Digital forensics is a quickly growing field. From the criminal justice system to internal auditing, digital forensics professionals are specialized in the art of finding hidden data on computer systems. Getting a job in digital forensics doesn't have to take a long time, but there are some prerequisites that you'll have to meet.
Begin With a Degree in a Computer-Related Field
To start in digital forensics, you should generally have either an associate's or a bachelor's degree in a related field, such as computer science or computer engineering. If you don't have a degree, you may need to have a significant amount of experience.
A degree isn't always necessary: technically, most digital forensics jobs only require a G.E.D. or a high school diploma. To be competitive within the field, however, a computer-related degree is generally advised.
Get Certification for Digital Forensics
Through a series of tests, you can acquire certification as a forensic analyst. Certification is required for most positions, especially government positions, as it shows that you have real and functional knowledge regarding digital forensics.
You don't need to acquire this certification on your own. Instead, you can go through a certification course that teaches you everything on the test before you actually take it. These courses can be up to a year long and will prepare you for entry into the field. Some of these courses will also help you get a position after you graduate, while others are purely preparatory.
Start Acquiring Work Within the Field
You may not get hired immediately for digital forensics, but you should look for a job in a computer-related field. Often, a forensics expert may start as a help desk technician or a network administrator in order to start working with computer systems.
Digital forensics is an advanced position, and it's a position that usually requires some level of experience and savvy with technology. In order to progress along your career track, you may need to begin in an entry-level position within the tech field.
Many digital forensics computer scientists work for the government in law enforcement; this can be a good place for someone interested in the field to start.
Like many technology-focused positions, digital forensics allows for some significant mobility. Even if you decide not to move into digital forensics itself, you can often find a position in a computer-related field. You can get started by looking into the degree and certification process and then looking for digital forensics job opportunities.