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Have you ever wondered what forensic psychology is? Have you ever wondered what the difference between psychology and forensic psychology is? If so, wonder no more and consider a career in forensic psychology.
What is forensic psychology?
To explain what forensic psychology is, it is perhaps best to first explain psychology, which is the study of human behavior. Basic psychology is typically broken down into two primary areas of clinical and counseling. Clinical psychologists often work with mentally-ill patients. They may work with patients in a variety of capacities. They may work at a mental health facility or become a researcher for mental health issues. These careers often require working with potentially dangerous patients. People with mental illness are often incapable of understanding the consequences of their actions. This career is highly challenging and highly rewarding. The advances in mental illness have, most likely, saved many lives. People who choose a counseling psychology role often spend their time providing therapy sessions. They often work with people who are experiencing marital problems, people with difficulties at work, or people with family concerns. Both psychology areas provide an important service to society. If you find yourself fascinated by human behavior and have a desire to understand why criminals commit crimes, you should consider forensic psychology.
Forensic psychology is a subset of psychology. The easy answer to what forensic psychology is that it is the study of criminal human behavior and criminal justice. You might choose from a variety of specializations. You might consider a forensic psychology career working at a police precinct. This option is especially intriguing to many people who choose to become a police officer for a few years while they complete their master’s degree in forensic psychology. A career as a forensic psychologist at a police precinct provides the police with a unique advantage over criminals. A forensic psychologist is able to see a crime from a unique perspective. If you choose this career path, you will be able to get inside the head of the criminal even if the criminal has not yet been caught. You can provide a basic level of profiling to provide the police with an unprecedented advantage. If you are able to determine the type of person who was most likely to have committed the crime, it becomes much easier to find the perpetrator. You might also be able to look into cold cases to assist in solving old crimes. You can work with juveniles to determine their motivations for committing a crime and try to learn how to best reach out to troubled youth to prevent them from making poor decisions in the future. Working for the police is only one option. You might also consider working in research, clinical forensic psychology at a corrections facility, for a law firm, or for a court of law. As long as you complete the appropriate level of education, your opportunities are many.
What is forensic psychology without an education? It is not much of a career at all. Over the past 20 years, forensic psychology has come a long way. The credibility of this science is expanding each day. Due to the fact the legal system now holds forensic psychology in great esteem, people are required to complete a greater amount of education to prove their qualifications. This is an accomplishment and honor for the science, even if some people view it is overly aggressive. If you pursue this career, you will be better off in the end. If you are hired by a law office to take the stand to provide expert testimony that a criminal is fit to stand trial, your education may be a determining factor for how the jury views your opinion. You may be an exceptional forensic psychologist; however, if you do not have the appropriate credentials, your testimony may be discredited.
To avoid such a tragic scenario and risking allowing a criminal back on the streets, you should complete a number of advanced degrees. You should begin by completing a bachelor’s degree in forensics or psychology. If you choose forensics, you should take as many psychology courses as your program will allow. If you choose psychology, you should take as many forensics courses as your program will allow. It should go without saying, it is imperative you choose from the best, online colleges or the best, bricks-and-mortar colleges with programs in both forensics and psychology. Upon completing a bachelor’s degree, you might consider becoming a police officer for a few years while you complete a master’s degree in forensic psychology. Becoming a police officer is optional; whereas, completing a master’s degree is not. If you are determined to attain top careers in forensic psychology, you should also complete a Ph.D. in forensic psychology.
While you are determining what forensic psychology is and how it relates to your future, do not forget to choose a specialization. With the proper education, you can help shape future civilized society. It is as easy as taking online college courses one at a time.