Actors sometimes complain that show business is murder, but actually murder is entertainment in the U.S. The murder mystery has been one of the most successful television and motion picture genres since these forms of media were invented. People are naturally fascinated by mysteries and homicide is one of the most extreme acts the human beings perform. The public’s fascination might be seen as a symptom of a contemporary society that is not entirely healthy, but the Sherlock Holmes Mysteries and stories about Jack the Ripper were with us long before television and film.
Publishers know that the “true crime” genre is consistently popular with readers. Many people follow homicide trials on television, such as the famous O.J. Simpson trials. It seems Americans just can’t get enough of murder as entertainment.
All the publicity and hype surrounding both real and fictional homicides makes some people imagine what it would be like to be a detective. For a certain type of personality, it seems like it would be interesting to match wits with a criminal and solve a crime. The need to catch and punish criminals is real and any just and safe society depends on it. Detectives can be heroes and they can make our world safer and more just.
A degree in criminal justice is a first step towards a career as a detective. People who aspire to work as detectives should know that practicing the profession in real life is different from what they see on TV. Television programs and movies sometimes glamorize detectives, but the actual work is somewhat different and perhaps more prosaic.
Criminal justice degrees are also useful for people who want to be paralegals, lawyers and judges. There are a number of different career paths from which to choose in criminal justice. Graduates can work in law enforcement, criminology, security and investigation. Corporations increasingly need internal security experts to help guard business secrets and valuable goods.
If criminal justice careers interest you, it is a good idea to shop around and choose a program that is right for you. A wide range of programs are available, from online programs to residency programs, as well as full-time and part-time programs. Getting an online criminal justice degree might be the easiest and best way to enter the field.