Those interested in pursuing a career in computer forensics must acquire a degree in this field. Computer forensics is a highly relevant field in a world where there is an increased incidence of computer crime.  In particular, computer forensics refers to the recovery of data from various digital media. Such electronic evidence is often a central component of criminal investigations. There is an overlap between careers in computer forensics and careers in law enforcement and criminal justice; the three fields are closely related.There exist a number of career choices for individuals wishing to work in this field. Employment opportunities in computer forensics exist across public (local, state and federal) and private organizations, firms and companies. These include law firms, crime labs and law enforcement agencies including the police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and homeland security amongst other departments. Computer forensic careers include working in the capacity of a:

  • Computer forensics investigator
  • Computer forensics specialist
  • Computer forensics analyst
  • Consultant
  • Technician

Depending on the level of education, the specialization opted for and the level of experience, individuals can earn between 40,000 to 90,000 U.S dollars a year on average.

Computer Forensics Degrees and Programs
In order to work in the computer forensics industry it is essential to acquire the right educational qualifications. There are a number of academic programs to choose from. In particular, the following degrees in computer forensics are available:

  • Associate of Science in Computer Forensics
  • Bachelor of Science in Computer Forensics
  • Master of Science in Computer Forensics

Entry into the field of computer forensics requires individuals to have the knowledge and the skill set to do so. An Associate degree is two years in duration. During this program, students acquire basic knowledge regarding the process and procedures of recovering data and the handling of such data as evidence. Following this degree students can further their skills through on the job training. For more lucrative careers in computer forensics, it is advisable to pursue a Bachelor’s in the subject. A Bachelor’s degree is four years in duration. Students are subject to a more rigorous training in computer forensics. A Master’s in computer forensics enables individuals to advance their careers even further.

Areas of Study in Computer Forensics
During the course of academic programs in computer forensics, students are able to consolidate their theoretical knowledge of the subject along with their technical skills. The latter include learning how to extract data deleted of devices, decoding data, decrypting data and ensuring that during such extraction media/ devices are not damaged. Computer forensic students also cultivate written and oral communication skills. These are essential to advancing their careers; computer forensic investigators are often required to write up their findings as part of criminal investigations and trials. Areas of study include: computer information systems, computer operating systems, networks, data security, routing, digital crime, cyber-terrorism, online fraud, cyber security, data recovery, investigations: process and procedures, presenting evidence and computer ethics.

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