Career Story: Computer Forensics Expert

Computer Forensics Expert

Job Title: Computer Forensic Analyst

Type of Company: Federal government IT security and forensic analysis contract support.

Education: High School Degree

Previous Experience: Detective Sergeant with the Washington State Patrol.

Job Tasks: I'm a senior manager in charge of the forensic computer programs for several federal projects. But in addition to being responsible for their day-to-day management, I lend my energies and expertise to the quest for new contracts and new business.

With current national security concerns and the increase in security-related incidents such as fraud, corporate espionage, and the theft of proprietary information of all kinds, computer forensics has become an important and burgeoning field. Our forensics specialists help to minimize and prosecute computer-based crime, offering a long list of services, including electronic data recovery, evidence collection and analysis, and expert witness testimony.

We work with our clients to ensure that industry-best practices are used in the collection, preservation, and tracking of electronic evidence; that lost data is recovered; that the evidence we collect will stand up to judicial scrutiny; and that the results of our analyses are accurate and thorough. We present complex issues in ways that are easily understood in a courtroom.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: Best part of my job is the actual forensic analysis. Supporting criminal investigations and going through computers, recovering deleted, hidden and encrypted files that support the investigation is very rewarding. Sending bad guys to jail feels really good.

But this is not a job for everyone. Finding the needle in a haystack, putting puzzles together the way we do takes a lot of time and energy. And for some people (though not me) sitting in front of a computer monitor, sifting through thousands of e-mails, documents, spreadsheets, databases and images is a real turn-off.

Job Tips:
1.) Law enforcement offers a fast-track to this type of work. You usually have to be a regular street officer for several years before getting into a specialty like this, but the training and the work can be worth it.

2.) Some colleges offer BA's or Masters in Computer Forensics or Computer Security. If you don't want to go through the law enforcement steps, this would be a great way to get a leg-up.

Additional Thoughts: Computer forensics is a tough field to break into. We have hired interns, though, who've worked in our offices as level 1 analysts. It is important to note, however, that there's a big difference between computer forensics and network security. They're fields with different skill-sets, but both are growing rapidly. Computers are everywhere and companies and government bodies need more and more people to support their computer systems and investigations.

Popular Schools offering Forensic Science Technology Programs

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

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Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: BS in Criminal Justice in Crime Scene Investigation
  • Degrees: Bachelor

You’re serious about success. With your busy schedule and the desire to move your career forward, you can earn an accredited associate, bachelors or master’s degree at a pace that works for you anywhere, anytime, 24/7.

At AIU, the Serious U, you can get started to get ahead.

  • Programs: Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Forensic Science, Bachelor's (BSCJ) - Generalist
  • Degrees: Bachelor
Platt College
Alhambra, Anaheim, Ontario, Riverside

Turn your talents into a career at nationally recognized and accredited Platt College.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Associate
UEI College
Bakersfield, El Monte, Fresno, Gardena, Huntington Park, Riverside, San Marcos

At UEI College, we want you to succeed. We’re like a family and we want you to be a part of it.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice (9-Month Diploma Program)
  • Degrees: Diploma

Earn a highly respected online degree from Boston University

  • Programs: Master of Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Master

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Behavioral Crime Analysis Certificate
  • Degrees: Certificate

About Brightwood College

Brightwood College offers accelerated programs that combine flexible schedules and professional instruction to create a rewarding learning experience for individuals focused on gaining the skills for specific careers. Brightwood College is owned and operated by Education Corporation of America.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Associate

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Bachelor
Argosy University
Alameda, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange, Phoenix, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice (BS), Criminal Justice (BS) (Online)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.

  • Programs: M.A. Forensic Psychology, Psy.D. Clinical Forensic Psychology
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate
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