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Degree Overview: Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree in Computer Forensics

Majors Overview September 9, 2014

Those interested in tracking down computer-related crimes should look into a degree program in computer forensics. Educational paths to reach a career like this may vary, but undergraduate students should look into Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Digital Forensics, Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Information Systems, or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Computer Forensics degree programs.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.) Degree Programs in Computer Forensics

Students enrolled in a four-year bachelor’s degree program in computer forensics are taught about scanning networks and computers for evidence of links to criminal activity, in addition to preventing corporate computers from being subjected to illegal activity and scams. Students can accomplish this by gaining a firm grasp of both the criminal justice system and computer systems.

Those that successfully graduate from the computer forensics program will gain the skills they would need to collect and analyze digital evidence, implementing security systems for computer networks, identifying pressing computer security risks, and developing firewall systems, among other things.

In most computer and digital forensics programs, enrolled students are provided access to state-of-the-art technology and laboratories, which ensures that the most cutting-edge information in the field is received by them.

Education Requirements

Four-year universities and colleges are among the schools that offer most bachelor’s degree programs in computer forensics and digital forensics. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.

Students may also have to satisfy additional prerequisites in mathematics and basic computer fundamentals. To gain admission to a computer forensics program, students would benefit from having a strong aptitude for computer systems and technology, in addition to familiarity with operating systems.

Coursework

Coursework within a computer forensics degree program focuses on computer information systems as well as law enforcement procedures. Core coursework may include topic areas such as:

•Asset protection
•Data structures
•Database management systems
•Computer information systems
•Programming
•Report writing
•Crime scene investigation
•Criminal law
•Criminal procedure

Career Choices

Computer forensics experts can seek employment in both business security and criminal justice fields. Graduates of a computer forensics program may commonly aspire for job titles such as:

•Computer information security analyst
•Technical support specialist
•Computer forensics technician
•Networks and systems administrator

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, information security analysts banked an average annual wage of $86,170 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). A job growth rate of 37% has been predicted for information security analysts over the 2012 – 2022 decade (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Certificate and advanced degree programs in the field of digital and computer forensics are being offered by some schools. Students and professionals seeking continued education may choose to earn a master’s degree in computer science with a digital forensics concentration or a Ph.D. in Digital Forensics or volunteer for a Professional Certificate in Digital Forensics.

The focus of these degrees is often on emerging research in the field, thereby ensuring that students and professionals can stay abreast of technological advances in computer protection and detection.

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