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Career Guide in Criminal Justice

Douglas Klutz

Publication Date - 07 August 2018

ISBN: 9780190881306

256 pages
8 x 10 inches

In Stock

Comprehensive, current, and highly practical career guidance in Criminal Justice


Career Guide in Criminal Justice is the guide to getting hired and working in the criminal justice system. Featuring a straightforward and accessible writing style, it covers the three main components of the criminal justice system--law enforcement, courts, and corrections--discussing career opportunities in local, state, and federal government along with those in the private sector. The book also looks at careers in private investigations, the bond industry, forensic psychology, cybersecurity, and other related fields. Douglas Klutz helps students develop practical skills including succeeding as a student in higher education, acting ethically and professionally, writing cover letters and résumés, securing internships, preparing for interviews, and effective networking and career-building strategies. In addition, he addresses many of the common myths related to working in the criminal justice system, offering students invaluable real-world guidance.


  • Comprehensive career guide
  • Covers the three main areas of study: law enforcement, courts, and corrections
  • Addresses common myths about the criminal justice system
  • Provides tips on getting jobs, including networking and preparing cover letters and resumes

About the Author(s)

Douglas Klutz is the Internship Director, Academic Advising Director, and Full-Time Instructor in the Criminal Justice Department at the University of Alabama. An award-winning instructor and advisor, he has taught and advised over 10,000 students in the course of his academic career, and created over 1,000 unique internship opportunities for students in the field of criminal justice.


"Career Guide in Criminal Justice is an invaluable asset for those aspiring to enter the criminal justice field. The author's use of plain language and his straightforward presentation make the book easy to comprehend, appreciate, and understand. The text is a very informative and relevant reference for anyone interested in gaining employment, enhancing their professional development, or seeking career advancement opportunities in criminal justice."--Charles E. Wilson, University of Detroit Mercy

"The author's writing style is excellent. The book's strengths include a full compass of relevant and informative materials, an easy-to-read format, appropriate topics (including ethics!) for criminal justice students who are looking at the transition from the academic arena to the real working world, and the inclusion of take-aways and assessment questions."--Frank E. Jones, New England College

"This book does an excellent job of emphasizing current trends in the world of criminal justice work. It gives great details on each step in the career process, from freshman-level questions, through undergraduate research, all the way to advanced degrees and future planning."--Alina Istrate, University of Central Oklahoma

"Career Guide in Criminal Justice dispels the myths of working in criminal justice and provides an overview of the diverse positions that are available for anyone interested in working in the field."--Cindy Boyles, University of Tennessee at Martin

Table of Contents

    Each chapter opens with an Introduction and ends with a Summary, Assessment Questions, a Critical
    Thinking Exercises, an Active Learning Activity, and Key Terms.
    Chapter 1. Clearing Up the Many Misconceptions Regarding Criminal Justice Careers
    Understanding Myths vs. Realities
    Myth #1: The "Criminal Profiler"
    Myth #2: CSI Fictional Depictions Are Realistic
    Myth #3: Detectives Solve the Majority of Crimes
    Myth #4: You Can Become a Detective Without Relevant Field Experience
    Myth #5: Police Officers Are Always Immersed in Action Just Like in Cops
    Myth #6: Orange is the New Black is a Realistic Portrayal of Prison
    Myth #7: Courtroom Fictional Dramas Are Realistic
    Work Realities in the Field of Criminal Justice
    Work-Life Balance
    Chapter 2. Planning Your Next Step in Higher Education
    What to Do While Working on Your Academic Degree
    Two-Year Academic Institutions vs. 4-Year Academic Institutions
    Two-Year Academic Institutions
    Four-Year Academic Institutions
    The Importance of Seeking Internships throughout Your Academic Career
    Thinking About Advanced Test Preparation
    Learning a Marketable Skill While You Pursue a Degree
    Scholarly Research Experience
    Building Positive Relationships with Faculty Members
    Ten-Step Academic Success Plan
    Getting Involved On Campus
    Building Quality Writing Skills
    Looking Toward Advanced Degree Programs
    Final Thoughts on Higher Education Today
    Requesting References and Letters of Recommendation
    Common Mistakes to Avoid With References and Letters of Recommendation
    Chapter 3. Intense Competition You Will Face
    Talking to "Insiders"
    Foot-in-the-Door Approach
    Keeping Your Record Clean--Background Record/Clearance Discussion
    A Special Note on Social Media
    In-Demand Areas of Study
    FBI Critical Language List
    CIA Critical Language List
    Microsoft Excel
    IBM i2 Analyst Notebook
    GIS (Geographic Information System)
    Computer Programming or "Coding"
    A Note on Veterans' Preference
    Geographical Flexibility
    Not Getting the Job
    Chapter 4. Cover Letters and Résumés
    The Art of the Cover Letter
    The Art of the Professional Résumé
    Additional General Résumé Success Tips
    The Importance of Using Key Words and Phrases in Résumés
    General Application Tips
    Finding Job Openings
    Interview Preparation and Tips
    In-Person Interviews
    A Note on Phone Interviews
    Common Interview Questions
    Top Five Interview Mistakes to Avoid
    Chapter 5. The Importance of Networking
    The Significance of Networking
    How to Effectively Network
    Best Networking Methods
    Building "Soft Skills"
    "Hard Faults" to Avoid
    Chapter 6. Physical Fitness Requirements and the Importance of Overall Health Working in the Field of
    Criminal Justice
    Mentally Approaching Physical Fitness Requirements
    Actual Physical Fitness Requirements
    Formulating a Training Schedule to Pass Physical Fitness Tests
    The Cooper Institute Standards
    Importance of Diet
    Heart-Healthy Foods
    Brain-Healthy Foods
    Immune-Boosting Foods
    Importance of Sleep
    Importance of Social Relationships
    Importance of Mental Health
    Chapter 7. Preparing and Applying to Advanced Degree Programs
    Biggest Misconceptions and Pitfalls about Advanced Degree Programs
    Thoroughly Researching Advanced Degree Programs
    Preparing for the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Test
    Finding Out More about the GRE Subject Tests
    Preparing for the Law School Admission Test (LSAT)
    Geographic Connections and Advanced Degree Programs
    Chapter 8. Ethics and Professionalism in Criminal Justice Careers
    Importance of Ethics
    Professionalism in the Criminal Justice Field
    The Media and Criminal Justice Careers
    Social Media and Criminal Justice Careers
    Email and Professionalism
    Professional Dress and Appearance
    Interpersonal Skills
    Chapter 9. Working in Law Enforcement-Public and Private Sectors
    Working in Local Law Enforcement
    Police Officer
    Deputy Sheriff
    Detective (Local Law Enforcement)
    Specific Divisions within a Local Law Enforcement Agency
    Working in State Law Enforcement
    State Trooper
    State Bureaus of Investigation
    Alcohol Enforcement Agent
    Park Ranger--State Parks
    Police Officer--State College or University
    Fish and Game Warden (Also Called Conservation Officers in Many States)
    Working in Federal Law Enforcement
    Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF or ATFE)
    Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
    United States Marshals Service (USMS)
    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    United States Secret Service (USSS)
    United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
    United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
    United States Transportation Security Administration (TSA)
    United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General (OIG)
    Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS)
    U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command--Army Criminal Investigations (CID) Civilian Special Agent
    Air Force Special Investigations Officer
    Other Criminal Investigation Series 1811 Positions
    Working in Private Sector Law Enforcement Careers
    Railroad Special Agent
    Loss Prevention Officer (LPO)--Asset Protection Specialist
    Corporate Investigator
    Credit Card Fraud Investigator
    Insurance Fraud Investigators
    Executive Protection (EP) (Close Personal Protection)
    Chapter 10. Working in the Court System
    Attorney (Lawyer)
    Court Clerk
    Victim Witness Advocate
    Chapter 11. Working in the Field of Corrections
    Correctional Officer (CO)
    Correctional Treatment Specialist/Corrections Counselor
    Probation and Parole Officers
    Chapter 12. Other Career Opportunities in the Field of Criminal Justice
    Forensic Psychologist
    Crime Scene Investigations
    Forensic Scientist/Forensic Science Technician
    Bond Agents and Bounty Hunters
    Juvenile Justice Careers
    Cybersecurity Analyst/Information Security Analyst
    Private Investigators (PIs)
    Crime Analyst
    Academic Careers in Criminal Justice

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