Students seeking a four-year bachelor's degree in computer forensics can enroll in programs such as a Bachelor of Science in Computer Forensics, a Bachelor of Science in Digital Forensics, or a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems. The coursework in these programs gives students the skills necessary to collect and analyze digital evidence, implement security systems for computer networks, identify pressing computer security risks, and develop firewall systems. Most schools offering programs in computer and digital forensics provide students with access to state-of-the-art labs and technology so they receive the most cutting-edge information in the field.
A high school education is needed to apply to these programs; some schools also include prerequisite courses in computer fundamentals and mathematics.
Bachelor's Degree in Computer Forensics
A bachelor's degree program in computer forensics helps students acquire a solid background in both computer systems and the criminal justice system; therefore, the courses focus both on computer information systems and law enforcement procedures. Some common class topics are listed below:
- Criminal procedure
- Criminal law
- Crime scene investigation
- Computer information systems
- Database management systems
Popular Career Options
Computer forensics professionals are valuable in both the worlds of criminal justice and business security. Some common job titles available to graduates of a computer forensics program include:
- Computer forensics technician
- Computer information security analyst
- Networks and systems administrator
- Technical support specialist
Job Outlook and Salary Information
Information security analysts earned a median annual income of $90,120, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) in May 2015. Employment of information security analysts is expected to increase by 18% between 2014 and 2024, states the BLS (www.bls.gov).
Continuing Education Information
There are some universities offering advanced degree and certificate programs in the field of digital and computer forensics. Students and professionals interested in enhancing their skills in the field can opt to enroll in a Professional Certificate in Digital Forensics program, a master's degree program in computer science with a digital forensics concentration or even a Ph.D. in Digital Forensics program. These degrees often focus on new and developing research in the field and allow students and professionals to stay up-to-date on advancements in computer protection and detection.
Computer forensics bachelor's degree programs prepare students for a variety of jobs working with technology in and out of the forensics field. Completing this degree can potentially give students the foundation they need to pursue advanced degrees and certificates as well.