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With the advent of the digital age came new opportunities for criminals and a new focus of investigation for law enforcement. Computer crimes have created the need for computer forensic experts. Anyone who plans on a career in computer forensics should start by taking a rigorous high school curriculum in math and computers, followed by the completion of least a bachelor's degree in computer information technologies or computer forensics, if available. In addition, any part-time or summer employment working with computers will go a long way to further a career in computer forensics.
Computer forensics involves analyzing a computer, or any other digital media, for evidence or leads that may help law enforcement solve a crime. In the digital age, an electronic record is made of nearly everything that we do. That record may be crucial for law enforcement in the investigation of a crime; however, some criminals attempt to erase or bury electronic evidence, which is where a computer forensic expert comes in. With the rapid rate of advancement in the field of computers and digital media, it is likely that a career in computer forensics will be a much needed career choice for many years to come.
A student who thinks he or she may wish to pursue a career in computer forensics should start preparing in high school. Computers require a high level of competency in mathematics, which means a high school student should take as many math classes as possible while in high school. In addition, any classes offered in computer programming, graphics, or design can help a high school student who plans to continue his or her studies in computer forensics in college.
In college, a student who hopes for a career this field should choose a school that offers a bachelor's degree specifically in computer forensics. If that is not an option, then a degree in information technology or computer programming would be good second choices. Regardless of the exact degree, a student should focus on classes specifically focused on programming and extracting information from computers and digital media.
In addition to the required education, an individual who is planning a career in computer forensics should start pursuing employment where he or she works with computers as early as possible. Starting in high school and continuing through college, part-time or summer jobs repairing, programming, or even selling computers or digital media will help prepare an individual for a future career in computer forensics. In addition, any experience a person can obtain working with law enforcement will be helpful. Often, summer internships are offered with local law enforcement agencies or local government agencies where a student can gain valuable experience both using computers and understanding how computers can play a vital role in an investigation.
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