How to Pursue a Career in Forensic Science

Millions of people all over the world are glued to their TV sets every time an episode of CSI or Criminal Minds is being shown. People are fascinated at the ability of the forensics team to profile the killer’s next move with the aid of technology. It seems that man is always fascinated with unraveling mysteries because it challenges his faculty for thinking. Plus, it also adds the element of survival as he eludes dangers that threaten him. No wonder, many young people apply at FBI or other government agencies related to law enforcement. If that is part of your dream, then pursuing a career in forensic science is your first step.

The field of forensics has many subdivisions that present many job opportunities. However, it is vital for anyone taking this path to have a high degree of competence with the use of computers. It’s not just about using simple applications like MS Word or MS Excel, because you need a lot of technical background ranging from database management to elaborate computer animation. If you are equipped with the right skills, training, and disposition these are just some of the areas in forensic science that’s filled with possibilities:

1. Forensics intelligence – Investigation begins with gathering relevant data that can be used as evidence. Critical thinking skills aside from computer proficiency are a must if you want to enter this field.

2. Forensic toxicology – Figuring out what chemicals were used in poisoning requires good training in chemistry and biology as well as proficiency in the use of high-end laboratory apparatus.

3. Digital Forensics – This is mainly focused on recovering data either from digital media or electronic sources. Perpetrators tried to hide evidence by tampering images, voice clips, or other audio sources to mislead investigators. This is also involved in cases related to cyber security; hence, a high level of knowledge in all types of media equipment can start an aspirant on the right track.

4. Computational Criminology – If you are fond of data mining, computing, and seeking solutions to seemingly complex problems, this is for you. Part of this area is computational animation wherein you create simulations that can aid in establishing how a gun was fired or what blunt material was used to hit a person. If you’re wired to solve complexities through assumptions and simulations, then this is a great choice.

There are still other subdivisions of forensics that can fit your personality, skills, and interest. It all begins with choosing the right forensics science college. In most cases, these programs are under the department of criminology. Certificate programs often take 18 months to finish depending on your performance; however, this is on top of a bachelor’s degree. The BLS reports that forensic science technician’s median pay is $51, 970 per year (2010). The industry’s growth rate is a high 19% which means more job vacancies are being created until 2020. Perhaps, this is the best time to launch that dream you have been wanting for a long time. Start today!

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