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Help with beggining a cf career  

New Member

Hi I'm new to this site but I was wondering if you could please give me some advice.
I’m a student who’s soon going to enter my second year of my courses and start applying for university's so it is essential that I start thinking of courses that will allow me to progress to the career I want. Unfortunately I can’t seem to find much advice about becoming a Digital Forensic Scientist. All the university’s I look at say their courses provide a good grounding in the subject however the only employer I can find (FSS) implies that they prefer someone with a pure degree.
So in your opinion is it easier to get employment and be good at your job if you do a specifically designed course at a university such as Teeside for example, or is it easier if you do a pure degree such as electronic/electrical engineering or a computer related degree then receive on the job training.
Finally if the latter were the better option can anyone recommend a type of course that they believe would be suitable.
Thanks in advance.

Posted : 31/07/2006 6:12 am
New Member

ok then would would you like to be called? Is there anyone on here that can give me some advice please, also woudl it be possibel for an admin to move this to the corect thread as i only found the training thread after posting this?

Posted : 04/08/2006 7:42 pm
Community Legend


The differences in the US and the UK aside, I'll offer up my opinion on that matter…

I've worked in the security arena for a while, and I've done different things…worked as a consultant, led teams on-site to do vulnerability assessments, pen tests, forensic/IR engagements, etc. I've also worked in full time employment (FTE) positions where I was the security admin/engineer for the company, and I worked with sysadmins, HR, senior mgmt, etc.

I've also been in positions, as I am now, where I have input into who we seek out for inclusion in the team. I'll tell you what I look for in someone starting out…

1. Can you do the things you claim to be able to do on your resume? Certs don't concern me…I want to know if you can actually do the things you say. When I started my current job, I made it clear to my boss and the team that I hadn't imaged systems in a while, and that I'd never done RAID. I'm not going to lie and say I did, and then go on-site and muck up an engagement.

2. How's your composure, and how do you conduct yourself professionally? Are you going to knod your head at me in team meetings, but then turn around an question or contradict me in front of the customer?

3. Do you have any experience writing? If not, how interested are you in picking it up? After all, all the technical work in the world is worthless if you can't provide a report to the customer that they can understand and use.

My point is that no one can be an expert in everything. I would much rather have a moderately technical person who is willing and able to learn, than someone who can translate binary to hex in their head and code exploits in assembly, but can't communicate (particularly to the customer).

I would suggest that besides coursework, look to internships and employment during school that will put you in the position to learn these things. Anyone can be taught to image systems. The things that are harder to teach and only come with experience are those things that I would much rather guide you through myself.

Posted : 04/08/2006 8:44 pm
Senior Member

If you speak to anybody working in biology or medical fields, do you
hear them calling people working in DNA labs "scientists"? h**l no!
Most people who process DNA evidence barely make more than 30K
a year and those people are the bottom of the barrel in terms of
qualifications and abilities.

It's amazing to me that people put so much faith into DNA evidence
when the people who process it and handle it are complete morons.

I would sincerely hope, however, that they would not be so discourteous and unprofessional as to call any of us morons.


With regards to your degree. there has been some discussion of the value of certain BSc degrees in the UK on another board. All I can say as prospective employer is that if I was looking for a recent grad then someone with forensics of any kind in a list of modules studied would of course attract my attention. I would also want to see some sort of low level coding experience. Finally I would want to see, or be impressed to see, at interview, some evidence that the candidate had gone off on their own and learnt 'stuff' outside of the syllabus; whether this be by writing some code to follow a FAT or a partial reverse engineer of something.

Posted : 04/08/2006 8:58 pm
New Member

Thanks guys, its been hard to find advice on this and the fss are useless. They would be so much more useful if they would give out an email so questions can be ansewred.
I think im going to do a bsc in forensics at teeside, or a course at sunderland as they teach hacking so that a student knows what to look for better. Well either those or a forensic chemistry course i love computers and all things tech but i aint sure which would offer a more fruitfull career.

Posted : 09/08/2006 9:11 am