What Kind of Degree Should I Get to be a Probation Officer?

There are quite a few people who would enjoy serving in the court system as probation officers. They are a bit of a therapist mixed with a law enforcement officer, and it is important they are educated properly before they enter the workforce. This article explains how someone who seeks accreditation in the field will find a criminal justice degree or similar program helpful.

What Does A Probation Officer Do?

The probation officer is the last person someone in the court system meets before they are discharged from the system after a crime is committed. Probation is often required after a prison sentence, or it is given in lieu of a prison sentence. There are quite a few people who will enter the field every year because there is a shortage in the area, and they will help inmates change their lives once they are on the outside.

Which Degrees Are Helpful?

A criminal justice degree from a school with the proper accreditation is a good start in the field, and students may learn about how law enforcement works generally. They will learn how to work in a police department or the court system in a number of places, and they may choose to be a probation officer. Criminal justice may lead the graduate to a number of places, and each one will be quite different depending on their career goals.


A psychology degree is of great use in the court system as there are many factors that lead people to commit crimes. The crimes that have been committed may have a bit of a psychological component, and someone with a degree in the field will know where the motivation comes from. They may have resources to help someone who is struggling, and they will use a bit of empathy which is needed.

General Studies

There are many students with general studies degrees who may wish to work their way into the field as a probation officer. They will learn of the many certifications they may receive to become probation officers, and they will learn how to work in the court system as a part of their new job. The jobs that are available in the field all start at the entry level, and someone who wishes to rise in public service may do so easily.

The Police Academy

Someone who was trained at the police academy may leave their work as an officer to become a probation officer. They are more than trained enough to help an inmate on probation, and they will show the inmates how to avoid committing crimes in the future. Police officers have quite a lot of practical experience that is helpful, and they will impart all that information on the people they meet every day.

The probation officer who receives accreditation in the field will work with the last line of people out the door in the courts. The courts want to see people recover from what ails them, and they will recover quite well when they are working with a skilled probation officer every week. The meetings that are conducted help make contributing members of society, and they ensure there is a way for each person to have a second chance at life.

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