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Looking for a New Career? What About Computer Forensics?

Computer forensics, also known as digital forensics, constitutes a branch of forensic science that deals with computers and digital media. More specifically, according to Computer-Forensics-Recruiter.com, an online resource for those interested in a career in the field, computer forensics is “the practice of identifying, preserving, and analyzing digital evidence for use in court.“

While it might seem that computer forensics is a relatively new career option, the origins of the field date back nearly 30 years, to when U.S. law enforcement and military personnel first saw criminals use technology to commit their crimes. Government officials used the burgeoning technology of computer forensics to investigate security breaches as well as explore ways to prevent future crimes.  Over the next few decades the specialty grew exponentially; law enforcement agencies and the military used computer forensics in criminal cases while private corporations used the techniques for civil matters.

Today, the subject of computer forensics covers a vast spectrum of possible uses from identity theft cases to the disclosure of private corporate information by an employee. In turn, the field has grown lucrative as litigation costs for electronic discovery can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

While professionals in other fields are facing layoffs and pay cuts due to this rocky economy, computer forensics career options continue to grow steadily in response to our society’s increasing reliance on technology – from our home computers and laptops to our iPods and smartphones. Unfortunately, as our dependence on these devices grows, so do the rates of cybercrime. Last year the amount of malware doubled, and it continues to become easier to purchase malicious software, such as bots, from underground markets on forums.

Since the discipline is still growing and evolving, there isn’t a standard set of training requirements needed to become a computer forensics investigator. There are various degrees, certifications and classes offered, both online and in the classroom, by institutions across the country for those looking to pursue a computer forensics career. Completing a degree in computer forensics, or in a related field such as cybercrime, is the best way to guarantee job prospects.

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