Starting a career as a criminologist requires a high degree of skill and training. This career path involves studying criminal behaviours and crime to understand the factors that cause criminal activities in society. These professionals play an important role in protecting society and ensuring that crimes are minimal in a society. As a result, this field is highly respected and needed by law enforcement agencies and the government. Criminologists work with institutions such as the government, law enforcement and researchers in private companies. The benefits that come with this career are numerous. Firstly, you will make an impact in society as well as have room to grow intellectually in your job. Additionally, this field has fewer professionals. Therefore, the job opportunities in this field have less competition.


Pursuing a career as a criminologist can allow you to explore various career options in this field. You may specialise in areas such as crime prevention, cybercrime, terrorism, juvenile justice and law enforcement. However, no matter the field you specialise in, you need to have the right training and education to have a successful career in this field. Therefore, you have to follow the right steps to acquire the right training and education that is important in this field.


This piece will guide you through the steps that are needed for pursuing a career as a criminologist.

Steps to Pursue a Career as a Criminologist

  1. Earn a Bachelor’s Degree

    To pursue a career in psychology, you need to earn a bachelor’s degree. You can earn a bachelor’s degree in fields such as sociology, psychology, criminology or a related discipline. This will give you foundational knowledge in criminology and the needed knowledge needed to undertake further education. Therefore, you should obtain a bachelor’s degree that has coursework related to sociology, psychology, and research methods.

  2. Pursue a Master’s Degree

    After obtaining a bachelor’s degree, you can pursue a master’s degree. A master’s degree can help you choose an area of specialisation to focus on. This program usually takes two years to complete. Furthermore, it will give you a more in-depth knowledge of the different specialisations in criminology. You can earn a master’s degree in areas such as law enforcement, policy analysis etc.

  3. Choose an Area of Specialisation

    You can decide to choose an area of specialisation in this field. It will enable you to carve a niche for yourself and enable you to become an expert in that area. You can choose an area of specialisation based on your interest or field of research. You can choose an area of specialisation in areas such as forensic criminology, criminal profiling, white-collar crime, etc.

  4. Gain a Doctorate Degree

    A doctorate is the highest level of graduate education available in this profession. A doctoral program usually takes five to seven years to complete. Additionally, you can have a career in research and analysis or become a professor at a university after obtaining a PhD in criminology.

  5. Gain Practical Experience

    You need to gain experience through means such as internships and research assistantships. This experience will allow you to apply criminological theories and research methods to real-world scenarios.

Important skills for a criminologist

  1. Legal proficiency
  2. Communication skills
  3. Problem-solving skills
  4. Integrity and ethics
  5. Statistics
  6. Attention to detail


Universities in Africa where you can study Psychology

  1. University of Cape Town, South Africa
  2. Bayero University, Nigeria
  3. Federal University of Technology, Akure
  4. University of Lagos, Nigeria
  5. Cairo University, Egypt
  6. University of Maiduguri, Nigeria
  7. Ain Shams University, Egypt
  8. University of Ibadan, Nigeria
  9. Makerere University, Uganda
  10. University of Ghana, Ghana
  11. Tanta University, Egypt
  12. University of Witwatersrand
  13. Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
  14. University of Pretoria, South Africa
  15. Alexandria University, Egypt
  16. University of Sfax, Tunisia
  17. Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
  18. University of Nairobi, Kenya
  19. Rhodes University, South Africa
  20. University of Nigeria, Nigeria


In Conclusion, pursuing a career as a criminologist involves acquiring the right education and skills. This career path deals basically with humans and investigating criminal activities. So, you need to acquire the essential skills you need to function effectively in this career path. Additionally, you should pay attention to the area of interest you wish you pursue. You should get the right education and work towards meeting the career’s criteria.


Good luck!

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