Doctoral Degrees for Criminology Careers

Doctoral degrees are for those talented and driven people who want to reach the absolute pinnacle when it comes to criminology careers. It's the rare person who has what it takes to earn a doctoral degree, and the few who do really stand out in the field of criminology, becoming known as experts in their fields. In fact, many of the talking heads we see on cable news shows discussing crime are people who have a PhD in some area of criminology. For most jobs in the field of criminology, though, a doctoral degree is not required. Those who hope to teach at the college or university level will definitely want to earn a doctorate, and the degree will also be very desirable for anyone who wants to work in the top management tier of any agency.

Getting a doctoral degree is not easy. A person must first possess at the very minimum a bachelor's degree, and many PhD programs prefer a candidate who has a master's degree. It also takes a very long time to complete, from six to eight years on average. It requires a lot of hard academic work, involving extensive original research. Once the research is completed, the candidate must then write a doctoral thesis, which is the equivalent of a book. After it's written, the candidate must then defend his or her findings against a panel of scholars who play devil's advocate, trying to find flaws with the thesis. Sometimes, a poor defense means having to start the process all over again.

It can't be stressed enough that a doctoral degree isn't for everyone, but those who have the intelligence and perseverance required to earn one can have their pick of criminology careers.

Last Updated: 06/03/2014

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