How do I Become a Computer Forensics Specialist?

Britt Archer
Britt Archer
A computer forensics specialist can analyze and recover data from a computer's hard drive.
A computer forensics specialist can analyze and recover data from a computer's hard drive.

If you're looking for a way to turn your passion for computers into a career helping people, the field of computer forensics may be for you. An insatiable curiosity about technology, a strong educational background in the field and the willingness to explore new methods are crucial to anyone wishing to become a computer forensics specialist. With the right combination of training and ambition, anyone can become a computer forensics scientist. Each region has different requirements regarding education and employment, so prospective applicants should seek out local resources as they pertain to their geographic location.

Computer forensics is a specialty within the computer science field.
Computer forensics is a specialty within the computer science field.

The main job of a computer forensics specialist is the recovery of deleted, erased or corrupted information from digital storage media. Digital storage media includes computer hard drives, computer network systems and cell phones. The information obtained from a digital forensics investigation is used as legal evidence to aid police or lawyers. In the journey to become a computer forensics specialist, you will learn how to extract this information without compromising the integrity of the evidence.

A student who wants to become a computer forensics specialist should attend continuing education classes.
A student who wants to become a computer forensics specialist should attend continuing education classes.

Employment with a law enforcement agency is considered a general requirement to become a computer forensic specialist. Depending upon the agency, you may be able to obtain training while working in the field. By working as you complete your degree, you also have access to resources and equipment, including a personal computer system, networking tools and database software, that someone not affiliated with the agency wouldn't have access to.

The type of education you should obtain depends upon the requirements of the agency you seek employment with. A two-year degree in criminal justice is the bare minimum required to become a computer forensics specialist, although a four-year degree offers more advanced insight into the field, teaching subjects such as network forensics and database forensics. Both degrees offer a way into the field, and both offer crucial training. If you already have a higher education, consider obtaining a master's or certificate program in computer security or network forensics.

A student who wants to become a computer forensics specialist should seek out local or national organizations dedicated to digital forensic science. Attend seminars, training sessions, and continuing education classes. If you cannot attend a local group, seek out like-minded groups or discussion forums online. Build a rapport with computer forensic scientists already working in the field because they can give you valuable personal insight into what it takes to become a computer forensic specialist.

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    • A computer forensics specialist can analyze and recover data from a computer's hard drive.
      By: merydolla
      A computer forensics specialist can analyze and recover data from a computer's hard drive.
    • Computer forensics is a specialty within the computer science field.
      By: diego cervo
      Computer forensics is a specialty within the computer science field.
    • A student who wants to become a computer forensics specialist should attend continuing education classes.
      By: gordand
      A student who wants to become a computer forensics specialist should attend continuing education classes.