Criminal justice is a broad industry, enabling you to pursue a variety of positions ranging from those involved in the creation of laws and legal procedures to those that are responsible for enforcing the regulations that are already in effect—and everything in between.

While there are associate and bachelor’s degree programs that can help prepare you for this type of career path, you can also choose to pursue your doctorate. If the latter is of interest to you, here are nine career options to consider for those with a doctorate in criminal justice.

1. Federal Agent

If you dream of being an agent for the FBI, IRS, DEA, or Secret Service, obtaining your doctorate in criminal justice is one way to achieve this goal. Your responsibilities in an agent role will vary depending on which federal agency you choose but generally include duties related to the enforcement of laws and/or the investigation of potential violations. Getting your doctorate also prepares you for leadership positions within these national law enforcement agencies.

2. Higher-Level Local or State Law Enforcement Positions

Maybe your career vision involves holding a higher-level position at a law enforcement agency within your local community or state. A doctorate in criminal justice can make this an option as well. The knowledge gained in your doctoral-level studies can help prepare you for a position such as sheriff, undersheriff, chief of police, and more.

3. Emergency Management Director

Another option is to use your doctorate in criminal justice to secure an emergency management director role. Individuals in this position are responsible for developing and implementing response plans for natural disasters and other types of large-scale emergencies that may occur in their designated areas. They’re also tasked with identifying high-probability risks and finding ways to prevent them from occurring.

4. Forensic Scientist

Forensic scientists collect and analyze crime scene evidence. Some professionals working in this role perform their duties at crime scenes. Others spend their days in labs, using various technologies and devices to gain more information about a suspect or the scene of the crime, potentially making a connection between the two.

5. Policy Analyst

You can also use your doctorate in criminal justice to become a policy analyst. In this role, you would be responsible for reviewing certain policies to help identify any potential issues that may exist, and also to provide possible solutions. If you’re interested in playing an active role in the development or modification of the policies that govern society and/or specific groups or populations, a policy analyst career path may be a good fit for you.

6. Cybersecurity Analyst

Where a policy analyst does an in-depth review of policies, a cybersecurity analyst focuses on online devices, networks, and systems. One benefit of this career path is that the list of industries you can work in is endless. Any company or organization that conducts business online (or has an online presence) can benefit from having a cybersecurity expert analyze their Internet-based devices and systems, helping to protect them from hackers and other individuals who should not have access to the stored information.

7. Attorney

Courses taken in a doctoral-level criminal justice program also help prepare you for a career as an attorney. Lawyers can specialize in various areas of law, whether civil or criminal. A civil attorney may work primarily with medical malpractice cases, for instance, or help their clients with the preparation of wills or trusts. Criminal attorneys can also specialize in certain areas of law, focusing their efforts on clients charged with drunk driving, homicide, or some other type of crime.

8. Educational Coordinator

If you have a passion for education, you can use your doctorate in criminal justice as an educational coordinator. Professionals in this position spend their days developing or improving educational programs or curricula. Not only do schools hire educational coordinators, but some employers do as well. This enables you to play an important role in shaping the future of tomorrow’s students or workers.

9. College Instructor

Do you like the idea of educating others but would prefer a more one-on-one role where you can interact directly with students? In this case, you might want to use your doctorate in criminal justice to pursue a career as a college instructor. In this position, you would be teaching the next generation of criminal justice experts. And the knowledge you provide can be critical to helping them achieve their own career goals.

Saint Leo University Offers a Doctorate in Criminal Justice

If any of these careers feel like a good fit for you, you can earn your doctorate in criminal justice at Saint Leo University. Saint Leo offers two doctorate-level criminal justice program options:

Both 60-credit hour degree programs can be completed online, with three weekend-long residencies held either at Saint Leo’s university campus near Tampa, FL or at one of our select education centers that offer this option. Are you ready to go? Get started on your doctorate in criminal justice—and take the next step toward your exciting new career.