Forensic computing & security degree vs Software enginee


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holal2023

New Member
Jan 1, 2017
9
0
#1
Hello, this is my first post on cfw. I'm starting with a question, but I hope in the future I'll be able to also help others in this community.

I'd like to dive right into my question and then provide some background details to give a good idea of the context.

Is it a good idea to finish a BsC(Hons) Computing forensics and security degree if you plan on working into the cyber crime domain, eg computer forensics? Will I have a chance on getting a job in this domain after graduation?

Background info:
I am currently in my first year of university in UK at Bournemouth University pursuing a computing forensics and security degree. Since this degree is part of the computing framework, we have common units in the first year and we can change our degrees to other computing degree in the second year, for example to software engineering(if we decide to do so).
I love programming and I'm overall good at it: c++,java,php,html,css,js...you got the point. I even made some money building websites for small start-ups.Right now, I'm thinking of creating a portfolio with websites and mobile application and other stuff I can make to have something to show in hope that I can get an internship this summer.

But, and there is always a big but, my number one passion and goal is to work in the cyber crime domain. Investigation, pen-testing, hacking, forensics, I'm crazy about all of it. Unfortunately I'm not as prepared for this domain as for programming, I know little to nothing about all the skills required. I'm starting to learn about it and I got the university to guide me also, but yeah, it is new to me so not much experience with it.

At university we have the following units throughout those 4 years:

Year1:
  • Bussines & Professional issues, Computers & Networks, Programming, Relational Databases, System Analysis & Design, User-centred Web Dev
Year2

  • Digital Forensics, Ethical Hacking & Countermeasures, Infrastructure Strategy, Project Management & Team Working, System Design, Application programming
Year3
Placement minimum 30 weeks
Year4

  • Information Assurance, Security by design, Individual Project
    and an optional unit between Data mining and Software quality and testing.

I would like to end up working perhaps on a gov agency investigating computer-related crimes, stopping and preventing hacks, test systems, provide insight into crime-related investigations maybe show up in court and help build a case / provide evidence.Or even in the private sector working for banks or other big companies on jobs like incident-response security specialist of some sort.

What should I do? Go on and stick with the forensics degree or change to software engineering?

Do I have chances to get into the kind of work I hope for? I honestly don't want to go after graduating and work as a desk technician or network admin for a number of years and then get another certification as this is costing me a lot already and I have to stop depending on my parents soon. :?: :?: :!:

Thank you in advance!
 
Dec 31, 2006
3,405
0
#2
This should really be two questions: "Is it a good idea to finish a BsC(Hons) Computing forensics and security degree "? To which the short answer is yes you need to finish a degree.

The follow up question is will a BsC(Hons) Computing forensics and security degree give you the "right stuff" to get an entry level job working "into the cyber crime domain, eg computer forensics"? And that is the crux of what the University is claiming their degree can provide. The answer to that question is: possibly, if you are a super-star, can find one of the very elusive entry-level jobs in forensics, and can wow the interviewer.

I would ask you, when you troll the job boards how many posts are looking for a candidate with just a degree and no experience?
 

holal2023

New Member
Jan 1, 2017
9
0
#3
PreferredUser said:
This should really be two questions: "Is it a good idea to finish a BsC(Hons) Computing forensics and security degree "? To which the short answer is yes you need to finish a degree.

The follow up question is will a BsC(Hons) Computing forensics and security degree give you the "right stuff" to get an entry level job working "into the cyber crime domain, eg computer forensics"? And that is the crux of what the University is claiming their degree can provide. The answer to that question is: possibly, if you are a super-star, can find one of the very elusive entry-level jobs in forensics, and can wow the interviewer.

I would ask you, when you troll the job boards how many posts are looking for a candidate with just a degree and no experience?
I believe I overextended with this large topic and as you said it probably should've been split in two questions, sorry for that. I don't understand what you mean by your last question. If you are asking me if I'm trolling this forum, I'm not, else please explain what you meant.

One side question, if your saying that is rare to get a proper job after graduation with just a degree, what would be the right next step after getting the degree?
 
Dec 31, 2006
3,405
0
#4
I did not write anything about trolling this forum. My question is, when you troll the JOB BOARDS how many posts are looking for a candidate with just a degree and no experience? For example when you go to Indeed or Monster or any job board, use forensic or digital forensic or computer forensic as the key word(s), and look at the results, how many of the results are for entry level jobs? (FWIW there is nothing inherently wrong with trolling. Trolling just means you are looking with no intention of posting.)

Digital forensics and computer security jobs are not typically entry-level. When I hire examiners they need to have experience with troubleshooting/problem solving (skills that are difficult to teach but are learned through experience). They need to show a breadth of knowledge (programming, hardware, networking, operating systems) that does not come from a mere four year at a university. They need to show a willingness to keep advancing their knowledge with continuing professional education.

If you look at the job postings you will see what employers are seeking in candidates.
 

athulin

Member
Experienced Member
Oct 18, 2007
730
Ratings
9
18
#5
PreferredUser said:
I would ask you, when you troll the job boards ...
Unfortunate choice of words, I fear, as 'trolling' often is strongly associated with deception.

'trawl' is probably what was intended.
 

holal2023

New Member
Jan 1, 2017
9
0
#6
PreferredUser said:
I did not write anything about trolling this forum. My question is, when you troll the JOB BOARDS how many posts are looking for a candidate with just a degree and no experience? For example when you go to Indeed or Monster or any job board, use forensic or digital forensic or computer forensic as the key word(s), and look at the results, how many of the results are for entry level jobs? (FWIW there is nothing inherently wrong with trolling. Trolling just means you are looking with no intention of posting.)

Digital forensics and computer security jobs are not typically entry-level. When I hire examiners they need to have experience with troubleshooting/problem solving (skills that are difficult to teach but are learned through experience). They need to show a breadth of knowledge (programming, hardware, networking, operating systems) that does not come from a mere four year at a university. They need to show a willingness to keep advancing their knowledge with continuing professional education.

If you look at the job postings you will see what employers are seeking in candidates.
I'm sorry, I had no idea of the meaning of trolling in that context. I searched a bit about entry-level jobs in forensic computing and I put together this list of skills and interests that the jobs usually require:

  • Strong attention to detail
    Understanding of using technical tools such as Encase,FTK,X-Ways,XRY, NUIX, LAW etc
    Exposure to E-Discovery
    Work with Windows,Mac,Linux
    Commercial experience as computer forensic
    Interest in data analytics
    Basic networking knowledge
    Previous SOC experience
    SSH,SSL,ANTI VIRUS TOOLS

Thank you for taking the time to answer so far, I would however like if you would give me your opinion on what would you do next if you were at this moment a graduate computing forensic young man? What would be the next 2-3 steps?

The more I look into it, the more discouraging it seems to be to get into this field..
 
Dec 31, 2006
3,405
0
#7
Experience you can gain in the computer computer support or programming field:
Strong attention to detail
Work with Windows,Mac,Linux
Interest in data analytics
Basic networking knowledge
SSH,SSL,ANTI VIRUS TOOLS

Gain a few years of experience with those items and some basic programming and you will have the qualifications to start moving into security and forensics.
 

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