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Potential Careers with a Degree in Crime Analysis & Intelligence
Using data analysis in a criminal setting is both a profession and a set of learned techniques. Intelligence analysts study classified and non-classified information in order to construct written and oral assessments and compile criminal profiles; they may also use their own backgrounds in history, geography, economics or business to develop proactive courses of action to help law enforcement agencies and policy makers combat criminal behavior. Many intelligence analysts are employed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency.
What Is a Crime Analyst?
Crime analysts study local crime areas in order to see emerging patterns that help predict the time, place and location where future crimes are most likely to occur. Crime analysts also look at long-term problems facing every law enforcement agency, like gangs, narcotics, corruption, terrorism or money laundering, and help the department develop long-term solutions. While many crime analysts work with law enforcement agencies, there also exist a wide range of opportunities in the military and public sectors at the federal, state and local levels. Many private sector companies — such as retailers focused on loss prevention or private security companies — rely on this skill set as well.
Crime Analyst Duties
Although the careers are varied for graduates of the online Master’s degree in Criminal Justice: Intelligence and Crime Analysis Concentration, there are a handful of essential duties to every crime analyst’s job description. Here are a few:
- Review existing crime-related data/statistics or reports related to a particular law enforcement district or jurisdiction.
- Use computer programs, such as databases, statistical analysis software, and GIS (geographic information systems).
- Analyze statistics to determine trends and to forecast future criminal activity.
- Write and edit relevant reports, bulletins, and presentations.
- Provide analytical support to police offices/sheriff’s deputies, detectives, and other personnel.
- Develop programs to predict and prevent future criminal activity.
Why Choose a Concentration?
This concentration fortifies your marketability in today’s criminal justice field. With the level of criminal activity increasing in our U.S. cities, law enforcement agencies are seeking professionals to study the nature of crime and the patterns of criminals. Such research is invaluable in apprehending offenders, improving the safety and quality of life, optimizing internal operations, enacting effective policies, and planning for future resource needs.
Outlook for Careers in Intelligence or Crime Analysis
The job outlook for intelligence and crime analysts is favorable and the field is growing. The past ten years have shown an increased demand for trained, formally educated analysts. One trend that is driving demand is the growth in crime information that can be collected by computers and the Internet. Data analysis is playing a greater role in law enforcement and is an important part of criminal justice innovations like COMPSTAT, Problem-Oriented Policing, and Intelligence-Led Policing.*
Though commensurate with experience, salaries for intelligence and crime analysts range to an average of $66,000 per year in the United States, according to survey data from Payscale.com.**
* Source: Portland State University