As a Georgia resident interested in pursuing a career in criminology, you’ll be happy to know that the field is ripe with opportunities for qualified criminology professionals. Of course, that word “qualified” is extremely important and all too often overlooked.

A lot of people will apply for criminology jobs in the state, but only the best and the brightest will stand out above the fierce competition. The good news is that, with a little hard work and determination on your part, you can be among the best and the brightest applicants out there!

First and foremost, you will need a formal education if you are going to have success in the criminology field. There is no way around that fact. The degree that you will need, however, will vary significantly depending upon the exact job within the field that you would like to do.

Someone, for example, who wishes to teach criminology to high school or college students would need a lower level degree that someone who wants to conduct research and public scholarly articles involving criminology. It’s up to you to determine what it is you want to do and what educational path you will need to follow to get there.

Once you know that information, then it’s time to find a good school and program from which to achieve your associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral level degree. The school that you choose can be online, whether it’s based in Georgia or across the globe, or it can come from a training program, a community college, or a traditional college or university.

Wherever you choose to earn your degree, make sure that it is fully accredited and legitimate. This is something you have to be very careful of when choosing online schools in particular. Taking the time to check out your school of choice is extremely important, since a degree from an unaccredited school is virtually worthless and can cause you to waste countless amounts of time, money, and effort.

No matter what school you go to or what program you attend, expect criminology study to be very hard work. But remember that nothing worth much comes with little; you have to put in the effort to see the results of a lucrative, rewarding career in criminology. If you can do that, then you’ll almost certainly find success in the field.

As a final piece of advice, choosing to take on an internship, either while you’re in school or shortly after graduation, is often one of the smartest moves you can make. An internship is essentially a work study program that should ideally be at a job that is very close to the job you would ultimately like to have.

The internship can be paid, unpaid, or done for school credit. In any case, it is an invaluable opportunity for learning, growth, and forging important connections in the field, connections which in many cases can lead to future employment or, at the very least, an impressive resume.