Become a Computer Forensics Investigator

If you desire to become a computer forensics investigator (who may also go by a number of other titles, such as computer forensics analyst, computer forensics examiner, or computer forensics specialist) you likely are already aware of the fact that you will be an irreplaceable asset in the field of criminal justice. Whether it is local law enforcement or a federal agency, the need to have a professional on staff combating cyber-crime is paramount. Computer forensics investigators are also experts at extracting digital information to be used as evidence in the courtroom.

There are many traits that a person must have or must obtain in order to be an asset in the field. Obviously, to become a computer forensics investigator you must be highly proficient when it comes to working with technology and must also be highly motivated to stay on top of cutting-edge technology. Considering the professional settings that a computer forensics investigator will be working in, another trait that is highly coveted in an individual in this field is communication skills. Having analytical skills will also help a person to succeed in the computer forensics field.

Computer Forensics Schools, Degrees, & Helpful Information in Your State

How to Become a Computer Forensics Investigator

Become a Computer Forensics Investigator

Step 1.

Earn a Degree

A formal education is more than just validation that you have the aptitude for the computer forensics field. Earning a bachelor’s degree in computer forensics or a relevant discipline, such as computer science coupled with coursework in computer forensics, will help you to become a computer forensics investigator and prepare you for the tasks you will be required to perform. Your professional qualifications will certainly be scrutinized in a courtroom, which further drives home the point that you need to have a quality educational background.

Become a Computer Forensics Investigator

Step 2.

Get Your Certification(s)

There are a number of different computer forensics certifications that you may earn in order to help you to become a computer forensics investigator, such as the Certified Computer Examiner (CCE), the Certified Forensic Computer Examiner (CFCE), the Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator (CHFI) V8, the GIAC Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFE), the GIAC Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA), and more. In order to prepare for these examinations, you must either go through a bootcamp or study independently. Make sure you are prepared; these exams are not cheap.

Become a Computer Forensics Investigator

Step 3.

Stay on Top of IT

If you want to become a computer forensics investigator, you need to understand how important it is to ensure that you are aware of the latest cutting-edge technology. In order to do this, you need to do plenty of independent research. Obviously, the lion’s share of this information can be found online, but don’t rule out subscribing to some industry-relevant publications. If you’re not interested in taking this step seriously, you may be in the wrong career field.

Become a Computer Forensics Investigator

Step 4.

Get Practical Experience

Earning your degree, passing certification tests, and staying abreast of technology is vitally important. However, getting hands-on experience is equally important if you want to become a computer forensics investigator. This is one of those “catch 22” situations; experience is required for the vast majority of positions, so how does a person obtain the necessary experience to get a job? Try looking into an apprenticeship or try volunteering your services to local law enforcement. Maybe even a law firm will give you a shot.

Become a Computer Forensics Investigator

Step 5.

Start Your Career

Now that you have earned your degree, picked up some industry certifications, and have some practical experience, you are ready to start your computer forensics career. Public sector opportunities will likely be with the federal government, local law enforcement, and even the military. The private sector also presents employment opportunities for you to become a computer forensics investigator. You may end up working for an independent lab or for a large corporation.

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