Forensic Science Degrees
Your online resource for Forensic Degree and Career Information. Forensic degree programs have been around for many years. However, in light of recent TV shows in the early 21st century such as C.S.I., Criminal Minds, and NCIS, people are now flocking to careers in forensics and crime scene investigation. Keep in mind that this career can be rewarding, but it is not nearly as glamorous as they make it look on television. Forensic degree programs teach multiple disciplines of science to provide evidence and facts in courts and criminal cases. Students in forensic programs can learn crime scene boundaries, principles of crime scene searches, proper methods of searching, evidence, and how to do their job without disturbing the evidence. There are so many interesting things that can be learned in a forensic degree program, and it can lead to a career in crime scene investigation, forensics, and other related fields. For people who love science and puzzles, a career in forensics could be just what they have been waiting for. There are growing opportunities available in this career field, and there will be into the next 10 to 15 years.
What Are Careers in Forensics?Most people misunderstand what "forensics" means. Forensics is simply the analysis of information for use in a court of law, so forensics falls into a lot of different fields, including:
- Forensic science technicians: analyze DNA or firearms, among other evidence
- Forensic accountants: investigate financial crimes like embezzlement or money laundering
- Computer forensic investigators: recover and analyze information from computers for use as evidence or in an investigation
Types of Forensic Degrees
- Forensic science technicians almost always need a bachelor's degree. In the US, about 30 schools offer forensic science bachelor's degree programs, while approximately 25 others offer degrees in natural science with an emphasis on forensics or criminology.
- Forensic accountants also need bachelor's degrees, and to apply for a Certified Fraud Examiner designation they need the degree plus two years work experience, and then they have to pass a four-part exam.
- Computer forensic investigators generally need a computer science degree, either at the associate or bachelor's degree level. Investigative techniques can then be learned on the job. Also, some colleges offer certificate programs, bachelor's, or master's degrees specifically in computer forensics.
Job Opportunities Career prospects should remain excellent for all forensic careers, as it's an extremely fast growing field, much faster than the national average for all occupations. For forensic science technicians, the field is expected to grow 31% from 2006-2016, with prospects predicted to be best for those with bachelor's degrees. As of May 2006, they earned $21.79 per hour. Demand for forensic accountants and computer forensic investigators has also increased, as unfortunately crimes in those areas have been on the rise.