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College Student needs help...

Discussion of computer forensics employment and career issues.
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College Student needs help...

Post Posted: Sep 12, 06 12:18

Hey everyone, I'm a college student at ITT taking a computer electronics and engineering or simply put an associate in applied science degree. After I am done with that, what should I focus a Bachelors degree in, in order for me to be ready to apply for a carreer in computer forensics? This kinda thing really interests me and its what I really want to do. I just don't know what else i'd need to be more prepared. THANKS!!!  

Senior Member

Re: College Student needs help...

Post Posted: Sep 12, 06 21:20

Look for a computer forensic program! There are numerous options available! I'm taking a on-line version from University of Champlain in Vermont.

If a computer forensic program is not available then opt for criminal justice. In my degree program there are only 8 classes that I consider are strictly CF related and 4 LE and 4 CS. The remaining classes are not college academic requirements.  


Re: College Student needs help...

Post Posted: Sep 12, 06 21:28

You will definitely want to find or create an opportunity for an internship with a firm or individual that performs forensic analysis. Even if you are simply wiping drives or something that may seem trivial at the time, you will be gaining valuable exposure and experience. Take every chance you can to try something new and take copius amounts of notes so that you can reference what you've learned when your'e trying to practice it again later.

As for your BS, you will want to focus on systems management or design. This is my opinion though and others will disagree. It depends a lot on what aspect of forensic investigations appeals to you most. If you're into the reconstruction of events, you will want lots of technical writing and analysis courses as well as some scripting language programming courses.

Knowing how the different operating systems boot and manage system files is important as well as how the different file systems work and what sorts of data they do or do not create when managing files.

A lot of schools are offering "a la carte" degrees anymore so you can just about design your own. I'd get with a transfer counselor soon and find out where your best target is and then get with their admissions counselors to find out how many credits they will accept and what you will be left with to get your BS degree.

Aside from formal schools you can find as many of these forums to sign up on and start reading the archives. Also, you can find at least two or three local forensic or investigative groups that have sites you can post to and read from. Membership to some of these groups is fairly open so you might also be able to do some networking and get even better information that is more applicable to your situation.

Again, just my $.02.



Re: College Student needs help...

Post Posted: Sep 28, 06 23:13

well thanks very much, that does help me. This school is making my head spin, its hard to stay focused on this goal when they're thowing different careers at my direction. I keep saying the only reason I want this degree is because I need to know a lot about computers in order to have a career in computer forensics. How legitimate is an online degree or certificate?? I'm kind of hesitant to try something like this online.  

Senior Member

Re: College Student needs help...

Post Posted: Sep 29, 06 10:39

If you are interested in any Online degree program I strongly suggest that you contact the school offering the program you like and ask for references of alumni or people that have taken the classes. Ask the school counselor to forward your questions and email to current students - that way the students can choose to reply or not.

You have confused me with your comments -- "I need to know a lot about computers ...". Any CF program is only going to be able to present you with a little more than basic fundmentals. In CF you get three fundmentals (criminal justice, Information Technology and Computer Security) all roled up into one program.

If you want to learn about computers stick with a Computer Science degree. I really do not think you have any real idea of what you want to do. There is nothing wrong with not knowing at this stage, you are young.

Use your 1st and 2nd year to test the waters. You may enjoy Web design or programming more than diagramming network traffic latency or developing system/subsystem specifications. There are many computer career paths to choose and all of them are equally difficult. Try different classes -- talk with students in other classes - ask to sit in or audit subjects you find interesting or want to know more about.  

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