Many college graduates, today, are considering professions in careers that may not be financial lucrative but, instead, provide service to the communities in which they live. If you are considering a college degree plan, you may want to consider a profession as a probation officer as many county and states are now looking to combine probation officer training with the field of social work.
At present, many probation officer training programs simply require a bachelor’s degree in any field of study with some preference given to college graduates with a degree in criminal justice. Understanding there is a far greater need to serve the needs of those on probation, job candidates with a degree in social work may be given more preference in coming years. Bachelor degrees in social work have long been viewed as leading to a Master’s degree in social work which then leads to a licensure in the field. However, for individuals who are not interested in pursuing graduate level studies, the expansion to serving in the area of probation and adult supervision may be an option.
Understanding the need for specialized training of probation officers, some college campuses are looking to combine their social work and criminal justice programs by offering programs in specific probation officer training. While there are no official national standards on probation officer training, if you are considering an education in either degree plan, ask your school about the possibility for dual major or majoring in this new field or expertise.
Serving as a probation officer in your community can be challenging but, yet, rewarding at the same time. Many individuals who become probation officers simply do so based upon their interest and experience in the criminal justice system. Because of the rate at which individuals violate probation, often due to lack of support and social services, many community adult correction services understand the need for a more social work focus to the probation officer training.
Finding a degree plan that is rewarding to your emotional and spiritual self is often more important than the financial implications. While many college students enter college with the intent of finding high wage earning professions, they often fail to be successful because they are not passionate about their work. By finding a degree plan that provides a passion within you, you will become far more successful in your career as you strive to become better and better with each year that passes. If your passion is in social work, consider a bachelor’s degree in a program that will offer the training in probation office training as this may be the next big career and education option to those who are interested in serving their communities.
Sources: Probation Journal, 44(1), pp 33-35. Probation Journal, 46(1), pp. 27-29.