Breaking into a position in criminology can be difficult in North Carolina for a person without an educational background in the field, but the rewarding jobs may be worth the effort of going to school to get the appropriate degree to get started in this high growth area.

To reach that end, there are many schools in the state of North Carolina with Criminal Justice studies that can prepare you for the job tasks that lie ahead in the real world. The colleges and universities that offer these degrees are located across the state, so the chances are high that you can find a possible course of study in your own backyard.

At the western end of the state, Western Carolina University is one top choice. Nestled in the mountainous and picturesque small town of Cullowhee, Western Carolina University is part of the University of North Carolina network of schools.

The Criminal Justice program is one of the largest of the university, drawing students from a wide diversity of locations and backgrounds. The hands-on approach used in the criminology courses is meant to give students an education a strong combination of theoretical study and real world application.

In this manner, students are given the opportunity to see the connection between what they are learning and how it is used by a professional criminologist. Western Carolina University also offers the criminology degree as an online option, meaning that students can take classes over the Internet in a distance learning situation.

At the opposite end of the state, another University of North Carolina network school offers an equally comprehensive program. The campus of UNC at Wilmington is located close to the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean and could offer a scenic background for a person’s college education.

At this school, there is a dedicated criminology degree with many courses that address particular topics within this branch. Students may take classes such as Victimology, White Collar Crime, and Police in Society that address current hot topics in the criminology field.

Students that have declared the criminology major are encouraged to participate in internship programs with a local agency that works in the criminal justice sector. With this experience, the student may be better prepared for employment at a similar agency or private consulting firm.

One school that is not in the UNC network, but still offers a good education with a degree in criminology is North Carolina State University. This college is located in the Research Triangle area and focuses their education on the possible careers that a student may find employment in.

To better acquaint students with the real working world in the criminology sector, they are encouraged to spend time working directly with an agency or criminology company. While internships are available to students, a choice for a person that is looking to gain more experience is to enroll in the Co-op program that is facilitated by the school.

In the Co-op program for criminology, students alternate semesters between academic study and working scenarios. Because the work lasts for a whole semester, the positions are paid and are an excellent way for a person who is following this course of study to decide if they enjoy the actual careers that are afforded by this education.

North Carolina is a state that offers many opportunities for a person that wants to enter the criminologist field with a solid framework of education and practical experience.

Unlike schools located in other parts of the United States, the universities that make up the UNC network as well as others in the state base their education on not only the academic side of the subject, but also the practical application of the theories.