If you have a criminology degree, or are interested in criminal justice jobs UK in general, there’s a high chance the first place you’ll apply is the police force. Working within the police is an exciting career that can be extremely varied and offer a lot of experience. However, getting onto the police force in the first place can be a troublesome task. Often those applying do so numerous times over many years. In this article, we’re going to look at alternative careers to working in the police. The purpose being to show you a couple of different jobs that have similar attributes to working in the police. This has the benefit of aspects appealing to you like it did within the police, while also giving you applicable experience for joining the police at a later date.

Many aspects of policing is presenting yourself to the community for support and guidance, often under times of extreme duress. Working as a community development worker can go a long way in helping with this side of police work. A key aspect of the role is accurately identifying needs and opportunities for service users, and see clearly where responsibilities lie for people. This job combines the need for a strong sense of empathy, while being able to objectively and accurately observe the situation, a perfect combination of skills to have in the police force.

A job that will need further training/education after a criminology degree but is highly applicable is a social worker.  Similar to community support, social work is a tight line of both empathy and objectivity that needs to be walked. You could be working with a whole variety of people, either in child services, or within adult social care. The way this job works is often with a large caseload being present. Getting used to this sort of system will be great practice for the police, as a lot of roles within the force will operate a very similar system. With a criminology degree, a conversion course will normally be available to you. This is a postgraduate diploma that won’t take as long as a Masters in social work, as there is a lot of crossover from the two fields.

Alternatively there is the option to apply as a social care practitioner. They will do a lot of the same tasks as a social worker, but aren’t qualified for certain parts of the role. This can be a great compromise to take when wanting to gain experience, as it means you can go straight into this role from graduating.