Programs in economic crime investigation build on concepts such as accounting, finance and general economics, so students can better understand ethical business practices and, in turn, identify when and how those practices are exploited. Students also explore the fundamentals of criminal justice and investigative techniques, including criminal law and technology. Online training is available. Applicants for the 4-year bachelor's degree programs need a high school diploma or equivalent.
Bachelor's Degree in Economic Crime Investigation
In addition to lecture-based courses, students in economic crime investigation bachelor's programs have access to labs where they can utilize investigative tools and assess computer evidence. Internships give students gain practical experience in applying classroom knowledge and training. Coursework may include:
- Fundamentals of criminal law
- Fundamentals of accounting and statistics
- Investigative practices, including digital forensics
- Information and computer network security
- Cyber and white-collar crime
Popular Career Options
Upon graduation, students gain the knowledge, skill and experience to pursue entry-level positions immediately. Possible career titles include:
- Fraud investigator
- Computer security analyst
- Loss prevention consultant
- Financial investigator
Career Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment of private detectives and investigators, which includes financial investigators, is expected to increase by 5% between 2014 and 2024 (www.bls.gov). This growth is as fast as the average for all other occupations, and is attributed to an increased need to protect confidential information of all types, the BLS noted. While the BLS does not have an annual median salary listed for economic crime investigators, the annual median salary for all private detectives and investigators was $45,610 as of May 2015.
While graduate programs in economic crime investigation are not commonly available, there are master's and doctorate programs in criminal justice that may be focused on economic crime. These programs concentrate on research and independent investigation that are based on theories and contemporary investigative practices.
Students pursuing a bachelor's degree in economic crime investigation will study business and ethical practices, as well as criminal law to work as financial investigators. Graduates are prepared for entry-level jobs and can expect positive job growth in the field.