Students interested in combating crime carried out using computers and the Internet can find fully online options at both traditional four-year colleges and private online schools. Undergraduate and graduate certificates - which usually take about a year to earn - are available in cyber crime, cyber investigations and digital forensics. Some online programs in criminal justice may also include coursework in cyber crime studies.
Undergraduate certificate programs typically do not have many admission requirements beyond having a high school diploma or GED. Those seeking graduate-level training in cyber crime, however, must have a bachelor's degree to be eligible for enrollment. Schools offering graduate certificates in this field may also require students to submit personal statements and resumes.
Information and Requirements
Most distance learning certificate programs in cyber crime studies can be completed fully online. Participants take courses and follow lectures available through their school's online course management systems. These can be viewed live or through previously recorded formats. Lessons, assignments and tests can also be completed and turned in at a time that fits students' schedules, as long as they stick to course due dates. Discussion boards and class chat rooms allow distance learners and their instructors to interact or hold discussions.
Cyber crime studies scholars learn to use technology to track crimes such as data hacking and identity theft. In an online undergraduate certificate program, students learn to identify types of crime and examine the evidence left behind, such as trails left on the Web. They are tasked not only with gathering evidence, but efficiently presenting it in a court of law.
Undergraduate certificates typically require 15-18 credits of coursework, and topics can include:
- Cyber Crime
- Internet Topics
- Information Security and Assurance
- Cyber Law and Privacy
- Computer Forensics
Graduate certificate programs in cyber crime studies are sometimes geared towards criminal justice professionals needing specialized training in this area, but they're also available to those seeking to enter the field. These online programs usually require about 18 credits. Individuals who decide to continue studying cyber crimes can put their course credits toward a master's degree or advanced diploma program.
Distance learners completing a graduate certificate in cyber crime studies focus on advanced topics in the field of computer science, criminal justice and investigation. They take courses that enable them to not only track criminals but also prevent crimes, including:
- Seizure and Examination of Computer Systems
- Computer Security
- Cyber Crime Forensics
- Forensic Experts
Students who want to direct their careers toward the prevention of computer security threats and the response to hacks when they happen can earn an online undergraduate or graduate certificate in cybercrime.