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Online Crime Investigation Education Programs

Crime investigation encompasses many areas, including crime scenes and corporate misdeeds. Learn about what online programs are available, how online programs work and what you can do with your training.

What Types of Online Programs Can I Enroll In?

You can try the economic crime investigation programs. These programs are available at the certificate, bachelor's and master's levels, and concentrate on preventing and prosecuting financial crime, also known as corporate or white-collar crime. At the certificate level, you'll study fraud prevention and detection, computer forensics, expert witness testimony, investigative accounting and fraud examination. These programs may also be called forensic accounting or accounting law.

Bachelor's level programs in economic crime investigation might also be referred to as financial forensics or forensic accounting. Your classes will focus on topics such as embezzlement, identity theft, tax evasion, bribery and consumer fraud. You'll learn how to gather, analyze and preserve economic crime evidence. These programs draw from many disciplines, including math, computer science, economics, criminal justice and sociology. Consequently, additional course topics include cyber crime, microeconomics, statistics, accounting, money laundering and terrorist financing.

Programs at the master's level can sometimes be referred to as forensic accounting and can be found in Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree programs. At the master's level, you'll study fraud, accounting law, information technology, fraud detection and prevention, quantitative research methods and economics.

You could also try the crime scene investigation programs. These are usually found as specializations in criminal justice programs at the bachelor's level. You'll learn how to collect and preserve crime scene evidence, reconstruct a crime scene and search for specific evidence at the scene. You'll also learn how crime lab procedures work. Additional skills you'll pick up include learning how to communicate well with other crime scene workers, performing scientific analysis and applying forensic science to crime investigation.

Fields of Study Economic crime investigation, forensic accounting, criminal justice
Coursework: B.S. Financial Forensics Embezzlement, identity theft, tax evasion, consumer fraud, economic crime evidence
Coursework: MBA Forensic Accounting Fraud, accounting law, information technology, quantitative research methods, economics
Coursework: B.S. Criminal Justice Collecting and preserving evidence, reconstructing a crime scene, crime lab procedures, scientific analysis, forensic science
Online Requirements Broadband Internet connection, headset, Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader, RealPlayer, QuickTime
Careers Law enforcement, accounting, corporate security management, forensic accounting, auditing, litigation support
Certification All programs prepare you for Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) certification, 2 years of experience needed first
Median Salary (2018)$63,380 (Police and Detectives)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)7% growth (Police and Detectives)

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)

How Do the Online Programs Work?

Online programs require certain software and hardware to work properly. Each program will have its own requirements. Some requirements for crime investigation programs include a broadband Internet connection, the latest Internet browser, a sound card, speakers and a headset with a microphone. You might also need programs such as Microsoft Office and Adobe Reader to download and access written course materials. You'll need RealPlayer, QuickTime and Java Runtime Environment for any materials utilizing video or interactive components.

What Can I Do With This Training?

As a crime scene investigation graduate, you'll qualify for positions in law enforcement organizations at the local, state and federal level. With a certificate in economic crime investigation, you'll qualify for entry-level careers in accounting. You'll also qualify for career advancement and managerial positions. Economic crime investigation at the bachelor's level will prepare you for careers in law enforcement, corporate security management, forensic accounting, auditing and private consulting. Career options at the master's level include litigation support, dispute resolution, research, forensic accounting and corporate fraud investigation.

Additionally, the economic crime investigation programs can also prepare you for certification. All three levels will prepare you to become a Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE). As a CFE, you'll be well-versed in the areas of fraud detection, deterrence and prevention. You'll need at least two years experience before you can become certified, though. The CFE exam is administered by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners.