Computer Forensics Career, Job, Degrees and Training Information

An increasing number of criminals are involved with computer crime throughout the globe. Since more people are using the internet and communicating with email for business and personal purposes, business and home computers are susceptible to attacks from computer hackers. As a result, greater demand now exists for computer forensics experts.

Those who specialize as Computer Forensics Investigators are educated to investigate computer crimes perpetrated against children and perform data recovery operations after information has been stolen from a computer. These investigators, also referred to as computer forensics specialists, collect digital media data for evidence during trials. When the term digital media is used, it can refer to any type of stored electronic data and the equipment used to store and transfer data such as laptops and other electronic equipment. After data has been recovered, these professionals prepare technical documents to be used during court trials. Many computer forensics investigators are required to testify at trials. Many companies hire computer forensics investigators to test their network security technology. Computer forensics experts will use the same methods utilized by hackers to ensure networks are secure.

Since computer forensics is a relatively new discipline, most companies and agencies do not have standard perquisite qualifications for applicants yet. Many computer professionals learned about computer forensics serving in the military or working for police agencies. However, since more colleges are providing opportunities for students to get degrees in computer forensics and network security, candidates must earn a degree to increase their job opportunities.

Computer Forensics Training

We have collected information about the necessary skills and training from industry professionals you should seek in a computer forensics program. Here is the information they provided us.

People should take classes in detection and reaction, management, investigation, incident management, protection, internet crimes, digital evidence trial presentation, network security, data recovery, and electronic equipment forensics. Potential candidates should also take classes in business and law. Another expert conveyed the importance of having inclusive knowledge of UNIX and NT, as well as understanding how to recover erased files and being able to detect network security breaches. Candidates should also possess understanding of routing and networking since more people are now utilizing email and the internet.

The professionals we consulted agreed that candidates interested in working in computer forensics should pursue a computer forensics degree or one related to network security or computer crime.

People can obtain an associate's degree, a bachelor's degree, or post graduate degrees in network security or computer forensics. Individuals possessing an associate's degree with internship experience with a police agency are usually qualified to be employed as a computer forensics investigator with law enforcement departments. Those completing 2 year graduate programs usually make more money and improve employment opportunities.

Computer Forensics Salary, Earnings and Wage Information

Demand for computer forensic jobs at police departments and private companies is expected to rise. Those with master’s degrees will have many opportunities to work at consulting firms or perform freelance work. Their salaries are usually determined by whether they work in law enforcement or for a private company and the type of degree they possess, so yearly average salaries can be anywhere between $50,000- 100,000. Computer forensics specialists performing freelance work or doing consulting work can earn higher salaries. Many computer forensics specialists must be CCSP, CISA, CISM, or CISSP certified.

Source: US Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics,,

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