Computer Forensics Graduate Programs

Even though most law enforcement agencies, military organizations and private firms that hire computer forensics investigators require candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree and certification in their field, many candidates choose to complete a master's degree in computer forensics. Computer forensics graduate programs are typically two years in length and provide advanced training in the field of digital file recovery, computer networking, legal hacking and law. Getting a master's degree in computer forensics can lead to more attractive career opportunities and allow you to earn a higher than average salary.

Getting a Master's Degree in Computer Forensics

If you have a bachelor's degree in computer forensics, criminal justice or a related field and want to advance in your career, you may consider enrolling in a master's degree in computer forensics training program. These programs consist of both technical and non-technical courses, and build up on your knowledge and skills in forensic science, digital technologies and data retrieval.

Computer forensics graduate programs typically focus on the following areas of study:

  • Identification of firearms
  • Fingerprinting
  • DNA profiling
  • Crime scene investigation processes
  • DNA analysis
  • Ethical issues in computer forensics
  • Legal issues pertaining to computer forensics
  • Advanced computer forensics intelligence
  • Cyber security
  • Forensics of telecommunication devices

Getting a master's degree in computer forensics will allow you to analyze computer security liabilities, formulate solutions to solve problems related to a crime, develop better computer security hardware and software solutions, and use advanced data recovery techniques to maintain the integrity of computer forensics evidence. A good portion of these training programs also cover technical computer forensics reporting procedures and protocol.

Types of Computer Forensics Graduate Programs

You can find many computer forensics graduate programs from accredited colleges and universities around the country. Some of the different types of computer forensics graduate programs include:

  • Master of Science in Forensic Studies
  • Graduate Forensic Science Program
  • Master of Science in Digital Forensics
  • MSc Forensic Engineering and Science
  • Master of Science in Forensic Computing
  • Master of Science in Forensic Science

Some schools offering computer forensics graduate programs offer two educational tracks: professional and science or computing. This gives students an option to specialize in a particular area of digital forensics and complete advanced training in areas such as quantitative methods, statistical analysis, malware and software, processing of digital evidence and forensic processes in the courtroom. Some master's degree courses are available in an online format and will require students to participate in discussion groups, collaborate with other students on various projects, and complete quizzes and exams over the Web.

Getting a master's degree in computer science may also require completing an internship or a thesis. Students who choose to complete a thesis must prepare a formal project proposal early on in their educational training program. Those who choose the non-thesis option will need to complete a graduate internship and complete coursework from a set of restricted elective courses. Both of these additions to the degree program give students a chance to gain valuable practical experience in the field, network with professionals in their area of expertise, and learn more about the industry as a whole.