Let s talk about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs!

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1 Let s talk about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs, Jobs! For Criminal Justice, Security Management and Security Management Technology (CJSM) Students Foremost on most of your minds is a promotion or better paying job, perhaps in the fields of criminal justice or private security. Some CJSM instructors in SPS provide links on their SLU Global Courses page that give you ideas, but the bottom line is that only about 20 percent of all available positions are made public, such as in a newspaper or other common medium. The other 80 percent are considered closed, in that you have to seek out the positions; you usually must go to individual companies or agencies websites or to a consulting firm s website. Most federal jobs are not published in the newspapers or other common medium, but are on the site. Of course, besides doing the gum-shoe work of finding these specific sites on the Internet, another way of ferreting out a job is through networking. This ebrief hopefully will help you achieve your goal of finding jobs in criminal justice and private security. But first, you must realize that getting a different job requires discipline and work. One of the hardest things to do is go to a networking meeting right after a long day at work. So, too, if you are introverted, it is difficult to go out of your way to talk to someone else. Nonetheless, you must take charge of your career aspirations, and make it happen. Networking and, in general, the search for a job, take discipline and prioritization. Hopefully, this ebrief will help you get started. Types of Jobs Criminal Justice: Criminal justice positions are not just the sworn, commissioned officers, such as police officers, special agents, probation officers, and inspectors. Since September 11, 2001, the field of criminal justice became wide open to non-sworn people, people who do not carry weapons or chase after criminals, or go to police academies. Yes, career books are still focusing on the commissioned officer positions, but, in reality, there are more non-sworn positions available than sworn. The terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center made all government agencies local, state, and federal reconsider the effectiveness and efficiency of their organization. The agencies took the sworn officers out of support positions and put them back on the 1

2 streets for which they were trained. That leaves a lot of decent to high paying, intellectually challenging jobs available for non-sworn people with college degrees. What kind of challenging jobs am I talking about? Intelligence, management, case, and crime analysts; surveillance operations; evidence technicians; investigative assistants; case technicians; electronic surveillance technicians; informant operations; victim witness protection; community outreach; human resources; statisticians; criminologists; and, of course, supervisory and management positions of these and other support positions. These positions are called support or staff positions because they aid the primary role of the law enforcement agencies. Often, the salary is based on the amount of education and the experience. In the federal system, as the on-the-job experience increases, so does the pay. There are approximately 35,752 local and state law enforcement agencies, all varying in different sizes. Obviously, the larger the agency the more varied are the positions. Some federal agencies are strictly law enforcement oriented, such as Drug Enforcement Agency, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, The Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Secret Service. You are probably not aware, though, that every non-law enforcement federal agency has an Office of Inspector General that is the law enforcement arm of that agency. So, The United States Departments of Agriculture, Defense, State, Housing and Urban Development, Social Security Administration, the military branches, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, as an example, have a law enforcement arm that investigate cases that violate the laws over which the specific agency has jurisdiction; this law enforcement arm has the same powers within their jurisdictions as the strictly federal law enforcement agencies. Check the Internet under Office of Inspector General and see how many hits you have. MANY jobs are in the federal system, some requiring no degree, some a bachelor s, and others an advanced degree. If you are interested in being a Special Agent (you can apply until you are 35 years old, and older if you have military behind you), some federal agencies, such as Secret Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Postal Inspectors (U.S. Post Office), and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, require advanced degrees; however, the Drug Enforcement Agency and almost all the Offices of Inspector General require a bachelor s degree and might hire you with limited professional experience in any field. Special Agent positions in the Offices of Inspector General and strictly law enforcement agencies do not have some of the blood and gore that the local and state law enforcement people confront. Remember, though, that with all these agencies, good, non-sworn jobs exist. You just have to take the time and discipline to do your research. 80 percent of the available jobs need to be researched. The three components to the criminal justice system are law enforcement, courts, corrections (and the subset of the juvenile justice system). Be realistic when you decide how you re going to reach your dream job. If 2

3 you re interested in being a probation and parole officer, you may start with the city or county relatively easily, primarily because the turnover is high, and pay is not that good. State probation and parole offices usually hire individuals with experience or more education. To be a federal probation and parole officer, you need probation or parole experience and a Master s degree. Logically, you would start at the local or state level, get a Master s, and move on to the federal level. Another splash of realism is that you cannot expect to get a job in the federal system if you are interested in the juvenile justice system, because the federal system does not have a juvenile justice system. Local and state systems do no pay as well as the federal system, but if you want to work with juveniles you will be looking at city and state jobs; realistically, you will have to make a compromise. Police agencies across the country are recruiting thousands of civilians for a growing number of duties previously performed by uniformed cops.... The positions... are transforming everyday citizens into crime scene investigators, evidence gatherers and photographers in what some analysts suggest is a striking new trend in American policing. - USA Today, Civilians tapped for police duties, The Saint Louis University School for Professional Studies criminal justice track in the Criminal Justice and Security Management degree also prepares you for social services and paralegal services. As you know, the criminal justice program has many legal and sociology classes. Realistically, social services are not highly paid positions, but they do offer a livable salary. Besides the government agencies at the local and state level, there are more non-governmental organizations that provide social services than you can count; some are forprofit and others not-for-profit. Take a quick look at the Internet under social services and be overwhelmed by the number of organizations. Paralegal services are better paid, but right now you are competing with lawyers who cannot find jobs and hope to get a paralegal job as a way to land a job in the company as an associate lawyer. Security Management and Security Management Technology: The advantage of the SPS Criminal Justice and Security Management degree is that it opens your options to the private, as well as the public, sector. The bottom line for the private sector is literally the dollars and cents that the company makes; so, security managers and human resource people straddle the line between security of the facilities, workers, and information, and appeasement of the chief executive officers and shareholders. All businesses of significant size are concerned about security, because it can impact their bottom line. Security management is not limited to large corporations that have proprietary security. Many large corporations contract with security sales and services companies, and many are in the St. Louis Metropolitan area. So, check the Internet for the types of jobs available, not only with the companies that have proprietary services but also companies that are solely in the business of security sales and services. 3

4 Education is closely related to compensation rates in the private security field. In a Security Management Magazine survey in 2009, two-thirds of the respondents held at least an undergraduate degree. They reported median compensation of $88,000, but most of the respondents have been in the security business for awhile. The duties most highly compensated were the information technology security people. Jobs are available in Physical security; Information security; Personnel security; Information systems security; Homeland Security (primarily government positions); and Critical Infrastructure protection. You may seek jobs in Banking and Financial Services Commercial Real Estate Cultural Properties Gaming and Wagering Governmental Industrial Healthcare Information Systems Investigations Lodging and Hospitality Manufacturing Retail Loss Prevention Security Engineering and Design Security Sales, Equipment, Transportation and Services Utilities and Nuclear Agricultural Security Construction Security Contingency Security Crisis Management Executive Protection Federal, State and Local Government Food Services Security Service Insurance Security Oil, Gas and Chemical Security Pharmaceutical Security Proprietary/Information Security Residential Security Security Consulting Special Event Security Telecommunication Security Terrorism Counteraction Wholesale and Warehousing Security This is a very exciting time in the world of information.... Globalization is forcing companies to do things in new ways. -Bill Gates, CEO, Microsoft Corp. 4

5 To be a supervisor of security, you will need some entry level experience, or come from a law enforcement agency. When I say entry level, I do not necessarily mean a security guard, although many security positions might pay more than what you are presently making. Starting from the ground level as a security guard, unless the salary is higher than your current salary, is not the best move for advancement. Loss prevention investigators or a support position with a security division might be a better start. However, if you are currently in law enforcement, you cannot assume that moving into a private sector management position will be easy, because you lack the terminology and culture of private security ( Talk the talk, and walk the walk ); hence, the degree helps you with that. To be a human resource supervisor or manager, the security management education looks good on the resume. More business decisions occur over lunch and dinner than at any other time.... Peter Drucker, Writer, Consultant, Management guru Networking It is a lot easier to say no to someone you do not know, as opposed to someone you know. It is also a lot more comfortable for a potential employer to hire someone that has been recommended by a highly respected employee. Networking is important in getting the better jobs. You meet someone who feels comfortable with recommending you for a job, and he or she convinces the potential employer to review your resume. But networking is more than that. When you talk to people, ask them about their jobs. Talk to them about the appropriate terminology in the field. Discuss their career choices. Tell them about your aspirations and how to get your dream job. Also, don t be afraid to contact security directors and officers or companies that you re interested in, and interview them about their jobs and how you can get into their businesses. (Don t forget to send a thank-you note afterwards!) Private security has numerous associations that can help you with networking. Most of them have student annual dues. For example, the American Society of Industrial Security (ASIS) International charges only $25.00 a year, and you have access to the meetings, the job postings, and the Security Management magazine, the last which I highly recommend for any Security Management and Security Management Technology student ( Other associations have similar benefits. There are also associations for security management technology interests, such as the Applied Computer Security Associates, The Center for Secure Information Systems, and Information Systems Security Association. Check out the Internet for local associations in your field. Jobs in the private sector can be reviewed by searching each company that you re interested in, or joining an association, such ASIS International, and following their listings. 5

6 Job Search Web Sites (These are only a few of many. Don t forget to check out Offices of Inspector General. It is now up to you to take the time and discipline to find your dream job.) Website Resources: Criminal justice profiles The major federal jobs locator Access to IRS jobs through usajobs.com National Criminal Justice Research Services Police Corrections and probation Loss prevention jobs Federal Bureau of Prisons National White Collar Crime Center Jobs for police at local and state level United States Office of Personnel Management Information concerning pay rates for some federal law enforcement personnel ( ) PoliceEmployment.com Information on state and federal police careers--including federal police careers, correctional officer careers, and state trooper careers ( ) The New Social Worker The center tries to give social workers information that will help them start their careers on the right foot and/or advance toward their career goals ( ) 6

7 Employment Spot A source of information for job seekers and human resource professionals ( ) Government Legal Jobs Attorney's Directory to Jobs in Federal, State and Local Government ( ) U.S. Department of Justice Statistics about the justice system in the United States including employment ( FBI Employment Offers career opportunities from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Find benefit details, vacancies, and an employment hot line number ( ) U.S. Department of Justice- DEA Brief overview from the Drug Enforcement Administration. See information relating to job ads ( ) Air Force- Office of Special Investigations Civilian Career Opportunities regarding the Air Force Office of Special Investigations ( ) Substance Abuse Jobs Comments concerning substance abuse jobs and employment ( ) Saint Louis University Library Resources: Anderson, J. F., Mangels, N. J. & Dyson, L. (2003). Criminal Justice and Criminology: A career guide to local, state, federal and academic positions. Dallas, TX: University Press of America. HV 9950.A Echaore-McDavid, S. (2006). Career opportunities in law enforcement, security, and protective services (2 nd ed.). New York: Ferguson. Ref. HV 8143.H Harr, J.S., & Hess, J. M. (2000). Seeking employment in criminal justice and related fields. (3 rd ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Thomson Learning. HV 8143.H Hutton, D.B., & Mydlarz, A. (2003.) Guide to homeland security careers. Hauppage, NY: Barron s Ref. HV 6432.H

8 Lambert, S., & Regan, D. (2001). Great jobs for criminal justice majors. Chicago: VGM Career Books. ONLINE (Netlibrary) Stinchcomb, J. (2003). Opportunities in law enforcement and criminal justice careers (rev. ed.). Chicago: VGM Career Books. HV 8143.S Warner, J., & Sweatman, B. (2002). Federal jobs in law enforcement (2 nd ed.). Lawrenceville, NJ: ARCO/Thomspon Learning. HV 8143.W Career-Related Web Sites: Employment Projections - Compiled by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. Includes links to standard resources including the Occupational Outlook Handbook and Occupational Outlook Quarterly. How to Get a Job in Criminal Justice: The Application, Interview, and Selection Process O*Net Online (Occupational Information Network) I hope you have found the above information realistically helpful. I cannot emphasize enough that looking for a job takes a lot of time and effort. I am available if you want to talk to me about your career choices. Sincerely, Marita Malone, Ph.D. Chair, Criminal Justice and Security Management School for Professional Studies Saint Louis University Brouster Hall The above information is provided to assist you to make career choices. The information is strictly based on my experience, and does not represent in any way the Saint Louis University, the School for Professional Studies, the Criminal Justice and Security Management Program, or SLU s Career Service s viewpoint. 8

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