Career options with a master’s degree in forensic psychology: Local government
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for psychologists are expected to grow about 19% (much faster than average). That includes specialized fields including forensic psychology. Even within the specialized area of forensic psychology, there are a host of exciting and impactful professional careers available.
What does a forensic psychologist do?
Generally speaking, forensic psychology includes areas where psychology and the legal system connect. Many people believe they know exactly what a forensic psychologist does by watching their favorite crime shows. While shows such as “Criminal Minds” portray forensic psychologists as action heroes, the truth is that they will spend more time studying criminals and their crimes to help law enforcement better understand patterns in behavior.
While there are many who work with law enforcement to profile criminals, forensic psychologists may also work a variety of other areas. For example, many forensic psychologists will work in the court system in order to help lawyers, judges, and juries better understand the motivations behind criminal behavior. In fact, many choose this path to advocate on behalf of underserved populations, including African Americans, Latina/Latinos, those from lower-economic areas, children, or those with mental illness.
Career options with a master’s degree in forensic psychology
While many television shows feature forensic psychologists working for the FBI or other national agencies, there are many more forensic psychology careers in local government that can become available with a Master’s degree.
Careers in the court system
Forensic psychologists are needed in a variety of applications in local government court systems, including evaluating witness testimony, selecting juries, providing consultations, and many others. For example, consider what happens when someone pleads temporary insanity in court. In order to determine the mental health of a defendant at the time of a crime, a forensic psychologist will be brought in to provide an assessment that will help the court decide if this plea has merit or not.
Careers in law enforcement
While many forensic psychologists will work in the justice system, others will choose to work on the side of law enforcement. In many instances, police officers and detectives rely on psychologists to help them understand the minds of criminals and to help them apprehend felons. While television tends to bump up the adrenaline for ratings, this is probably the most recognizable job of forensic psychologists because of shows like “Law & Order” or “CSI.”
Careers in the correctional system
In addition to the court system and law enforcement, those with a Master’s degree in forensic psychology may find employment in a local government correctional facility. Forensic psychologists can leverage their understanding of crime, punishment, and the legal and psychological ramifications of both to perform a variety of meaningful roles in the correctional system. This can include offering treatment and counseling for inmates and ex-convicts. In addition, forensic psychologists may be responsible for developing programs to help reduce recidivism rates.
Pursuing an M.A. in Forensic Psychology
Originally offered as one of the premiere Master’s programs in Los Angeles, The Chicago School offers M.A. Forensic Psychology programs at four campuses nationwide – Chicago, Irvine, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C.
Beyond becoming one of the best psychology graduate schools in California, Illinois, and Washington, D.C., The Chicago School aims to ensure that students from all over the country have access to their level of quality education. Because of this, the M.A. in Forensic Psychology is also offered online, allowing students to study remotely without interfering with other commitments, including working or taking care of their family.
These forensic psychology graduate degree programs offer students the opportunity to develop a strong foundation in psychology as it applies to juvenile, civil, and criminal justice systems.