Five Indicators Of A Cutting-Edge Criminology Program
- Specializations and Focus Areas
- Access to Labs
- Updated Curriculum
- Research Opportunities
- Industry-Related Events
Cutting-edge criminology degree programs are a gateway into the most advanced forms of crime and the methods used to track down criminals. While most programs in the United States meet a set standard when it comes to the field, there are advanced programs that not only broaden a student’s understanding of criminology but also helps to elevate their knowledge and their abilities. Here are five different signs that a criminology program is at the cutting edge of the field.
Related resource: 20 Best Online Schools for Criminology
Specializations and Focus Areas
Crime is a general term; there are dozens of types of crimes that can’t all be solved the same way. For example, cyber crimes are on the rise. Professionals combat cybercrime by using the most advanced technology to stop attacks from happening. Another example is forensic science, which focuses on finding criminals using physical evidence. Cutting-edge criminology degree programs will have a few different concentrations, but students should look at those that offer specializations in the area they wish to focus on in their career. Those with cybercrime specializations tend to be the most advanced, although other specializations, such as counterterrorism and toxicology, are also notable.
Access to Labs
Students with an interest in physical science in relation to criminology will want to find a program that either houses labs for the degree on campus or have relationships to labs where students will complete different projects. Access to labs is incredibly important in criminology programs because students need to have on-hands experience in order to understand how this aspect of the field works. Cutting-edge programs generally update the equipment in their labs on a semi-annual basis; schools that work directly with professionals in the field may have equipment updated annually.
The field of criminology has a basis in history, but crime is changing so rapidly now that many curriculums are outdated. Students will want to find schools that note their programs are updated or who have a reputation for including courses in the curriculum that reflect the current state of the field. Students wanting to be applied professionals will also need to ensure that the curriculum is updated, as processes used in working labs may be far more advanced than what is offered at a school.
Research and Experience Opportunities
Experiential learning opportunities, such as assisting on a research project or an internship, is the mark of a cutting-edge school. These opportunities provide students with real-world experience in the field, enabling them to choose a specialization or change their focus from academic to applied work or vice versa. Students will find that the most cutting-edge programs require at least one experiential learning experience, one that is usually directly related to their chosen field of study. Students will note that the amount and quality of these experiences are directly related to the school and its relationships.
Students in cutting-edge programs are usually given the chance to attend industry-related events. These could be held and sponsored by their school or in association with their program. Through conferences, networking events and lecture series, students can meet with like-minded professionals, learn about their field and make choices in order to propel their career forward. Professional events, such as the one offered by the American Society of Criminology, are also a great way for students to make their name known in the field, including providing them with a chance to submit papers, do a presentation on their specialty, and more.
Criminology programs are the best place for dedicated professionals who are ready to make their mark in the field. Programs designed to tackle the criminal concerns of today and the future will place students in better positions to be valuable in the field, regardless of their position. With advancements in technology specifically changing the way that crime works, it is going to take an advanced program to help those tackling crime bring criminals to justice. These five signs of a cutting-edge criminology degree program will help students discern which school is right for their needs.