How to Become a Computer Forensics Investigator

Considering a career in Computer Forensics? This guest post by Adrienne Carlson outlines the basics!

It’s an interesting field if you’re a whiz with computers and have a keen and analytical mind. While most people in this field are self-taught experts who used their acumen and experience in getting to where they are today, there is a traditional route that you can take to become a computer forensics investigator, one that involves education and relevant experience. So if you are looking to gain entry into this challenging and rewarding field, here’s what you need to do:
  • Show an interest in the subject: Besides the education that college can give you, you must have a passion for the subject if you hope to become a decent computer forensics expert. Books and experimentation will get you further than any college degree will, although a degree is what may open the career doors initially.
  • Earn a degree: A degree gives you a sense of respectability, in court and otherwise. And while any degree will do, it’s best to major in computer science, criminal justice, forensic science or law since they are the most relevant subjects to computer forensics. While an undergraduate degree is enough to get you in the door, you may need a master’s degree or doctoral dissertation to help you become an expert and climb up the career ladder.
  • Know the tools of the trade: If you’re not comfortable around technology and computers, then this is not the field for you. To become an expert in the field of computer forensics, you must know your way around computers even if you’re blindfolded. The only way to do this is through repeated practice and experience.
  • Keep your knowledge up to date: Technology changes rapidly, from minute to minute. So you must be prepared to keep up or you’re going to be left behind. You need to constantly update your knowledge and keep up to date with the developments in data storage, backup, retrieval and also with the new techniques that are being used by hackers.
  • Know how the legal system works: You need to understand the law well enough to be able to retrieve and handle evidence correctly so that it is not compromised. Your investigative talents will also be tested from time to time on difficult cases, so you need to have a sharp mind that can grasp facts and information quickly.
Being a successful computer forensic analyst is a combination of various factors, and if you’re dedicated and determined with a keen investigative and legal mind, you could end up at the top of the career ladder in no time at all.

This guest article was written by Adrienne Carlson, who regularly writes on the topic of forensic science schools . Adrienne welcomes your comments and questions at her email address: