What Degrees are Available for Felons?

You’ve been convicted of a felony, you are either serving your time or already have. What should you do next? Studies have shown stable employment and having higher education degrees reduces the rate of re-offending and re-incarnation of ex-cons. Finding a job that gives stable employment is paramount for maintaining oneself and possibly your family. 

Sadly after being convicted as a felon it becomes much more difficult to find good, stable employment. Data has shown the unemployment rates among felons is five times higher than that of the general population. Even a skilled worker may no longer be eligible for their previous employment. You may no longer be able to work in your field due to your conviction. The best option may be to go to college and obtain a degree in order to have a meaningful employment opportunity again.

Checking your state’s licensing and certification boards regulations should be done before furthering your education. There are many fields where you won’t be able to gain necessary credentials since you wouldn’t be eligible due to your conviction. There is no point in wasting time and money if you won’t be able to receive the appropriate licensing or certifications in the field you study due to a marked background. Any position restricting employment of ex-cons would not be a path to pursue with a felony on your record. 

Common employment positions typically excluding felons are criminal justice positions, medicine, education, psychology fields, insurance and financing. Additionally, you may not be able to be considered for other employment opportunities based on what you were convicted for. As an example, a position in the education field would be unlikely for anyone who has been found guilty of a crime against a minor/minors or any job that requires intensive customer interaction or allows you to be in control of others lives such as nurses and home health care assistants.

This doesn’t mean there is nothing out there for someone convicted of a felony. There are still plenty of opportunities for an ex-con if you are willing to put in the time and effort necessary. If you try to find something you can enjoy where you’ll be able to obtain the skills to succeed you can find a truly fulfilling employment role in society. There are even places that actively hire felons and are willing to educate them in the trade they provide. While there are many options out there that you may find while on your journey here are just a few degrees to consider getting started on the journey. 

  1. Computer Science
  2. Business Management 
  3. Liberal Arts
  4. Mechanics
  5. Vocational studies
  6. Sustainability
  7. Marketing
  8. Agriculture
  9. Substance Abuse Counseling
  10. Robotics

Before you jump in, remember all it takes is dedication and persistence to get what you need to turn your life around. Even if you can’t attend higher education in person, full time school is available online and there are some free online courses for certain certificates. Your local library will have computers and safe areas to study and take the courses if home is not available for any reason and some offer courses that are easily accessible. As I’ve said above you won’t find everything that is available to you on this list. There are many options out there for an ex-con.

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