Forensic Science is a quickly evolving and changing field that incorporates the latest technologies and science to help solve crime scenes. Being up to date in this field requires continuing education and a drive to be current.
Forensic scientists take continuing education courses throughout their careers to keep up with advancements in the field. They can attend seminars, workshops and courses at colleges, technical schools, government agencies and professional organizations. The field is constantly updating as a result of newer technology that may be available and updated ways of analyzing DNA, so continuing education allows forensic scientists to stay up to date and relevant to the field. Some courses will result in continuing education units, while others result in graduate credits. Because continuing education is for working professionals, courses are often available online or scheduled in evenings and on weekends. More information is found below.
Programs at a Glance
• The program is the Forensic Science Academy for Professionals offered at West Virginia University.
• The program is blocked in six week course-lengths and is offered online.
• The six week blocks contain several groups of classes that need to be completed in that time period (certifications in each area available).
• There are individual courses available on-site in 3-7 day lengths.
Continuing education for forensic scientists can be found as individual classes on specific subjects, certificate programs with several classes covering an area of forensics or annual training events that cover multiple topics in one period of time. Courses cover a wide variety of topics related to criminal justice and forensic chemistry, biology and technology. A few specific topics covered include evidence collection, toxicology, bloodborne pathogens, ethics in forensic science, hair evaluation and DNA analysis, and forensic mass spectrometry.
The cost for continuing education programs varies by the type of program and the program sponsor. Programs supported by federal funding are often offered for free or at a low cost. Forensic scientists taking graduate courses for credit must pay the per-credit tuition at the school they choose.
Benefits of Continuing Education
Science and technology are constantly changing and so participating in continuing education programs can help forensic scientists keep current. It could also improve their chances of career advancement or pay increases. Another added benefit of taking continuing education courses is meeting other professionals who have similar interests and making professional connections.
Forensic Science adult programs allow busy, working adults to stay current in the field of forensic science and still continue working in the field they love. Courses are available on-site and online to enable the learner to work in a pace and environment that works better for them. These continuing education courses allow the student to stay current in the field and advance in their careers.