Applying a Criminal Justice Degree in the Hospitality Industry

by Todd Garner on October 17, 2014

Applying a criminal justice degree in the Hospitality Industry

Melding hospitality and criminal justice might seem an odd mixture of career choice at first.  However, being able to apply a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice to the hospitality industry is a great example of just how versatile a criminal justice degree can be.

Typically, you’d probably link a criminal justice degree to being used in the law enforcement sector, the realm of homeland security or possibly investigatory work.  But there are numerous areas in which you may be able to apply a criminal justice background outside what is considered typical law enforcement work.

When you get down to the meat of the hotel roles requiring a criminal justice background, you’ll discover that such educational experience can be immensely valuable.  Some hotels are like small towns, and just like any town, there are security, emergency, and loss prevention issues to be dealt with on a regular basis.  A criminal justice bachelor’s degree can help prepare you just for such aspects.


Internal Security

There can be numerous situations in which an education in criminal justice can come into play when it comes to internal security issues within a hotel.  From providing guest security, keeping the property and grounds secure from trespassers, dealing with parking issues, ensuring the general safety of guests, and even dealing with seemingly trivial issues such as lost and found items or checking upon guests who don’t respond to wake-up calls, you can begin to see the immense responsibility of a hotel’s security staff.

There may also be broader responsibilities such as ensuring the safety and security of the hotel’s computer system, training staff members, responding to medical emergencies, and calming disgruntled guests or staff.  A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice can provide the coursework that builds an education to help prepare you for handling such issues


Emergency Planning

Emergency planning and preparedness can be an essential focus of your security role in a hotel; one for which a degree in criminal justice can help you prepare.  From planning and conducing drills for fires and tornados to preparing for hurricanes and terrorist actions, there are a multitude of scenarios for which a security team may need to be prepared within a hotel or resort environment.  Ensuring that your security team as well as other employees are ready for and understand their roles in a variety of disaster situations can be a hefty responsibility.  Such a responsibility can require diligent dedication to continued training, preparation, and practice.


Loss Prevention

There are plenty of situations in and around a hotel for which a security staff must be prepared to prevent or deal with loss prevention.  From lost or stolen guest items, to guest or staff injury, and situations in which incident reports must be taken, events abound that might call for someone with a proper criminal justice education.  With a good understanding of the law, knowing effective questioning techniques, and having a well-rounded background when it comes to understanding criminals and proper security procedures, someone with a degree in criminal justice can help reduce losses in hotel and guest assets, not to mention be a valuable addition to a hotel’s security staff.

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