Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 5:18 am Post subject: Any Advice to a young grad?
I am a 23 year old , 6 months graduated from college, currently holding a BS in computer science. The summer before I graduated, I pursued an internship with a local law enforcement agency as an IT intern thinking they would have a team of computer investigators but they did not.
Just like alot of posts here, my career goal has been to pursue the computer forensics field(preferably law enforcement side). I have found that an entry level position in this field is hard to come by without experience so I have picked up a temporary AV support tech job until I find more info on how to pursue this area of computer science.
Any advice on what I should be doing at the point besides searching hopelessly with no luck everyday? I am starting to think I should re-evaluate my career goal.
Joined: Nov 01, 2005 Posts: 551 Location: Marion, Indiana, USA
Posted: Tue Jul 14, 2015 12:55 pm Post subject:
If your Degree isn't specialized in Computer Forensics and you have no experience in Computer forensics, you have more schooling in your future. At the very least, you need to seek out CF related certifications and should probably consider getting a second degree in CF.
Careers in Computer Forensics are hard to come by. At this point, people with a degree and certs will definitely be considered long before you are. Pretty much, from the brief description you gave, you are not positioned to be considered for a CF position at this time.
In closing, the real question is, are you willing to go back to school for probably a couple more years to get the training you need for CF? If so, ask yourself if you are willing to do that even though it still may not mean you can find a position in the field. So many schools are putting out graduates with CF degrees that the market is saturated and competition is very fierce.
Yeah I definitately can not imagine going back to school for a CF degree when I just paid for and put in the countless hours and long nights of studying for a CS degree, which is good in itself but I do believe I have a passion for wanting to combine computers and law enforcement and CF seems to be where that would be at.
After doing a bit of research, it seems to be the investigative side of things that I would need more training in. I had a network security class where we dealt with wireshark and other similar tools. I absolutely enjoyed the class and after some thinking and a bit of research I came upon CF in the midst of my junior year.
I have been considering certs. I did consider getting CF certs. as an option but law enforcement usually puts you through a training program of their own which I figured would be more beneficial and cost efficient being there is a chance I may never find an entry level CF position. It seems these positions are never open and if they are they are certainly not entry level for a 23 year old fresh out of college. To be on the safe side, I have considered the CCNA and going for an entry level network security position for the experience while trying to work my way into law enforcement. Any Thoughts??
Joined: Nov 01, 2005 Posts: 551 Location: Marion, Indiana, USA
Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:37 am Post subject:
You could always join a department (that has a CF division) as a patrol officer. Put your time in on the street. If and when they do have an opening in their CF division, you might be able to transfer in.
I will tell you this, if money means anything at all to you, law enforcement (even computer forensics division) is not for you. You will never "get rich" and will probably have to moonlight to make ends meet.
Network Security would not be considered as experience when it comes to CF. CCNA also won't help for CF. If you want to get into CF, then you need CF certs.
Joined: Aug 08, 2006 Posts: 61 Location: Costa Mesa, California
Posted: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:08 am Post subject:
This response is not specifically directed to you, but to all CF degree graduates, so take this advice with a grain of salt.
My position has been, and will always be, that entry level jobs in this field should be hard to come by. It is unfortunate that so many educational institutions have pushed the CF degree as if it is nothing more than a "get rich quick" workshop.
Computer forensics, like other forensic disciplines, is the melding of the scientific and legal worlds. The work that you do may eventually need to be defended in a court of law, so realize that most expert witnesses come to those positions after years of study and work in their particular field.
If you have not first proven yourself in basic courtroom testimony, what competent attorney is going to take a chance on you presenting their evidence in front of a judge or jury, or even in a deposition.
If you are going to tell me that attorneys fresh out of law school don't have much court experience, I would agree. The difference is that most attorneys are not trial attorneys and the majority of those that do go into trial work come up through a prosecutor's office or public defender's office, where they start on low level cases and make their mistakes where it does the least amount of damage.
You will find that the expectation level of your potential employer (attorneys) will be much different when they are paying you hundreds of dollars per hour and expect you to make a difference in their client's case.
So, my point is this. If you have not had the opportunity to prove your worth in court, consider first getting that experience (perhaps though an entry level law enforcement position, the military, or something similar) or else consider taking a position in data recovery (which offers many of the same challenges, but fewer of the legal responsibilities).
And if you are one of those lucky few that feel naturally comfortable in court, consider yourself lucky and strive to gain that experience where ever you can. _________________ Mark Eskridge
I enjoy learning from other people's experiences and am wanting to let everyone know that I appreciate all comments/advice.
After reading these, it leaves me wanting to hear how some of you guys that responded or (anyone else!) started out to get to where you are at now in your careers. Where were you in your early 20's career wise? What steps did you personally take?
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