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How do I get a Computer Forensics Degree?

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  • Written By: Carol Francois
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 03 September 2018
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2018
    Conjecture Corporation
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There are four steps required to get a computer forensics degree: qualify for admission, find an accredited school, pay the tuition, and complete the coursework. A computer forensics degree provides training in computer systems, data management, security, and software manipulation. This type of forensics degree is available from a wide range of universities, community, and career colleges.

A computer forensics degree is focused purely on the growing need to analyze and retrieve records from computer systems. This program is quite different from the forensic science degree. The science degree is focused on collecting evidence and conducting scientific tests on physical evidence. In a computer forensic degree, there is no biological component. However, many of the same principles regarding a proven evidence chain and using specific methods to capture criminal activities apply to this field.

The requirements to qualify for admission to a computer forensics degree program include high school courses in calculus, algebra, statistics, computer science and English. Many people who are interested in a computer forensics degree take a minor in computer science. The combination of these two fields allows candidates to have a deep understanding of technology, as well as a strong basis in the methods used to capture data.

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When looking for a program, the first item to check is the accreditation status of the school. An independent third party grants accreditation. As part of the review process, this agency examines the academic and administrative policies of the school against a minimum standard. Credits completed at an accredited school can be transferred to other post-secondary institutions and are accepted by certification and licensing boards.

The tuition fees for a computer forensics degree range between $12,000 and $15,000 US Dollars (USD) per year. Most schools require payment for each semester at least four weeks before classes begin. Although there are some schools that offer online courses toward this degree, it is important to check with the registrar that they will be accepted before registering. Accredited schools are able to offer students access to government student aid programs, which can help alleviate the cost of tuition with loans or grants. Look for scholarships, bursaries, or grants for assistance in meeting the tuition requirements.

The first year of computer forensics courses includes calculus, criminology, introduction to computer programming, data retrieval, and communications. Many programs have cooperative job or field work terms that allow students to gain valuable work experience. Look at the different options available to you and select the program that has the greatest appeal and career possibilities.

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