Criminology is the study of Criminal Behavior, including the factors and causes of Crime. It also deals with the social impact of a particular Crime on the Criminal, and on the victim and his/her family. Regulation of Crime by the government also comes under the purview of this subject. In addition, fast changes in the approach and mode of investigation of the policing authorities have led to the need for better understanding of the subject, thus opening up growth opportunities for a career in Criminology.
With the increasing population, crime rates in India have increased manifolds. Added to all this is the threat of Terrorism. Students of Criminology study the factors of criminality. The job of a Criminologist is to conduct research, teach Criminology and also explore and work out ways in which crime can be controlled.
In India, Criminology is a developing field. As of now Criminologists help in sensitising criminal justice functionaries, that is – The Police, The Judiciary and other Investigation Agencies, through training, courses and seminars. After completing a course in Criminology, one can apply for jobs as teachers of Criminology, Legal Studies, Law and Sociology. There is a requirement for people qualified in Criminology in public and private sector companies or social welfare departments dealing with environmental crimes and human rights issues. One can work with NGOs dealing with crime, research organisations and private security agencies.
There are a large number of specialisations in this field. An expert in corporate crime, for example, can get a plum corporate job. Someone specialising in environmental crime can work with NGOs and organisations looking into environmental crimes. Banks can also hire Criminologists to examine cases of fraud.
What’s it about?
Crimes stem from social, psychological and economic situations and factors. A Criminologist is trained to understand these factors and can understand the mindset of a Criminal. These professionals work towards the prevention of crimes. However, in India, jobs for Criminologists are not properly identified. In the US and UK, Criminologists work in prisons, investigation agencies, intelligence and vigilance departments
- Analytical skills
- Data collection should be good
- Good understanding of psychology, sociology and other factors that makes a society
- Ready to work tirelessly
Both undergraduate (BA/B.Sc) and postgraduate (MA/M.Sc) courses in Criminology are offered by various institutes. The basic requirement for getting admission to an undergraduate course is Class XII with either arts or science. For admission to a PG course, one has to be a graduate with science or arts subjects. You should also have ability to study/analyse data.
The job market for a Criminologist is as varied in India as abroad. Judicial systems, correctional institutions, counselling, financial institutions, non-profit agencies, private investigation agencies and governmental institutions employ Criminologists. Other areas include criminal investigation, financial malpractices, forensics, medical investigation, rehabilitation of criminals, research and policy studies and teaching. A qualified Criminologist can be recruited by universities, governmental agencies and social welfare groups for advanced teaching and policy assessment.
An MA in Criminology can find a job with an NGO, teach at university level or work in the corporate world. The pay will depend on the rank. Initially, one can start with a salary of Rs. 15,000-Rs 20,000 per month.
- Banaras Hindu University
- Lucknow University
- University of Madras, Chennai
- Lok Nayak Jayaprakash Narayan National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Science (NICFS), New Delhi
- Tata Institute of Social Science, Mumbai