The demand for forensic scientists is projected to increase by 16% from 2020 to 2030 which is a lot faster than other occupations. In essence, there is a very high demand for these people in this field (2,500 per year), so getting a forensic science degree could be an awesome career choice.
As much as there is high demand for forensic science graduates, the degree is not as sweet as movies have made it look. I’m also a fan of all these forensic series, “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation,” is my favorite, but if you use the sweetness of what you’re watching in movies to try to acquire a forensic degree, you’ll be disappointed.
Because this degree will make you study both science and criminal justice, which won’t be all that easy. But, we have seen most of the time that “hard things” pay more than easy things, which means, this degree is promised with lots of rewards especially when done rightly.
Imagine with your detailed test you discovered some crazy criminal secrets, outside the payment, the joy alone is something else. Imagine how beneficial your contribution will be to society, and you don’t only have to work at crime scenes, you can work with cyber security as a computer forensic tech.
Speaking of computer forensic tech, you can learn cybersecurity through many means whether through free online courses or traditional means.
What is Forensic Science?
You have seen those movie scenes where someone with a white or yellow bunny suit, covered all over his/her body at the crime scene, with gloves, and a torchlight. Meticulously moving a step at a time, and carefully adding little evidence (broken glass, soils, paper, fluids) to a plastic bag, then after they are done, they will come to a lab and start investigating.
With that in mind, forensic science is the process of examining evidence from crime scenes that can help in the investigation of any crime, and help prosecute the criminals or free those innocent.
Forensic Science Degree Jobs
Like I said earlier, forensic science jobs are projected to increase by 16% from 2020 to 2030, but the question is, which people will be demanding the help of a forensic technician. You should know that a forensic scientist can work in so many places, and with so many people, that includes;
As a forensic science degree holder, working as a detective is one of the major roles of a forensic scientist. You will be involved in solving simple and complex investigations, whether it has to do with robbing cases, drugs, fraud, or even domestic violence.
You will be involved in lots of them, different tasks will be brought to your table, and you’ll be responsible for bringing some criminals to justice.
Crime Scene Investigation
A forensic science degree can help you work as a crime scene investigator, you will be working with the police at crime scenes, and you’ll be collecting evidence, putting this evidence in order so it can be correctly used for investigations. Crime scene investigation comes with lots of unexpected things, and there is no exact time when you’ll receive a call for work.
Computer Forensic Technician
As a computer forensic technician, you’ll be responsible for helping law enforcement to investigate and detect cybercrimes. So, you will be working with a law enforcement agency to be able to decipher hidden, encrypted information for further investigation.
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A degree in forensic science can help you become a pathologist assistant who can help to perform an autopsy on body parts and bodies which can help to determine the cause of the death.
How to Become a Forensic Scientist
An associate degree is the minimum forensic science degree you’ll need to become a qualified forensic scientist. Here is the best way you can achieve your forensic dreams.
Step One – Get an Associate Degree
Like I said earlier, a 2-year associate degree is a minimum degree you’ll require as a forensic scientist. In your associate degree, you will be required to take elective and important courses in criminology, criminal investigation, Organic chemistry, biotech, police administration, and many more.
However, the places and roles you can work in are limited. You can work as a Forensic laboratory technician or an evidence custodian.
Requirements for Associate Degree in Forensic Science
- You must complete your high school diploma in either art or science
- You have to submit your SAT/ACT Score
Universities for Associate Degree in Forensic Science
1. Prince George’s Community College – AS In Forensic Science
This school will be showing you, through experience, how to collect, process, and analyze physical evidence. So, they will be bringing in lots of core courses like physical science, criminal investigation, and even law.
This forensic science associate degree can help you to decide whether to further for a bachelor’s program or even go further to get a master’s.
2. Seminole State College of Florida – Forensic Science Pathway Associate in Arts
This AS degree in Forensic Science will start by teaching you biology, chemistry, calculus, and many more important subjects you’ll need in the future as you progress in your degree. You’ll need 60 total credit hours to complete this program.
Their tuition is as low as $3,131 for in-state students, and $6,380 for out-of-state students.
Step 2 – Get a Bachelor’s Degree (Optional)
You can choose to further your forensic science career by getting a bachelor’s degree. At least, completion of a bachelor’s degree will help to secure more job roles like a forensic consultant, crime scene investigator, forensic technologist, toxicologist, pathologist, criminalist, and many more.
Requirements for Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science
Here are the entry requirements you’ll need before you’re considered for admission for forensic science bachelor’s degree.
- Completion of high school
- Submission of high school official transcript
- Might require 112 UCAS tariff points
- Submission of Statement of Purpose
- Submission of ACT or SAT score
- You should earn a transferable associate degree (for transfer students)
Universities to study Bachelor’s Degree in Forensic Science
3. Mercyhurst University – Applied Forensic Sciences
In this degree, you’ll go deep into understanding natural sciences, through practically identifying, analyzing, collecting, and interpreting forensic evidence. You’ll be using their state art forensics lab for your training in this 4 years degree.
Also, this your forensic science degree will concentrate on Criminalistics/Forensic Biology, Forensic Chemistry, and Forensic Anthropology. During your program, you’ll be undergoing a field internship, either with the Drug Enforcement Agency, District Attorneys, or Medical Examiner’s Office.
4. Cedarville University
Cedarville is a school that combines your love for science, for solving puzzles, and a sense of justice for criminal investigations. Cedarville is a Christian school that does its degrees with reverence and respect for God.
The forensic science degree will cover at least 10 math credits, 22 chemistry credits, 16 biology credits, 8 physics credits, and 18 criminal justice credits. You will also be having other major forensic science courses and electives, and you’ll be going to a real crime lab to undergo your Internship.
5. Ohio Northern University – Forensic Biology
Forensic biology combines biology, physics, math, chemistry, and forensic courses. Their degree in forensic science is majorly a practical program, where most of your learning will be on the field, and in the lab.
You’ll be working with your classmates to unravel lots of cases, it will be as if you’re already in the workforce, you’ll be examining human corpses.
6. University of Central Florida – Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science
This program will be showing you how to apply scientific evidence to the law through biochemistry and chemistry. You’ll be focusing on Forensic microscopes, Forensic Biochemistry, and Forensic Crime Scene Investigation.
7. University of New Haven – Bachelor of Forensic Science
The University of New Haven will help you to investigate and uncover evidence that can be used in court through Science and technology. Their forensic science program is accredited by Forensic Science Education Programs Accreditation Commission (FEPAC).
You’ll be having serious practical experience, and will be focusing on some major courses like Forensic Photography with Lab, Crime Scene Investigation, Criminalistics with Lab, and many more.
Step 3 – Gather Work Experience
This is the moment you can choose to go and work, you already have an associate degree or bachelor’s degree, and you can start working right away. You can choose to work with your federal or even local police department. The federal police department pays better, but local police departments accept more job roles.
You can also decide to work at the hospital, at security tech companies, or the laboratory, it’s up to you.
Step 4 – Select your Area of Specialty
As you have gathered some experience through your work, you might need to focus on a particular field and become an expert in it. Your area of specialty in a degree in forensic science will help to boost your career path.
Here are some areas of specialization you can choose
- Forensic psychology
- Criminal investigation
- Computer forensics
- Forensic accounting
- Computer forensics
- Forensic biology
- Forensic anthropology
- Forensic chemistry
- Forensic odontology
- Forensic entomology
- Bloodstain pattern analysis
- Forensic pathology
And many more.
Step 5 – Get a Master’s Degree (Optional)
When you have chosen your area of specialty, it will now help you to know on which field to channel your master’s.
This is still optional when you have gathered this experience, and are currently working, but you want to “up” your game, you want to get involved in a higher job role, and you want to take up a better leadership position. That’s where a master’s in forensic science degree comes in, it can take you to more places, and you will earn more money and be involved in high-quality work.
There are some promotions you won’t get unless you get your master’s in this field, like becoming a director in Forensic Science, law enforcement professional, lab personnel, attorney, and many more roles.
A Master’s Degree will help you focus on a particular area of specialty. In addition, you can even get this master’s online, you don’t necessarily need to go to any traditional campus for this degree.
Requirements for Master’s Degree in Forensic Science
If you want to get a master’s degree in forensic science, here are some entry requirements from most of these schools.
- Completion of a bachelor’s degree in an accredited school, in forensic science or related program.
- Submission of office bachelor’s degree transcript and any other master’s degree transcript done in an accredited college.
- Might require employment experience
- Letters of recommendations
Universities to study Master’s Degree in Forensic Science
8. the University of Portsmouth – MSC In Forensic Investigation
You will be going deeper to learn practical skills involving forensic science, from an investigation of crime to the courtroom. Your studies and training this time will be based on realistic settings, you will be doing most of your learning in the lab and the field.
The degree is both part-time and full-time. And, you can tailor your degree to your career, which means, you can choose to focus on;
- MSc Criminal Psychology and Forensic Investigation
- MSc Cybercrime and Forensic Investigation
- MSc Economic Crime and Forensic Investigation
- MSc Forensic Investigation
- MSc Forensic Investigation and Intelligence
- MSc International Criminal Justice and Forensic Investigation
9. Syracuse University – M.S. in Forensic Science
Syracuse will provide you with direct training with practicing professionals in the field of Forensic Science. Your professors pay close attention to your growth, and their programs are flexible to balance your other obligations.
10. University of Westminster – MSc in Cyber Security and Forensics
This forensic science degree is a one-year program that focuses on how to analyze cyber risks and use digital information from lots of systems. You’ll understand deeper major threats that face the digital space, and how information can be extracted from this digital space without the understanding of the owners.
The University of Westminster has a lab dedicated to forensic studies, with more than 30 computer laboratories. You’ll also have industry professionals that will be visiting and training you on the core experience they see in their workplace.
Step 6 – Apply for a Job or Request for a Promotion
Now you have gathered lots of experiences, you have gotten your forensic science degree, and you are now specialized in one area. Now you can apply for a better job role or even demand a higher role where you’re already working.
Here are the job roles waiting for you after your master’s and their average salary after master’s graduation, according to payscale
- Forensic Scientist – $53,657
- Laboratory Manager – $66,221
- Forensic Toxicologist – $55,343
- Validation Engineer – $77,190
- Research Scientist – $71,928
- Quality Assurance Manager – $88,491
- Senior Research Associate – $79,030
- Risk Analyst – $83,415
- Senior Medical Writer – $108,619
- Senior Research Scientist (Unspecified Type) – $101,044
Now you have seen a step-by-step way to get your forensic science degree, and not just that, we also provided resources that can help you easily navigate to what you want. Now is the time to go and become what you have been seeing, what you have always imagined becoming, now is the time to become that Sherlock Holmes, go and make your dreams a reality.
Forensic Science Degree – FAQs
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