Computer Forensics Jobs

Computer forensics is a fast-growing career field, offering immense potential for jobs in law enforcement, military, intelligence agencies, corporations, and businesses. The job opportunities are skyrocketing, commensurate with the rapid spurt in computer crimes.

Computer crimes, in the beginning, had only a sporadic occurrence. Now, it has become a fact of life that has to be dealt with by law enforcement agencies. As computer applications and the Internet have become inseparable parts of life, the instances of wrong-doing with the help of computers are the order of the day.

For tackling crimes, the computers themselves have to be scanned thoroughly to determine whether they have been used for illegal or unauthorized activities or frauds.

This can be done only by computer forensic experts who gain the tools through on-the-job experience, certification programs, and other qualifications.

Computer forensic professionals are known by many titles, such as computer forensic investigators, digital media analysts, and digital forensics detectives. Each one describes the same career as it is concerned with the investigation of digital media.

A computer forensic specialist earns salaries ranging from $85,000 to $120,000 per year, depending upon one’s skills and experience and the company and organizations he works for. Private companies offer more lucrative salaries than law enforcement agencies.

A graduate degree in computer forensics can help advance the career, making one eligible for positions as forensic team leaders or bureau supervisors. Fifty percent of FBI jobs require computer forensic applications.

Consulting is an attractive field for computer forensic professionals, as they are independent and free agents. They take up assignments at will and charge hefty sums for their time spent on the job. They bill the client per hour. The hourly remuneration ranges from $375 to $600, depending upon the kind of job they complete.

There will be an ever-increasing demand for qualified security and computer forensic professionals. Computer and networking skills no longer suffice as security is of prime importance for the server, work station, or router.

How to Be a Qualified Computer Forensics Specialist

Digital Forensics Specialists are required by today’s world to determine the root cause of hackers’ attacks, protect corporate image as well its assets and collect evidence for legal proceeding. In order to be a qualified digital forensics, you need to obtain a degree qualification in computer forensics or any degree related to computer science, criminal justice or engineering.

Besides academic qualification, in order to be a qualified and competent professional, attending training courses is compulsory. At the moment, due to the high demand for digital forensics experts, there are many courses, either online or offline, offered through colleges and universities. These schools offer the most structured and hands-on learning to educate the future investigators.

Through these training programs, the candidates are exposed to all sorts of real world techniques, which include the proven investigation techniques, tracking skills, effective computer crime policy, recognition of offender, evidence handling procedures, computer forensics tools and law enforcement co-operation. The objective of pursuing the training is to help to establish all rounded digital forensics professionals.

Furthermore, the training has played an important role in preparing the candidates for industry recognized certifications. Currently, there are several digital forensics certifications in the market and they range in a variety of topics from computer crimes against children to file system recovery. The most popular ones are Certified Computer Forensics Examiner Certification, Certified Hacking Forensics Investigator Certification, Certified Electronic Evidence Collection Specialist, Certified Forensics Analyst and Certified Computer Examiner Certification.

In order to contribute yourself to cyber crime prevention, it would be ideal to obtain certification in this particular field. By gaining the certification, you are not only able to see the dark side of how computer crimes are committed; you are also able to bring the fraudsters to court.

What Does a Computer Forensics Analyst Do?

Basic Computer Forensics Analyst Duties:

The economy is struggling and jobs are hard to find. One field that is thriving is computer forensics which is, essentially, the discovery of data on electronic devices. A computer forensics analyst can have a lucrative and rewarding career involving many areas.

Many people think that just because you delete something off of your computer, or other device, that it’s gone forever. This is not true and more people are finding this out the hard way.

Minor cases that require the help of a computer forensics analyst include civil cases where an employer may want to monitor the daily activities of their employees to see how much company time is being wasted.

Email was the first thing introduced into office life that was later found to be a huge waste of time, while people are on the clock. It is still an extremely efficient and easy way to communicate in the work place but as more people own Blackberry’s and iPhone’s it has become a large scale issue among employers. Up to 50%, or more, of a work day can easily be wasted by emailing friends.

Another civil use for a computer forensics analyst includes spending too much time surfing the internet. Almost all companies have internet access that is supposed to be used for work purposes only. The fact of the matter is that a large percentage of internet time at work is actually for personal use.

If a company is suffering from these problems they call a digital forensics analyst. These professionals are able to come in and set up a program that can monitor one or all computers, on a server or within a company, and can pin point directly where the abuse is coming from. They can determine information such as who is logging in, what sites they are visiting and what kind of pictures or messages are being sent over email. All of this information is readily available to a trained professional.

Experienced Computer Forensics Analyst Duties:

As analyst’s gain more experience they typically move on to providing their services to law enforcement agencies. The police often use computer forensics to solve cases that involve computer or phone records. They may have an in house task force that is well trained in this area or they will outsource the work to forensics professionals that have a proven track record in solving cases.

During litigation a good computer forensics analyst will be able to give a thorough report on their findings and able to point out the relevance to the case. All pertinent information will be accessed and fully analyzed and when it’s time for their testimony they must be concise, clear and provide all information that will benefit the case. For this reason it is unlikely for the police, or any other agency, will hire an analyst without several years of experience in this realm.

A career as a computer forensics analyst is one of challenge and reward. You must have an eye for detail and a large amount of patience. It is very time consuming work, but as you become a seasoned professional you will be very satisfied as you are constantly gaining valuable knowledge.