If you live in the state of Minnesota and are interested in pursuing a career in criminal justice, then you most likely have quite a few questions you would like answered. One of the most common questions that people tend to have isn’t about the field or the work itself but instead about the requirements for starting and keeping a job within the field.

Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy, cut and dry type of question to answer. Since criminal justice professionals work in such a wide variety—as many as hundreds or even thousands—of ways, each job will have its own diverse educational requirements. This means that what you will need to do to reach your career goals is to know and meet the requirements for those particular goals.

The good news is that this kind of information is all readily available. In fact, thanks to the internet, it’s right at your fingertips! All you have to do is to spend some time researching the field and all of the different jobs available within it. Be sure to mark down any of the ones that seem of interest to you. Later, you can read in more detail about those positions and, if you still feel they could be a good fit for you, you can begin reading up on their educational requirements.

As you read through information such as this, it is important to do three things. First, honestly pay attention to your own feelings and thoughts. If something doesn’t seem right for you, don’t disregard what your mind and heart or saying just because of the lure of prestige or of having a larger income.

Secondly, be honest with yourself about what you are and are not willing to do to reach your career goals. If a job, for example, requires seven years of schooling and that’s not your thing, don’t be afraid to admit that to yourself and to keep looking. Finally, make sure that you are choosing potential jobs for the right reasons—because of your interest in and love for the field—and not for anything else.

Once you’ve selected the job you want, all that’s left is to go out and find the education that you’ve been reading about, if formal education is required, which it is not in all cases.

Remember that if at any time in your program you begin feeling that the career is not for you, it’s never too late to change your mind. Criminal justice is a difficult and demanding field, and anyone who is not fully committed to the work will not find much enjoyment, if any, in it.

Finally, do keep in mind that some things can really hinder you in the criminal justice field. If, for example, you have a criminal record of your own, you might find that you have trouble getting work, even with the best education around. So, just make sure you’re honest with yourself and realistic throughout the whole process.

If you can survive the questioning, just starting out part, however, then you should definitely be able to survive a career in criminal justice. The good news is that most people report highly enjoying the work, in addition to having excellent job security, an above average salary, and benefits that most people would do anything for.

So, just remember to stay strong, to be true to yourself, to always stayed informed, well researched, and on top of things, and to exercise control over your life and over your career as well. If you can do that, you can find success.