Law Enforcement Computer Forensics Investigators

As cases for cybercrimes continue to rise, demand for experienced and skilled computer forensics investigators is also increasing. If you are interested in exploring law enforcement computer forensics careers, you will need to enroll in a computer forensics investigators training program. These training programs are heavily focused on digital forensics, computer data recovery, hacking methods and legal issues, and prepare students for certification in the field. Once you have completed a training program for computer forensics investigators, received certification and obtained at least a bachelor's degree in the field, you can apply for entry-level jobs in both the private and public sector.

Training for Computer Forensic Investigators

Computer forensics investigators can pursue a number of different certifications and enroll in training programs that specialize in certain areas. For example, some investigators choose to become certified in ethical hacking, VoIP services, disaster recovery operations and network security. Others take certification courses in the field of security analysis, secure programming methods or sales.

You can choose from several different types of training programs for law enforcement computer forensics careers or when becoming a computer forensic investigator. You'll find that many accredited colleges and universities offer associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in the field. Independent and professional organizations in the industry also offer a number of certification programs. While certification is optional, many professionals find that they enjoy better job prospects throughout their career.

Training programs for computer forensics investigators typically cover the following topics:

  • Incident handling
  • Detection and reaction protocol
  • Presenting digital evidence at trial
  • Network security intrusion
  • Advanced file system recovery
  • Legal processes
  • Forensics tools

Computer forensics investigators are trained to fight crimes related to computers and instances of hacking. They may need to work with a variety of digital media and electronic storage systems, including PDAs, tablet computers, word processing documents, spreadsheets and databases. They are trained to use advanced investigative techniques and data recovery methods to piece together damaged information and prepare evidence for legal proceedings. These investigators must abide by a strict code of ethics and document everything according to a specific protocol.

Law Enforcement Computer Forensics Careers

Many candidates interested in law enforcement computer forensics careers get their training while working with law enforcement agencies or with the military. However, there are still plenty of opportunities to earn a college degree in cybercrime, Internet security and related fields and gain valuable hands-on experience. A bachelor's degree education is becoming increasingly important in today's competitive industry and most employers prefer their employees to have at least a bachelor's degree and certification in the field.

For some individuals, having a computer science, accounting or criminal justice degree provides the candidate with a strong background for conducting computer investigations and for detecting fraud. Still, the majority of law enforcement computer forensics professionals learn their skills on the job, serving as a sworn officer or even as a civilian computer forensic analyst. After completing their training with law enforcement agencies or the military and gaining some valuable work experience, some move on to work in the private sector.