What does a criminologist do?

Criminologists perform an intensive examination into the phenomenon of crime, conducting studies that asses the prevalence and reasons for crime, the criminal justice systems that exist for it and their effectiveness and a wide array of effects and preventative measures. Criminologists would perform duties like: provide an analysis into the relevant justice systems, gather relevant criminal statistics, examine potential trends in criminal behaviour, advise on the creation of criminal policy and compile potential motivations for criminal actions.

Tasks:

  • Conduct research into criminal behaviours
  • Evaluate current methods employed by justice systems
  • Compile statistics and generate research documents
  • Identify potential new trends in criminal behaviour
  • Help develop preventative measures

What skills do I need to be a criminologist?

Being a criminologist requires the ability to think rationally and analytically. It also entails a love of research and data analysis, as such a large portion of the occupation involves working with statistics and census data. A criminologist should also possess am understanding of what motivates and underpins human behaviour whilst at the same time having a compassion for people, particularly those who may be perceived as having a social or economic disadvantage. 

Skills/attributes
  • Ability to show patience
  • Compassionate nature
  • Ability to think rationally
  • Professional demeanour
  • Analytical and data-focused

Specialisations

The world of criminology is a varied one, presenting an individual with the opportunity to work in a multitude of different specialisations.

Education and training criminologist

Education and training criminologists usually teach in universities. They relay their knowledge and experience in the field to those who are studying and aspiring to be criminologists. Education and training criminologists are also capable of working in many capacities and roles within an institution whilst at the same time working independently and conducting their own research or advising on policy.

Cybercrime criminologist

A cybercrime criminologist deals with a particularly recent form of crime. These criminologists conduct studies, collate research and help develop policies to help manage and prevent crimes taking place online. Cybercrime criminologists have a thorough understanding of how criminals operate online and help formulate preventative measures and public awareness campaigns.

Sociologist

Sociologists study and examine human behaviour on a large scale, looking at the interconnectedness of individual behaviour and society, and tracking the developments, patterns and progress that happens within it. Sociologists conduct research on social groups with the aim of better understanding the way in which human societies actually work.

Study pathways for criminologists

There are a number of different study pathways available to you if you are interested in a career in criminology.

Getting Started

Begin developing your professional skills with courses in criminology

Skill Building

Select study options that are focused towards your academic strengths

Professional Development

Learn industry relevant skills and knowledge whilst you learn

Industry Recognition

You may need to undergo a Police Check or Working with Children check, depending on your employer and role

Getting a job after graduation

Put your training to good use and get the best professional head start in your criminology career. Emphasise your personal strengths and achievements in your resume and target your cover letter to the job description listed.

Job Prospects and Salaries

There is expected to be very strong growth in employment opportunities over the next five years.