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UK Qualification question

Discussion of computer forensics employment and career issues.
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UK Qualification question

Post Posted: Feb 08, 07 18:57

Hi All

Looking for a bit of advice

I have been going through some of the courses on offer in the UK for Computer Forensics (non-uni) but am still unsure on what is the best step to take, while they seem to cover similar course material I was wondering which letters were seen as more the industry standard?

Thanks in advance for any help that can be offered



Re: UK Qualification question

Post Posted: Feb 08, 07 20:22


You ask a simple question. The answer is not so and will depend on what your prospective employer is looking for. Generally speaking, unless you undertake a placement or enrol in a sandwich course, you will be deemed to have no experience. Accordingly, you should expect to start at the entry level, concentrating on data processing, manipulation and presentation. A good forensic IT practice will not allow you to undertake any forensic activity such as imaging until (a) you have been properly trained - preferably by the vendor and (b) you have been assessed for you abililty to adapt, follow rules, keep good notes and present yourself to a client. The ACPO Guidelines outline the basic tenets of Forensic IT Methodology and practice. I recommend that you read them.

In practice (and in most professions) the attainment of a good qualification provides a greater opportunity to open the door to an interview. An MSc or BSc can be seen to indicate that the candidate is dedicated, knows how to research; can think coherently; and ultimately present their thoughts precisely in word and on paper.

At the entry level you should expect a new technical challenge on a daily basis. Quite simply, you do not know what you are going to encounter at a client site. Operating systems may be deployed across complex infrastructures; encryption and password protection may be utilised; documents may contain mixed character sets; bespoke applications may prevail; the hardware could be faulty; and so it goes on. whether you are on site or back at the laboratory/office - you will need to be able to deal with the data that presents itself to you.

As an employer, I look for people who are yes, well educated but more importantly, have enthusiasm for the subject; know when to say they don't know something; ask incisve questions and are prepared to research and solve problems - testing results as they go.

On a CV (at entry level) I am looking for evidence of use of forensic data capture tools such as EnCase and FTK; a knowledge of operating systems; evidence of programming skills; a thorough understanding of how computers work; as well as the usual knowledge of how to use most common office and internet applications.

You asked the question "which letters are seen as more the industry standard?" The industry is still growing. Employers are looking for talent, drive and enthusiasm. The qualification (or cv line items) should help you to demonstrate these traits.

Good Luck



Re: UK Qualification question

Post Posted: Feb 17, 07 21:58

Hi Stu

I'm kind of in the same situation as you, in that I've been trying to decide which training to take and therefore which certification to get. But, I think I've decided. After several emails between myself and Richard Lloyd from the CCE-UK, I have chosen to take the online CCE course and then take the exam and hopefully gain the CCE certification.

My main concern is job hunting once I'm qualified, as there are no guarantee's that I'll get a job with just that certification. My background is in IT support for the past ten years, so I know the technology well (DOS, NTFS, file systems etc..) but obviously there is much more to it than that.

I hope I am doing the right thing as I would love to get a job in CF or security, rather than just doing support.

If anyone has any other advise, please let me know! Thanks.


PS, Richard Lloyd from CCE-UK was very helpful and I'm sure he would be happy to help you decide!  

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