What Jobs Can I Get in Computer Forensics?
Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in computer forensics. Read on to learn more about career options along with information about where computer forensics specialists work and what education is required. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
Career Information at a Glance
Computer forensics involves collecting and analyzing digital data to be used as evidence in a criminal proceeding. Learn more about this field from the following chart.
|Computer Forensics Technician||Information Security Analyst|
|Degree Required||Associate's or bachelor's||Bachelor's|
|Education Field of Study||Computer forensics||Computer science or programming|
|Key Responsibilities||Identifying security threats, testing crime-prevention systems, analyzing electronic information for use as evidence||Preventing and simulating cyber attacks; monitoring for breaches; documenting and investigating breaches|
|Job Growth (2012-22)||6% (slower than average) for all forensic science technicians*||37% (much faster than average)*|
|Median Salary (May 2014)||$55,360 for all forensic science technicians*||$88,890*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Get Your Computer Forensics Degree
Before you start looking for computer forensic jobs, you'll need to get your degree. Computer forensic degree programs are found at several degree levels or as concentrations within a broader degree. Two popular formats are the associate's and bachelor's degree levels. Both types of programs are interdisciplinary in nature, involving coursework in information technology, computer science, criminal justice and forensic science.
An associate's degree program in computer forensics is designed to prepare you for entry-level technician positions in the data recovery and computer forensics fields. You'll study information technology concepts, such as computer design, network architecture and computer hardware and software configuration. You'll also learn about the criminal justice system and the procedural methods of presenting criminal evidence.
At the bachelor's degree level, you'll start to explore more advanced topics in computer forensics. You'll study data mining and database design. You'll learn how to identify and prevent digital security threats and how to use forensic software tools. You'll spend a lot of time in the computer lab and your program will probably include an internship, where you'll work in a computer forensics capacity for course credit. A smattering of liberal arts and humanities electives will round out the curriculum.
Where Do Professionals Work?
Computer forensics specialists are employed in a wide variety of corporate, government, military and law enforcement dynamics. Wherever sensitive or proprietary digital information is stored, there is a potential need for a computer forensic specialist. Employers may seek candidates with specific certifications, offered by several professional associations.
What Job Duties Might I Have?
You may spend some of your time identifying network and computer system security threats. You might also be responsible for testing existing cyber crime prevention systems to ensure system integrity. You'll collect, recover and analyze electronic information which may be used as evidence in a court of law. You might even be called upon to offer expert testimony regarding your findings.
To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below: