10 Masters in Forensics Jobs and Careers
Masters in Forensics Jobs and Careers
A career in forensics can be a career in nursing, lab science, criminal justice, information technology, psychology, anthropology, or juvenile justice. All of them are related to the workings of the justice system, however, criminal and civil. Many of the computer forensics jobs today are in a sense internal auditing positions in large corporations looking for leaks in the cash flow system. Others are tracking cash and digital information flow in search of terrorists or white collar fraud experts; the techniques used to snare both types of criminals are often similar. Our list of jobs in forensics should be considered a list of general descriptions, taken from the types of job listings that are out there rather than specific positions. The skills gained with any forensics-oriented degree can be applied in a multitude of employment settings.
1. Crime Lab Analyst: This is one function of a forensic science graduate, in many cases the job description for an entry level position. Crime lab analysts handle samples and collected evidence in the lab environment, conducting tests or programming equipment that conducts tests.
2. Financial Crimes Investigator: The apex of this particular aspect of law enforcement is with the Secret Service, which is charged with the investigation of crimes associated with financial institutions. This work includes investigating credit card fraud, money laundering, illegal funds transfers, and related computer crimes. State and regional law enforcement bodies engage in this sort of investigation as well.
3. Court Evaluation Specialist: This position is for a forensic psychologist with knowledge of the criminal statutes relating to competency. Courts seek evaluations on defendants with questionable mental status on their competence to stand trial. A defendant must understand the procedures and be able to make decisions. This is one of several areas in which forensic psychologists provide expert opinion within the judicial system.
4. Forensic Nurse: RNs who gravitate to this field are often introduced to it in urban emergency rooms where victims of assault are first seen. The International Association of Forensic Nurses and the Forensic Nursing Certification Board offer training and certification for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, which is a requirement for some forensic nursing positions offered by treatment centers. Forensic nurses also work as legal consultants.
5. Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor: Jobs in this field are open to licensed counselors who have obtained degrees in other fields, but forensic psychology is particularly suited for this work. Vocational rehabilitation entails working with people who are returning to the work force from a period of mental or physical disability. Forensic psychology plays an important role in analyzing a client's challenges and motivation.
6. Identity Theft Investigator: The FBI has a division that is devoted to this high-tech crime that has taken on epidemic proportions and that involves sophisticated criminal organizations as well as individual hackers. Computer forensics experts that specialize in identity theft may find job opportunities with state and local agencies that have the manpower to staff a dedicated team for this crime.
7. Network Administration Forensics: This is a specialty that has developed with the increasing amount of data loss and data theft that has penetrated the corporate sector. There are firms today that augment their in-house network administration staff with a forensics expert who can work alongside the information assurance specialist in curbing illicit capture or use of proprietary data.
8. Forensic Accountant: Clearly this position requires an accounting degree at some level, but the forensics research associated with this work usually involves the search and inspection of digital records. Most accountants are trained in the use of accounting software and accounting networks; the next step is training in forensics investigation related to suspected criminal financial activity.
9. Forensic Consulting: Usually this work is focused on accounting and finance issues. The major accounting firms offer forensic services, which may be co-managed by an accounting or finance expert and a computer forensics professional. Below a certain size it does not make sense for a corporation to retain forensics professionals full time, so there are many reputable firms working in the field on a consulting basis.
10. Forensic Toxicology: This is a specialization for forensic scientists. It applies to criminal justice investigations, but there are also laboratories that specialize in drug tests for athletes, state and government agencies, employers who test job applicants, and elements of the food industry.