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Regretting my Degree (A Little)
I am applying for a good computer forensics job but I doubt I will get that because I am sure lots of other people with more experience/higher educational who will be ahead of me in the queue.
Other forensic related jobs, for example jobs involving working on fraud cases at accounting companies are also unsuitable to me because they want what I have not covered during university.
I enjoyed doing my degree but I feel that it is nothing more than a fancy piece of paper with little use. I am thinking of applying for desktop support/network administration jobs but again, they want experience even for the graduate posts.
The worry I have is that if I do end up in a network admin role, the less desirable I would be later on were I to apply for computer forensic roles. It is impossible to get computer forensics experience and I am feeling disheartened and frustrated at my inability to find a job that I can apply for.
I was never expecting to be able to walk into a forensics job, but the way the jobs market seems at the moment, it seems better just to opt for a job stacking shelves or something of that nature.
Will job prospects get better?
There are a lot of people in a similar boat, and that is why you have the challenge you have. One thing to bear in mind a proportion of people in any group gives up.
That said I don't think going in to desktop support/network admin if you can't get a CF job now is giving up. I came from this background myself, although I came into CF at a time when it was still a relatively unknown field.
I think CF employers will see mainstream IT as valid experience, particularly the corporate employers. They will do more work with big companies and if you've ever been an admin for a large business network, you'll know how different hardware/software/policies exist from one company to another and how you can't just waltz in off the street and get to grips with it.
If you are familiar with these systems and you are completely confident with them, particularly in a job where we can't utilise the IT staff, (perhaps because of trust), then you have a good chance of walking away with the necessary data. By contrast someone with only CF experience would struggle to understand the architecture the company are using having never managed those systems themselves.
I would choose to add this post as a cautionary tale for those thinking of starting a CF degree. There have been threads on FF discussing this before where employers were anticipating an over-supply of graduates for the jobs available. Now if graduates are saying the market is over-populated with CF trained graduates then it really is.
I do think things will pick up a little after the recession ends but I don't see that ending sonner than 5 years. There is so much mess to sort out in the UK, the Eurozone and in many other countries around the world. Smart employers will recognise there are good candidates that couldn't get the right jobs during this time, but they did get work, they worked hard and if necessary they weren't too proud to roll their sleeves up and get dirty. Such determination says something about that person. So I would encourage you to keep applying and to get yourself into the most suitable work you can and work your socks off for that employer.
This does sound a bit like a pep talk following bad news, it isn't bad news yet, you've applied for jobs as you've said and you might be successful.
Steve Falkner, Forensic Computer Examiner, Computer Systems Laboratory, Metropolitan Police, London, UK
- Senior Member
- steve862That said I don't think going in to desktop support/network admin if you can't get a CF job now is giving up...I think CF employers will see mainstream IT as valid experience, particularly the corporate employers
Fully agree with this. Gaining sys/network admin experience is definitely not time wasted, even if your ultimate goal is still CF further down the line.
- Site Admin
I would probably recommend doing some entry level certification if you want to go down the tech, admin route. A+, Network+ and a Microsoft cert such as desktop support technician windows 7 could help you. I would advoid doing any Cisco certification unless your using the kit already.
There are a few technican type roles in Cardiff atm as well as Bristol, have you considered graduate schemes? Or the London Met?
I can relate to your post. I have just finished my course---I worked very very hard and also did a placement that should have had a salary but this was cut at the last minute because of the economic climate.
The train journey to get to the placement took me 2 hours there and back.
It has cost me a great deal of money to complete and I too have been wondering whether it was worth it as winter rears it's head and my boiler has broken down.
I think it is a bit disheartening.
However I'm not going to give up because I really enjoy forensics--even if I never get a job I will continue reading about it. I am just going to keep applying for jobs and also do a bit of voluntary work in the mean time. I am also going to continue to study on my own as a way to build my confidence when going to interviews.
Times are hard at the moment I think but good luck CCFC. Don't give up if forensics is what you want.
By spending a 1 - 2 years in the general IT field will help you greatly and enhance your selling points.