Like most other states, the options for a career in criminology are quite diverse in South Carolina. While there are some positions that do not require a degree in criminology or criminal justice, the vast majority do require that university level education be completed in this field for a professional position.
By taking a look at the potential careers that are available in South Carolina, a person may be able to see the value of getting at least a graduate degree in criminology and the doors that are opened up by having this type of education.
The three main divisions of criminology professions are those that do not require a degree, those that require a graduate degree, and those that require a person to have completed post graduate work on the subject.
The first group of criminology jobs available in South Carolina is the ones where a person does not need to have completed a university degree specifically in the field of criminology. One prime example is a career as a mediator. This job uses much of the same skill sets as a professional criminologist but mainly works in the social services sector.
A mediator has the responsibility of helping clients reach agreeable terms in disputes like divorce cases or those that deal with child custody. An attention to details is needed in this position and a mediator is often required to appear in court proceedings. Another job that does not require a university degree but provides valuable experience in the criminology industry is as a police officer.
While an associate degree is required by some police departments in South Carolina, this can take much less time to complete than a typical four year criminology program and the first hand experience on the job will provide more education in aspects of criminology.
The second groups of jobs in South Carolina are the ones that a person will need an undergraduate degree to be qualified for. The largest group of this type of profession is found writing the academic structure of the state’s universities and colleges. To teach at one of these schools, there is usually a requirement that the person has completed at least an undergraduate degree.
However, there are a number of benefits typically involved with this kind of job. A professor at a university can be actively involved in research and stay on the cutting edge of new theories and topics within the criminology field. Another position in South Carolina that usually has the requirement of an undergraduate criminology or criminal justice degree is as an adult or juvenile probation counselor.
The investigative knowledge that is learned during the education process can serve an applicant well if they land the position. In addition to using investigation techniques to find out more about the activities of the person that is on probation, the social work side of criminology can also be applicable.
Counseling the person on probation can help to increase understanding of why the criminal behavior is wrong and what should be done to change it. In addition, probation officers often work in tandem with the criminal justice system, meaning that a person employed in this position will be able to further their education from their day to day activities.
The last group of criminology jobs in the state of South Carolina is the ones where an advanced degree will be needed to apply and take the position. Some higher level teaching positions fall under this category as well as senior positions in the criminal probation field. In addition, a person that would like to work in the forensic sciences will often need a graduate degree to gain employment.
Colleges like the University of South Carolina have such degrees and also have partnerships with local and state crime laboratories that employ people with these skills. Forensic criminology is one of the hottest fields in criminal justice and the popularity of television shows like Crime Scene Investigation are increasing the number of applicants for the available positions.
At the same time, more new forensics science and criminalistics positions are being created in South Carolina due to the increased value that they add to police investigations and court cases.