If you are a Florida resident who is currently pursuing a degree in criminology or considering doing so, then you may think you’re on your way, or soon to be on your way, to success. While this very well may be the case, you can also be on your way to disappointment if you’re not fully prepared and knowledgeable about what your next steps should be.

Receiving a degree in criminology is no guarantee that you will be hired in the field, no matter where that degree comes from. There are things you can do, however, aside from just getting your education, that will help to increase your chances of employment and success in the field.

If you haven’t enrolled in a criminology degree program yet, then you should know that the stage before your education begins is one of the most important. Unfortunately, far too many people just rush through it, quickly picking a program and a school and enrolling. This is the opposite of how you should approach your education.

Instead of rushing, you should take your time researching the criminology career field, all that it entails, and all the different careers you can have as a criminologist. When you find a career that sounds right for you, you should then research the educational and other requirements necessary for success. This will help you to tailor your education to your career goals.

While in school, your job, of course, is to work as hard as you can and to get the best grades possible. Often times, the competition for criminology jobs, especially in Florida, is incredibly tough, and whether or not a job goes to you or someone else can often boil down to mulling over transcripts and comparing grade point averages.

So, don’t make the mistake of not taking your work seriously.

Also while you’re in school, or shortly after graduation, you will want to consider taking on an internship. This is the single most important thing you can do to increase your chances of employment within the field. The internship should, ideally, be as close to the job you would ultimately like to have as possible.

The internship, which may be paid, unpaid, or even for college credit, should be treated every bit as seriously as you would treat a real job. In fact, internships have been known to lead to job offers from the intern supervisor. At the very least, interns are able to forge relationships with those who have connections in the field. Also, an internship is a great way to accumulate valuable references and to build up your resume.

Once you’ve followed all these steps carefully and have given each one of them your very best, then you’re ready to hit the job circuit and to start applying for and interviewing for various positions that are of interest to you. By following these tips, you’ll already have made yourself stand out above the rest of the competition.