While a college degree can be helpful if you are attempting to obtain a career in the field of criminal justice, you may need at least one additional certification. Each of these certifications is designed to show a potential employer your mastery of skills beyond those of a typical criminal justice graduate. In other words, a criminal justice certification may help you prove that you have the specific set of skills for which an employer is looking. However, it is important to note that while you can obtain a number of different certifications, and some of these certifications may be essential for one of the careers you are considering, other certifications may serve as nothing more than good résumé-builders. Therefore, you should consider a couple of things about each of the certifications in which you may be interested before you pursue them.
First, you should consider the various certifications requirements, since the requirements will vary from certification to certification. You may be able to obtain some certifications more easily than other certifications.
Second, you should try to determine whether the career you are pursuing requires the certification you are considering. Some certifications are required for certain careers or specialties, while some certifications are not. You need to make sure that you are obtaining the certifications you need rather than wasting your time and money on certifications you don't need or won't use (for more information on how to determine whether you need a certain certification, see the "What it is" article.)
In addition to certifications, getting a job will necessitate having to pass one or more important tests along the way. Here are some of the more common ones: