In Detroit, a degree in criminal justice can take you a long way. Large urban landscapes are always looking to employ talented individuals to help them secure the safety and security of their citizens. The Motor City may have its issues with crime, not unlike any other major metropolis, but with the economy on the upswing throughout the area, more Detroiters than ever are turning to the field of criminal justice. They do this to not only help combat tough problems in Motown, but to achieve some spectacular levels of success as well.

Anita Zannin (photo courtesy of Anita Zannin)

Anita Zannin (photo courtesy of Anita Zannin)

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Anita Zannin, M.S.F.S. graduated magna cum laude from Buffalo State College with a bachelor of science degree in forensic chemistry and a second bachelor of science degree in criminal justice. She received a master of science degree in forensic science from Syracuse University. Additionally, she teaches as an adjunct professor at Syracuse University and has been named a visiting professor at Francisco Marroquin Law School in Guatemala.

After graduation, how hard was it to transition to the working world? 

“Not particularly. I chose to do the second degree in criminal justice because forensic science is the intersection of science and the law, so I thought it would help round out my knowledge base. The application processes for forensic jobs are typically rather lengthy and involved, so it is a good idea to start looking before graduation. Ultimately, I went back for a graduate degree in forensic science and currently work as an independent forensic consultant, specializing in bloodstain pattern analysis, in addition to teaching undergraduate, graduate and law school students.”

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How important is a solid education within your field?

“A solid education is critically important in the field of forensic science and/or criminal investigation. One must understand the foundation upon which principles of physical evidence is based in order to understand the significance of the evidence. It is also important for communicating findings to attorneys, judges and juries. The level of education preferred really depends on the career aspiration of the individual. However, ongoing continuing professional education in this field is also required in order to keep up to date.”

Do you have any advice for someone just starting out?

“If I could go back and know where I would end up today, I would have streamlined my education a bit more, and I would have started job searching much earlier. My advice is to take advantage of as many internship or field experiences as possible to determine what is the best fit and begin job search/application process at least a semester before graduation.”

Michael Ferro is freelance writer and a graduate of Michigan State University where he majored in Creative Writing and received the Jim Cash Creative Writing Award. Born and bred in Detroit, he currently resides in Ypsilanti Township. Additional writing can be found at

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