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Career in Digital Forensics - Age?

ched999uk
(@ched999uk)
New Member

I am 45. I was trained by MoD as electronic engineer (HNC). Worked on instrumentation, data acquisition, etc. Dabbled in Pascal, C+,Java, HTML,php, visual basic to name but a few. Have some hardware and basic networking skills. I enjoy solving problems, am logical and love procedures.
Anyway am I too old to start a course?
Blackpool college (Lancaster uni) runs a 2 year computer forensic course. I believe I can do 3rd year to extend qualification.

Am I being silly at my age?

Thanks for any advice.

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Topic starter Posted : 23/12/2014 5:27 am
BitHead
(@bithead)
Community Legend

You are never too old to change careers.

With your EE, some general forensic training (mostly procedural and legal), and some specialized tool training you could make the switch to a specialized field like hard drive repair/forensics, JTAG/chip-off cell phone forensics, or some of the other specialties that require that electronics experience fairly easily.

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Posted : 23/12/2014 6:25 am
ched999uk
(@ched999uk)
New Member

Thanks for reply. Other than a few home repairs I haven't touched a soldering iron for 20 years -) I spent last 9 years running holiday apartments. Before that 10 years on Trusted Solaris, making updates to C+, Pascal code and managing real time data acquisition and calc systems on developing jet/gas turbines.
I definitely enjoy solving software problems, so I was thinking of going into the computer forensic side of things. I am slightly worried about going back into education and then getting a job. I am guessing I will have to pay all fees but I can still run my business as it fits with terms.
Thanks.

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Topic starter Posted : 23/12/2014 7:03 am
BraindeadVirtually
(@braindeadvirtually)
Active Member

Thanks for reply. Other than a few home repairs I haven't touched a soldering iron for 20 years -) I spent last 9 years running holiday apartments. Before that 10 years on Trusted Solaris, making updates to C+, Pascal code and managing real time data acquisition and calc systems on developing jet/gas turbines.
I definitely enjoy solving software problems, so I was thinking of going into the computer forensic side of things. I am slightly worried about going back into education and then getting a job. I am guessing I will have to pay all fees but I can still run my business as it fits with terms.
Thanks.

Definitely not too old. Age can be a real benefit if it comes with experience and maturity - your background is interesting and would likely be very different to those on your course, in a good way. When it comes to getting a job after the course, the fact that you have real life experience and can seemingly prove an interest in technology will already set you apart from some of the competition. Good luck whatever you choose!

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Posted : 05/01/2015 11:59 pm
GlosSteveC
(@glosstevec)
New Member

For what it is worth and I think it is little personally, I was in a UK Police Force (Fraud Squad) when I got the call in 1995 (I was 41yrs) to computer crime - I had no experience or knowledge or training, I was just the most junior DC on the Squad.
I struggled by and in 1997 I was also tasked with forensics but by this time I had a fair idea of the depth of my ignorance and signed up at the local Uni (Coll of Higher Education at that time) and (now 43) did a HNC in BIT over 2 years (night school).
I then expanded that to a BSc in Computing with IT in 1999 (now 44 still at night school now at the newly born Uni) and was hit by Operation Ore [a huge Paedophile Op that meant some semesters I had to take sabbaticals] until I graduated in 2007 (now 53).
I simultaneously undertook post grad studies in forensic computing, vendor based courses (EnCase and AccessData) and specialist courses by third party providers and I am still doing so (now aged 60).
I guess what I am saying is 45 is not too old but don't think one course will sort it - this is a dynamic and literally ever changing subject and it also has various specialisms that you may wish to explore and to keep up to date you will be studying and experimenting all the time.
Good luck!

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Posted : 06/01/2015 1:27 pm
ched999uk
(@ched999uk)
New Member

GlosSteveC Thanks very much. That is very helpful. I have always had to continuously study during my career, so that's no problem.
My problem now is that the local uni that were doing the course in Computer Forensics in 2015 are no longer running the course!!!

So I will have to see what else is available either online or locally.

Thanks very much for all the replies, they really do help encourage me that I am not too old -)

Cheers

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Topic starter Posted : 06/01/2015 5:41 pm
BitHead
(@bithead)
Community Legend

There are quite a few online resources you could use to gain training and some certifications if Uni is not an option. SANS is probably one of the bigger providers but certainly not the only one. The good thing about SANS is they are tool independent where classes by Guidance or AccessData focus on how to perform push button forensics with their tools.

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Posted : 07/01/2015 5:57 am
MrPeabody
(@mrpeabody)
New Member

Another 45yo career-changer here. Except that I'm coming from a seemingly less related background than most of you (audio). I did the CCE Bootcamp self-study and got my CCE last year. But now I have no idea which way to go really. The field seems so vast, between CF for LE, mobile forensics, CF for IT, web-based, cloud-based, CF for archives, etc. I have no idea what to concentrate on – or even where to begin finding the work experience for it. Obviously just having a CCE and one or two CompTIA certs won't do it. Does anybody really have ALL this stuff down?

Like ched999uk, I also enjoy problem solving, but not testifying in court. I could definitely use some suggestions, as it's damn near paralyzing trying to figure out where I can best concentrate my efforts and get off the ground ASAP. I would really like to do CF in archival work, but I've found very little on that subject anywhere.

I'm hoping what redcat said is true – that real-world experience and a slightly different background is valued.

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Posted : 27/01/2015 11:07 am
erpam
(@erpam)
New Member

Hey ched999uk, you might want to check this one out, it is a Master of Science course in digital investigation and computer forensics from University College Dublin that you can attend online.

I am a recent graduate and I strongly recommend it. Good luck.

Here is the link.

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Posted : 03/02/2015 2:20 pm
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