A person that is interested in becoming a criminologist in the state of New Mexico will need to learn about how to make that career goal a reality. While positions are largely not open to a person without experience or education in the area of criminology, there are plenty of education options in the state.
After going through the education process, the person should have enough basic knowledge that they are able to start the job search process. Compared to other states of the same size and population, New Mexico has a wealth of opportunities for a beginning criminologist to pursue.
The first stop on the track to becoming a professional criminologist is to find the right educational institution to attend. In terms of comprehensive four year programs, there are two main public universities that have degree programs in the field.
While the studies at New Mexico State University, or NMSU, concentrate on the legal and law enforcement side of criminology, the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque has a dedicated program for criminology studies.
This means that a graduate with a criminology major may be trained for the legal side as well as social work, laboratory work, or future academic studies.
As part of the Department of Sociology, students with the criminology major take courses from the sociology field as well as those that fall under political science. In addition, some courses are listed under the psychology and anthropology departments.
In addition to New Mexico State University and the University of New Mexico, there are additional schools where a basic criminology education can take place. For a person that is not able to maintain the rigorous workload of the two previous schools, there are several community colleges in the state that offer criminologist training programs.
Mesalands Community College and Santa Fe Community Colleges are two examples of schools in the state that have these types of programs. Once a person has finished their education, it is time to start looking at possible employment locations and submit applications for the positions.
One practical application of the newly learned criminology knowledge could be the law enforcement sector. In addition to direct employment with any of these agencies, criminologist consultants are often used in special situations and could represent an excellent career opportunity.
In addition, the nature of criminology studies that a person may be qualified for several social work positions or counseling careers. Another possible career for a person trained in criminology could be working at one of the ten major prisons that are located in New Mexico.
These locations are spread throughout the state and most New Mexico residents will be able to reach the site with a relatively small commute time.
For trained criminologists that are more interested in the academic aspect of the field, there are growing opportunities with the colleges and universities. As criminology and criminal justice are seen as growing fields in New Mexico, these learning institutions have a high demand for educators and researchers.
Many of the colleges and universities list all of their available positions online, so a search for a potential job should include the websites of these schools. Also, one new sector that has started to see more hires of criminologists are insurance companies. These positions are largely involved in analyzing complex fraud or claim abuse cases where having the knowledge of criminal nature would be highly relevant and a useful job skill.
The abundance of criminologist careers in new Mexico make this area of study a good choice both for a person that is entering a university for the first time and also for those that are looking for a new career path.