Bachelor's degree programs in biometrics are rare, and are more commonly offered as concentration or major options through broader programs like computer science or electrical engineering. At the master's level, students may have better odds enrolling in programs like computer information systems or bioinformatics. These degrees may be available entirely online or through hybrid/completion programs.
Graduate certificate programs in the specific field of biometrics are more common. Students may also enroll in one-semester graduate certificate programs in related fields, like information security. A bachelor's degree in a related field is required for admission to such programs.
Bachelor of Science Programs Covering Biometrics
Undergraduate biometric systems or biometric security programs are extremely uncommon, but may be found through computer science and electrical engineering departments. Data mining, pattern recognition, the foundations of security, and the legal implications of privacy are commonly taught in these programs.
Biometric devices combine databases, which store biometric information to be compared against, with physical scanners and software to convert scanned information into cross-referenceable digital forms. As preparation for applying technological advances to healthcare, banking, and homeland security, programs may offer training in:
- Database design
- Forensic statistics
- Image processing
Graduate Certificates in Biometrics
While keys and passwords can be lost, forgotten, replicated, or stolen, biometric authentication requires an inherent part of a physiological being. Iris feature analysis, DNA matching, and voice recognition are examples of the use of human characteristics to replace passwords or make the process of logging in more secure.
Biometrics helps law enforcement professionals to perform virtual 3-D forensic facial reconstructions from 2-D images. In order to prepare graduates for careers in information security and human-computer interfacing, programs may offer courses covering:
- Biometrics computing
- Computer graphics
- Data mining
- Pattern recognition
Find schools that offer these popular programs
- Biotechnology, General
Master of Science Programs Covering Biometrics
Training in biometrics and biometry is available through computer science and biostatistics departments. These programs offer coursework in distributed computing, bioinformatics, network security, and databases. The completion of a final thesis paper or project, demonstrating a command of relevant concepts like data mining, information security, and technology, is required of graduate students.
Master's degree programs with options in biometrics focus on the combination of computer applications, statistics, and medical information to produce unique scientific results. Students can study concepts like:
- Database systems
- Image processing
- Interactive system design
- Programming language
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), statisticians could expect a 34% rise in employment opportunities for the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). The same source showed that these professionals earned $80,110 as a median annual salary as of May 2015.
The May 2015 BLS reports showed that the highest levels of employment for the 29,870 statisticians were in the federal government and the research and development fields. Graduate-degree holders were qualified to work as:
- Biometric intelligence analysts
- Social networking analysts
- Statistical programmers
Doctoral programs in biostatistics are available, as are Ph.D. programs in computer science and engineering, where students can focus on biometrics. Students entering doctoral programs with no prior graduate training in a relevant field may be initially placed in a master's track, but they are generally encouraged to apply.
Students can enroll in bachelor's, master's, and graduate certificate programs in biometrics or related fields to learn about the security, safety, and procedures related to corporeal analysis. Doctorate programs are available for those wishing to continue their education.