kumar is a passionate educator, writer, and subject matter expert in the field of education and professional development. As an author on CoursesXpert, Rahul Kumar’s articles cover a wide range of topics, from various courses, educational and career guidance.