Computer Forensics Degree: What to expect?

One part psychology plus three parts science equals a rewarding career in computer forensics. If you love “CSI” but aren’t inclined to gather blood off of dead bodies, why not use your curiosity, computer skills, and investigative abilities to help solve cases using clues hidden deep in the electronic world. Jobs in this field have you tracking down hackers and mining for data thought to be deleted. If that sounds like a perfect workday for you, read on to find out more.


Forensics is a scientific field of study that brings unseen clues to the surface of a case. In computer forensics, you rebuild missing databases, find deleted photos or emails, and maneuver through the back doors of computers to follow the trail in fraud, embezzlement, and other crimes.

It takes a unique set of science, computer, and people skills to be successful in computer forensics. Although it’s a relatively new field, there are traditional campus as well as online computer forensics degrees to teach you some of those skills. A typical four-year degree in computer forensics will introduce you to encryption, computer languages, and firewalls. You’ll hone your investigative skills through classes in evidence collection and interview techniques.

Next Step

Your college education will prepare you for a variety of entry-level positions. Consider working for the government, showcase your skills at the Department of Homeland Security, or find work with a police department. You can offer your talents on a freelance basis, or work for a consulting firm.

In addition to solving crimes, you can help prevent them by analyzing and improving the security on networks, hardware, software, hard drives, and memory cards.


Some positions require certification through the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists, which entails a supervised assessment of your working skills.

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