Computer Forensics Degree Programs

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Computer forensics is the examination and analysis of electronic devices that contain information for a court of law. This can be any device, ranging from the computer itself to any attachments used, including flash drives. It also pertains to attacks that happen within the network and cloud-based systems.

There are two traditional environmental settings for computer forensics.

  1. Investigation scenes feature forensic experts analyzing and extracting important evidence. They may interview individuals that have been victims of cyber crime to determine vulnerabilities or where potential attacks have come from.
  2. A laboratory setting goes further into verifying specific criminal activity in devices. This can also feature controlled experiments in forensics, such as penetration testing or auditing procedure. In a controlled environment, real attacks can take place to improve security measures and detect future threats.

What it takes to get into Computer Forensics

Individuals can thrive in computer forensics if they have a strong investigation interest. They must pay attention to small details in order to successfully prepare evidence and avoid corruption. Any problems that may damage evidence is not admissible into court cases.

Other requirements include writing detailed reports on findings in the investigative process. Communication skills are also needed to work with investigators or conducting interviews when necessary. Presenting information is a common occurrence when discussing issues with team members or within a court of law.

As technology usage and digital storage increases, there is a need for experienced computer forensics experts. While this is a niche profession, opportunities and overall job growth is expected to grow over the next decade. Higher-paying opportunities are reserved for specialty roles and management positions.

School Level Program Admissions
Aurora University Bachelor BA in Criminal Justice Website
Point University Bachelor Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Website
Utica College Bachelor BS in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation Website
Utica College Master MS in Data Science Website
Alvernia University Bachelor Addictions and Mental Health Treatment (formerly Behavioral Health) Website

Are There Computer Forensics Degrees Online?

There are an abundance of computer science programs online that focus on forensics and investigation. Individuals have the ability to find certification that focuses directly on a particular career pathway. This provides an opportunity to learn specific skills to analyze crime scenes or prepare digital evidence.

While industry and vendor certifications show competency in a particular area, different requirements may be needed prior to receiving them. It is generally recommended to have a computer science background. Advanced or graduate certification often requires the completion of an undergraduate degree prior to examination.

Computer forensics combined with criminal justice degrees

More universities are offering their criminal justice and computer forensics degrees online. There may be some limitations as a Bachelor's degree generally requires full-time enrollment to complete in four years. Hybrid learning is a popular option that blends on-campus and online learning.

Master's degrees in computer forensics are widely available online. This provides an easy pathway for established individuals within information technology to add to their skill set. Full-time and part-time options are available with an average of one to two years required for study.