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Hi, Advice please, Courses, Job prospects, Life !

Discussion of computer forensics employment and career issues.
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hewpew
Newbie
 

Hi, Advice please, Courses, Job prospects, Life !

Post Posted: Nov 02, 06 22:43

Hi there,

Im in the process of sorting my UCAS out for 2007 uni entry, CF looks very interesting but there are still a good few things puzzling me and am looking for some advice please. I have been looking into Forensic Computing at the Uni of Chester, with a possibility of Combined Honours with Criminology, Opinions ?? I have also been looking into what the graduate options are ?? Is it easy to get a job, is prostgrad study advised ? and What are the salaries like ?
Any Advice would be of great help,
Thanks Huw

e-mail - hewpew @ hotmail.com  
 
  

steve862
Senior Member
 

Re: Hi, Advice please, Courses, Job prospects, Life !

Post Posted: Nov 02, 06 23:33

Huw,

There have been a few similar threads in this forum over the recent months and if you havent read those I would recommend reading through them, especially the one on the end of this link www.forensicfocus.com/...pic&t=1071

The advice I gave then is perhaps better suited to you than the original poster in this message in that we are both UK based.

I really would recommend a general computing degree whether you are going into a differnet computer related field or into computer forensics. To specialise too much at this early stage will result in you missing out on so much that is important. As I say in my advice in that thread to iamapyro, "you could find yourself pitted against an opposite forensic examiner who used to work as a systems admin on the very systems you are examinning". Who would the jury believe? the examiner who had worked on the system for years or the examiner with the forensics degree?

I would guess very few people actually get into the career they want to be in in their early twenties. If this statement is true it could mean two things for you, firstly, that you have plenty of time to get into computer forensics and secondly that if you decided you didnt like it, would your degree get you into network admin, IT support, database admin etc, etc?

In terms of saleries the bulk of the jobs in this career pay about the same as a systems admin, senior IT support officer or low level IT manager in the first 2-10 years, with the possiblity of earning more from as little as 3 years onwards.

Be aware also that a significant amount of work will involve viewing the computers of paedophiles, who may have picture and video files that are extremely graphic. They can be very unpleasant but of course working on these cases also allows you the chance to identify other offenders and perhaps other victims, something that can make the unpleaseant side worth it.

It is a good career but I would suggest a mainstream computer degree in the first instance. It's definately what I would do if I was in your position but having the knowledge I have now.

Steve
_________________
Forensic Computer Examiner, London, UK 
 
  

hewpew
Newbie
 

Re: Hi, Advice please, Courses, Job prospects, Life !

Post Posted: Nov 03, 06 00:41

thank you very much, tis apprechiated to have an unbiased (unis are terrable for showing only the good sides of everything and being very selective with sats!) and a voice of experience also

thank you huw  
 
  

AUDIOleaf
Newbie
 

Re: Hi, Advice please, Courses, Job prospects, Life !

Post Posted: Dec 05, 06 02:51

I would Like to say that I read what you wrote steve862 and I think you helped me out a little too. See i'm also in my early 20's and I'm going to ITT for an associates in computer networking systems. What I think is great, is that the average salary of students with this degree, is around 30K a year. What i'm still uncertain about is what to do after I recieve that degree. I know that I would really like to get into computer forensics, so i'm going down the right path, but should I get another degree in JUST computer forensics? or a certificate at a local community college? what bachelors degree would be most accepted by employers who hire me because of a assoc. degree in CNS???

I would appreciate any guidance. Thanks.

-charles  
 
  

steve862
Senior Member
 

Re: Hi, Advice please, Courses, Job prospects, Life !

Post Posted: Dec 05, 06 21:08

Audioleaf,

It's more difficult to advise you with regards your next move as I am not so familiar with what US employers are looking for. If there is a course you can do covering forensic computing that you feel has a sufficiently good reputation and is affordable then taking it will not be a waste of your time and money.

When you do go for an interview for a forensic computing job at some time in the future you are going to have to demonstrate knowledge of relevant laws, so a bit of research here will be good. You will be asked how you would deal with certain things, how you would find and interpeate data and how you would use this information once gained. You will also have to answer questions of a technical nature and you will need to show how you would turn the evidence you gain into a report.

If you consider all these things you will probably agree that much of this preparation can be done in your own free time by researching and testing. The qualifications will hopefully get you the interview and the knowledge from this research/testing will hopefully get you the job.

Steve
_________________
Forensic Computer Examiner, London, UK 
 
  

steve862
Senior Member
 

Re: Hi, Advice please, Courses, Job prospects, Life !

Post Posted: Dec 05, 06 21:08

Audioleaf,

It's more difficult to advise you with regards your next move as I am not so familiar with what US employers are looking for. If there is a course you can do covering forensic computing that you feel has a sufficiently good reputation and is affordable then taking it will not be a waste of your time and money.

When you do go for an interview for a forensic computing job at some time in the future you are going to have to demonstrate knowledge of relevant laws, so a bit of research here will be good. You will be asked how you would deal with certain things, how you would find and interpeate data and how you would use this information once gained. You will also have to answer questions of a technical nature and you will need to show how you would turn the evidence you gain into a report.

If you consider all these things you will probably agree that much of this preparation can be done in your own free time by researching and testing. The qualifications will hopefully get you the interview and the knowledge from this research/testing will hopefully get you the job.

Steve
_________________
Forensic Computer Examiner, London, UK 
 
  

AUDIOleaf
Newbie
 

Re: Hi, Advice please, Courses, Job prospects, Life !

Post Posted: Dec 07, 06 00:48

Thank you so much for the quick response. ROUGHLY knowing the kinds of qualifications they're looking for, helps me out so much (just because not every employer looks for the same thing) but it does help. I think gaining some experience in computer security would help and I think I am going to try and shoot for a certificate in CF at this local college along with some criminal justice classes. I really once again appreciate the help. I just wish I could find a place where I could intern with people that do what you do.

thanks again.

ps. just curious, how often is unix/linux used in the field?? I will be taking classes in each.  
 

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