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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

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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, BS in Criminal Justice, AA in Criminal Justice, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Associate, Certificate
UEI College
Bakersfield, Chula Vista, El Monte, Encino, Fresno, Gardena, 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
Brightwood College
Bakersfield, Clovis, Sacramento, San Diego, Vista

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

Earn a highly respected online degree from Boston University

  • Programs: Master of Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Master

Designed with the needs of working adult students in mind, South University, Online Programs is built on the similar curriculum offered at South University's campus locations. As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

  • Programs: Criminal Justice (BS), Criminal Justice (MS)
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master
Platt College
Alhambra, Anaheim, Ontario, Riverside

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

  • Programs: Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Associate

For over 35 years, Keiser University has maintained a practical, hands-on approach to career education to help our students achieve their personal and professional goals. 

  • Programs: Master of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Master

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Behavioral Crime Analysis Certificate
  • Degrees: Certificate

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice
  • Degrees: Bachelor
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