Careers in Computer Forensics

Computer Forensics Specialists Job Description

Computer forensics, or digital forensics, is a fairly new field. Generally, computer forensics specialists, also known as computer forensics investigators or computer forensics examiners, are charged with uncovering and describing the state or existence of a digital artifact, including computer systems, hard drives, CDs, and other storage devices, and electronic documents and files (like e-mails and JPEG images). The fast-growing field of computer forensics includes several smaller branches related to firewalls, networks, databases, and mobile devices.

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Computer forensic examiners may provide many services, from investigating computer systems and data in order to present information for legal cases to determining how an unauthorized user hacked into a system to gathering digital information that will assist in the termination of an employee. The computer forensics examiner does many things in the course of these tasks – protects the computer system, recovers all files (including those that were deleted or password-protected), analyzes all data found on various disks, and provides reports, feedback, and even testimony, when required. A computer forensics degree will help you develop the skills necessary for a successful career.

Computer Forensics Specialists Salary

The salary range for computer forensics specialists and investigators varies widely, depending upon whether the job is in the private sector or the public sector. The Bureau of Labor Statistics doesn’t provide salary data for computer forensic specialists but does provide data for the related occupation of information security analysts who earn a median salary of $86,170 per year.1

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Computer Forensics Specialists Career Outlook

The employment outlook for computer forensic examiners and investigators is favorable due to the rapid growth of crimes involving computers. According to the BLS, the related occupation of information security analysts is expected to grow by 37% for the decade from 2012-2022.1

Featured Cybersecurity and Criminal Justice Programs

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American InterContinental University Online
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor's (BIT) - Digital Investigation
  • Bachelor's (BIT) - Computer Forensics
  • Master's (MIT) - Information Assurance and Security

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Florida Tech University Online
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Certificate/Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • Master of Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity
  • Master of Science in Information Technology in Cybersecurity

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Capella University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • PhD - Information Assurance and Security
  • PhD - Information Technology General
  • BS - Information Technology General

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Liberty University
Campuses: 1Online
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  • MS in Cyber Security

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Walden University
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • B.S. in Criminal Justice - Computer Information Systems and Security
  • Masters of Information Systems Management - Enterprise Information Security
  • M.S. in Information Technology - Information Security

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Colorado Technical University Online
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Security:Information Assurance
  • Bachelor of Science - Cyber Security:Computer Systems Security
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy

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Virginia College
Campuses: 1Online
Popular Degrees:

  • MS - Cybersecurity


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References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/computer-and-information-technology/information-security-analysts.htm

Page Edited by Charles Sipe.