Updated November 30, 2022 · 2 Min Read

Learn what to expect along the path to becoming a Computer Forensic Investigator, including required education and job outlook. is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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Thanks to computerized crime-fighting solutions, forensic investigators have been able carry out investigations with a dramatically higher level of precision than what was possible in the investigative world of yesteryear. Through computer forensics, all cases be examined with a level of scrutiny that may have at one time seemed entirely inconceivable.

Near the beginning of the millennium, both the general public and law enforcement were largely caught off-guard by the advent of a new wave of cyber criminals who took advantage of the young internet's relative vulnerability to the earliest and least refined virtual security breach methods. For a time, addressing the issue of computer-based crime had been an area of constant ambiguity and unending frustration for transitional criminal investigators who simply weren't familiar enough with the kind of computational knowledge required to address said issues and resolve successfully.

Thankfully, the justice system's ability to enforce laws broken through digital devices and collect crucial digital evidence has been greatly streamlined by computer forensic investigators who have come of age in an era where a digital workflow feels as natural as the elements.

Covering All Criminological Bases With Computerized Power

With the skills of a dependable computer forensic investigator, not only can cyber crimes be tackled more effectively, but any and all evidence within locked computer devices owned by the perpetrators of physically based crimes can be accessed much more easily.

Computerized forensic solutions have opened the door to an entirely new dimension of investigative thoroughness. Armed with the power to both fully excavate computer-encased evidence and carry out countermeasures against computer-based crimes, today's computer forensic investigators create a far greater chance of apprehending criminals who may have otherwise never been at risk of being held accountable for their actions.

If you are interested in becoming credentialed as a computer forensic investigator yourself, then you will want to keep the following qualifications and education requirements in mind.

Education Requirements

The standard entry-level education requirement for any who wish to pursue a career in computer forensics is a bachelor's degree, and understandably, most undergraduates who aspire to enter the computer forensics field tend to specifically pursue a computer forensics major. Aside from earning the major that is specifically named for the computer forensics field itself, prospective computer forensics investigators may also earn a degree in a very closely related field such as computer science or criminology.

In addition to earning a bachelor's degree, computer forensic investigators are usually also required to possess a form of professional certification such as EnCase Certified Examiner (EnCE). The specific kind of certification required to begin work in the computer forensics field will oftentimes be left up to the discretion of the station, and in some states, computer forensic investigators may also need to earn additional special licensure to be permitted to conduct private investigations.

Necessary Skills And Traits

It is generally desired that candidates for a vacant computer forensics role possess anywhere from one to four years of professional experience in law enforcement before being taken aboard. Ideally, computer forensics investigators will posses well-polished problem-solving skills, a highly resourceful approach to unexpected challenges, a well-rounded pool of technological skills and full comprehension of all the vital legal regulations of the criminal investigation process.

In addition to being resourceful problem solvers, computer forensic investigators will be much more effective in their role with strong communication skills and the mental steadfastness to handle cases that may be more drawn out and difficult to solve than others. Though a great deal of their work may be done at a desk, competent computer forensic investigators must comfortable with engaging a diverse variety of personalities on the force to facilitate stronger team cohesion and clear comprehension of their findings.

Related resource:

Top 19 Cheap Online Master's and MBA in Information Technology and Information Systems Degree Programs

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