What is Criminology? | How criminologists play a vital role in society

What is criminology

What is criminology? One must know the answer to this question before delving deep into this topic. Criminology can be explained as the study of crime and what reinforce the criminal to commit the crime. Another simple answer to the question “What is criminology” is the study of laws and the criminal justice system in a state. But there are things which one cannot decipher through the above mentioned simple definition. Below in this blog, we will read and learn about in detail about what is criminology.

Generation of the word CRIMINOLOGY

Criminology is a word came from the Latin and Greek language. Crimin word ‘Crimen’. Crimen means an accusation. The word logy is from the Greek word ‘logia’ which means the study of. Therefore Criminology is the study of crime.

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The detailed answer to the question “WHAT IS CRIMINOLOGY.”

We are all living in a society that is why humans are called as a social animal. There are set norms and rules made by the government for us. Every human being has to adhere to those norms and work accordingly. But, when the animal instincts of humans overpower the good in us, then crime takes place. So to define criminology, we can say that it is the study of the crime from the viewpoint of society. Criminology comes under the sociology and psychology course. In recent times Criminology has been categorized as a scientific discipline. This study sees the crime, not in general sense but how and what are the impacts of a criminal act on the society, what made the convict go to this level, and how to deal with such criminals. It also focuses on areas such as why certain areas have more crime rate and how crime is affecting the victim and the general public. All the aspects of crime and criminal and the effects on the society come under the criminology and this is the best answer one can have of the question “What is Criminology?”

How to Become a Criminologist

So after getting the answer to the question ‘what is criminology?’, you must be having curiosity in knowing how to become a criminologist. You can become a criminologist just by a bachelor’s degree in this program but to get a good position in the job, one must do masters in it. Those who are studying behavioral science course may go in this field. To become a professor of the same course go for a doctoral degree in psychology and do majors in criminology.

Work of a Criminologist

If you look at this job from a distant view then it gives you a feeling of excitement, there will be a rush in your adrenaline when you think to become a criminologist. As this job is uncertain and unpredictable, students often become curious about this profession. But you must understand it’s a profession that requires a good amount of patience and focus. Along with patience you should b detail-oriented, logical and must have a mind which can look out of the box. To understand a criminal, your psyche should be like a criminal. Criminologists prepare their researches alone, but they do spend most of their time with law enforcement agencies, and police departments. They also work in close association with psychologists and study the behavioral pattern of a criminal. Sometimes a criminologist has to help the agencies in finding the shreds of evidence at the crime locations. The fundamental duties of a criminologist are:

  • Conducting Research
  • Developing Theories
  • Investigating Crime Scenes
  • Composing Reports

Criminologists are those persons who look into crimes or other topics related to crime. They work in a social setup and study the crime and help in further investigation. They help society by helping the government and make a positive impact on society.

Criminologists look out for the plausible reasons for unnatural behavior. They study everything related to crime, they work with victim’s family, victim, and they work in society and even with criminals to read and understand their psyche. They prepare a report about the aftermath of crime; search the root cause of it.

Study areas of criminologists

  1. Frequency of crimes
  2. Location of crimes
  3. Causes of crimes
  4. Types of crimes
  5. Social and individual consequences of crimes
  6. Social reactions to crime
  7. Individual reactions to crime
  8. Governmental reactions to crime

Career Opportunities for students who are doing Criminology

Everyone look out to make a good career, and being a criminologist is the best for those who have tendencies of a spy or want to serve justice to people. Any student who has attained a degree in criminology is not limited to work as a criminologist. Although graduates, if they want, can work as a criminologist but if they want then they can make a career in federal law investigator, detective or as a cop. There are more career opportunities after completing the criminology course.

  • Federal law enforcement investigators
  • Police officers
  • Detectives
  • Prison officers
  • Community development workers
  • Probation officers
  • Social workers
  • Psychologists

As crime is increasing day by day, there are many students who are looking towards this course. They want to become police officers, criminal investigators, social workers, or criminologist. If you also want to contribute to the public, you should also make your career in this. Those who have a degree in this program can go for almost any criminal justice career.

School of thoughts in Criminology

As told you earlier in this blog, the goal of criminology is to find out the root cause of the behavior of a criminal and developing effective ways or methods to stop crime by humane manner. There are several schools of thoughts of Criminology discipline. Each school of thought of criminology has various factors which involved unnatural behavior. Conclusion of every school of thought is also different and so as their approach to dealing with a crime and a criminal.

There are three main schools of thought under the criminology discipline, and they are Classical School, the Positivist School, and the Chicago School.

Classical School

The first school of thought in the list of schools is Classical school of Criminology, championed by Italian attorney Cesare Beccaria. This school of thought talks about the theories of crime based on the below-mentioned ideas:

  • Every individual has his/her own will to make decisions and can act according to their own will.
  • Most of the people take pleasure and avoid pain. They logically choose the cost versus the benefits when they commit any act.
  • To prevent the crime, one may punish the culprit and punishment should be as severe as the crime itself.

Positivist School

The second school of thought is the positivist school of thought. Positivist school suggests that besides seeking simple behavior and avoiding pain, there are other factors of working in behavior. Positivism suppresses external and internal factors that can be beyond the control of a person. This includes biological, environmental, psychological, and social causes.

It was the first positive school to implement the scientific method for the human behavior study. This led to the area of ​​crime science as an approved and respected scientific discipline.

One of the earliest and best supporters of Positivist thought, Cesare Lombroso saw the physiological characteristics of criminals such as the size of their scalp and the height of their cheekbones to suggest that biology should lead some people to criminal behavior. This, of course, has long been defamed, but positivist school believes that the study of crime should include the environment in which the crime is relevant.

Chicago School

Another name for the Chicago school of thought is Ecological school. This school of thought first came into existence in around 1920s in the department of sociology, University of Chicago. According to Chicago school, human behavior can be determined through the social structure. This school of thought also studies how psychological and environmental factors have an impact on human behavior and how these factors deviate the behavior.

These are the three main schools of thought of criminology discipline. This area in criminology discipline is apt for research purpose. If you also want a dissertation in this area of criminology then go for the dissertation writing services online and get ready-made dissertation.

Importance of studying criminology

Importance of studying criminology

A work by criminologist may help in uplifting society. When a student understands “what is criminology”, he/she will surely understand what a crime is and what causes people to commit an act which is harming the society. Criminologist finds out the ways to protect the people from crimes, he/she works on rehabilitation of a criminal and how to deal with crime victims. When you go for this course, you can choose all the areas to work or can go in one area and work in it.

There are lots of benefits of deciphering the meaning of what is Criminology. Let’s have a look at how this course is good for individual development as well as for society.

Social Justice

There are people who are really passionate to perform good deeds. They really want to bring positive changes in society. They select this course in order to bring social stability in the world. This field includes a study of various types of crimes. They study different background, ethnicity, education, and socioeconomic reasons behind a criminal act. A criminologist also investigates various traits and socio-economical conditions to identify how such things enforce crime. Social justice helps in developing fair policies that provide equality and respect to the legal system.

Respectable career

If you want to build up a career in Criminology, then you must start preparing from the high school level. This course offers a flexible range of career options. All you need to do is establish yourself at an entry-level position in any law agency or government agency. After working a few years in it, you can move to management or administrative positions. If you are interested in teaching field, then that can also be done all you have to do is just get an advanced degree in this field. After that, you can easily get jobs in school or college. There are some more fields such as going for a juvenile justice system, or you can choose a victim rehabilitation program. Criminology jobs provide good respect in society and job satisfaction. The biggest satisfaction in this job is that you are doing something for prevailing the truth and justice. 

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Intellectual stimulation

Criminology is a field where one must need intellectual stimulation. It allows curious minds to work hard for justice. The work of a criminologist involves research about uncertainties. Criminologist finds out various answers to the question How to remove criminal acts and social injustice. At times a criminologist comes up with his/her own theories to resolve the crime mystery.

Tips for students planning careers in Criminology

In case you want some tips of criminology majors, here are some points you may need to know for shaping your career.

Select your field carefully

As you may already know criminology offers a wide range of job opportunities. Thus, the first thing you should determine is whether you want a career in criminal justice or criminology.

This is how these two choices are different than one another:

Criminal justice: This field of study elaborates on the practical application of criminology. Law enforcement positions, paralegals, correctional officers and police officers etc. are some of the typical career options for criminology majors.
Criminology: This particular field is highly analytical and research-based study of crime. The focus here remain of all aspects of crime via scientific lens. These aspects include causes, impacts and overall nature etc. Few common examples of criminology careers are forensic scientists, criminologists and private investigators.
People with majors in this field of study should research a bit about the sector in which they want to pursue a career. Once you will choose one between private and public sector of either criminal justice or criminology will make a clear path onwards.

Difference between public and private sector

Criminology and criminal justice both the subjects can offer jobs in private and public sector. It may be a little tough to find a job in private sector. Some jobs in private sector can be: private security guards, criminologists, paralegals, private detectives etc.
Public sector offers more jobs in these two subjects. In public service, one gets permission to work directly with citizens. Public sector is fundamental for any stable community. Hence, jobs in this sector are consistently increasing.

Make a strong base of your academics

After deciding on the most appealing role, consider whether you have the required qualifications or not. Because, ultimately you will need to prove your potential employer that you are capable of doing a job you are applying for. Having necessary education credentials and skills are the keys to board an ideal job.

Go through job advertisements

Here is how you can make sure you can going in the right direction:

In order to find particular qualifications and skills employers seek in applicants, read out study job ads that you find interesting. Updating yourself with the recent requirements in a great way to meet employers’ needs. You can know about the experience, education, license requirement etc.

Improve your soft and hard skills

Students pursuing courses obviously gain soft skills like critical judgement ability, social perceptiveness etc. Apart from this, you must invest time in gaining hard skills such as data analysis. They are worthy of being in your resume. For improving your hard skills, consider taking short term courses or online classes. Also, you can try some tools or apps like Linked In for improving your soft skills

Stay prepared for background checks

Generally all criminal justice and criminology jobs are sensitive. Being a part of this field may allow you to access confidential information. This is why you will have to be honest with your job. You must be able to show that you can be trusted and you will service only in public’s interest. There are higher chances that you will face background check in criminal justice or criminology job application process.


Now winding up the topic I would just like to say that criminology is a course that has led to many enhancements in the criminal justice system. This includes response to crime and how we treat criminals and victims in society. This subject has helped in producing a large number of criminologists. They are helping society by eliminating the crime. Also, the course itself comes up with various benefits for students. It provides various areas to explore and make a career in it. A criminologist is what the society requires to get over with crime.

I hope this blog has helped you in understanding ‘what is criminology?’ and how criminologists play a vital role in eradicating the crime from society. Thank you so much for patiently reading it. If you have any suggestions related to this blog, please provide feedback. For more information on the topic go for assignment help online and get excellent information on criminology and assignments made by the experts. 

By Susan White

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