Associate Degree in Computer Crime Prevention

An associate's degree program in computer forensics, cybercrime or criminal justice combines the study of crime prevention with computer science knowledge. Programs can prepare you for a career as a computer security specialist or a computer forensic investigator. Schools offering Law Enforcement degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Can I Expect From a Computer Crime Prevention Program?

Associate's degree programs are generally not offered in computer crime prevention, but you can study computer forensics, cybercrime or criminal justice with a computer crime concentration. Schools typically award students with an Associate of Applied Science (AAS).

Computer forensics and cybercrime programs combine computer science and criminal justice with security business techniques. During your classes, you'll learn how to properly extract computer evidence and uncover hidden files needed for criminal investigations. Courses also train you to educate potential victims about preventing crimes like identity theft, computer hacking and viruses. Common topics covered in an AAS program include:

  • Criminal investigation
  • Computer hardware and software basics
  • American legal system
  • Common computer crimes
  • Computer security
  • Virus protection
  • Criminal justice ethics
  • Cybercrime prevention strategies

Common Courses Crime prevention, computer evidence extraction, hidden file searches, criminal justice ethics, American legal system
Online Availability Online programs are rare
Possible Careers Private consultant, computer security specialist, computer forensics investigator

Are There Any Online Options?

You can complete an associate's degree program in computer forensics entirely online, although these programs are rare. You usually can turn in all assignments online and work independently through textbooks, CD-ROMs and computer slides. In addition to an up-to-date computer, students are typically required to have access to a broadband Internet connection.

What Kinds of Jobs Are Available?

With an AAS degree in the computer forensics and cybercrime field, you can work as a computer security specialist. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers might require you to receive certification from a training institute or product company, in addition to your associate's degree. The BLS reported that job applicants with computer security knowledge have favorable employment opportunities due to increasing reports of computer crimes. Computer security specialists made a median salary of $69,858 in 2019, reported PayScale.com.

Additionally, you can work as a private consultant or computer forensics investigator. According to the BLS, you might want to receive your private investigator license, which varies by state but usually requires you to complete a criminal background check, pass an examination and hold relevant work experience. The BLS reported that private detectives and investigators, including computer forensic investigators, earned a median salary of $50,090 as of May 2018.

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:

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