Online criminal justice schools have an odd source to thank for a rise in popularity, television. Several forensic science shows have made what was once a relatively obscure occupation look cool and adventurous. Of course most of what you see depicted on the television is nothing like reality. Despite the extreme and unrealistic circumstances of what the shows depict as forensic science, there are elements of truth, which has helped younger generations see criminal justice in an entirely new light.
Here are some of the most popular forensic shows that have helped to increase the number of potential students who are looking into online criminal justice schools.
CSI, or Criminal Investigation Service, has been so popular that it has several related shows by similar names, such as CSI: Miami and NCSI. These shows are favorites because they draw you into the lives of a close-knit group of crime fighters. They are seen as humans with real lives who are just doing their jobs. While the shows are very engaging and entertaining, when it started in 2000 you would not have found very many forensic scientists who had lives even remotely similar to these stylish characters.
Law & Order
While the original Law & Order is no longer making new shows, the franchise is very much alive and thriving through shows like Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The shows focus on the legal aspects of crime, relying heavily on what the scientists can determine from the scenes and patterns. There is very little cross over between the different forensic areas. You specialize in a field and you won’t be out pounding the streets looking for answer. Unfortunately, the lab is where you will get most of your work done. Much less glamorous, but far safer.
Criminal Minds takes a much closer look at criminal psychology and the forensic field that deals with thinking like a perpetrator. The show is thrilling and often leaves you feeling anxious for the characters. In reality, anyone is this field will be more like a typical psychologist, not an “out on the streets” crime fighter.
Even though it only produces three shows a year, Sherlock has brought modern forensic science into an entirely new light. From the first episode where Sherlock took two minutes to fully analyze a woman and determine nearly all of the important facts needed for the case, you feel absolutely captivated by this remarkably intelligent character. In reality, science takes more than just a quick mind; it takes analysis and testing, scientific requirements that take time and patience.
These shows have helped bring attention to a once obscure field. Thanks to the popularity, more students are considering getting a degree from online criminal justice schools. The shows are very entertaining, but in reality, what you can expect as a forensic scientist will be much tamer and you stand nearly no chance of encountering a life-threatening situation at work, and certainly not one every week.