Need some critical advice


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b1ack0ut3

New Member
Sep 30, 2008
6
0
#1
Firstly I'd like to say that I've been reading these forums for awhile now. They are such a great source of information and the community is highly informative and helpful.

With that said, I'm stuck at a fork in the road. My ultimate goal is to get into the law enforcement sector of computer forensics. I'd prefer to work for the federal government, but I'd be happy working for local PD.

I already have a Bachelor's degree in Legal Studies (not criminal justice, as many people mistake it for). I'm currently taking courses working towards another degree in Computer Information Systems.

My 2 options as of now are:

1)
- Keep going to school and graduate in about 2 years
- Work on certs (starting with A+) while I'm going to school
- Maybe get an internship during school if time and scheduling permits
- After graduating, attempt to get a job in network security or similar line of work and work my way up from there.

OR

2)
- Get a job with a local PD as a deputy/officer (a few months for hiring process + 6 months academy
- Study independently after the academy and get certs.
- Go back part time to school to finish education
- Then pursue a career in the computer field (perhaps within the same department)


What do you guys think would be the better route? I'm really on the fence with this one and would not mind going either way. I am 24 years old right now and I feel as though my youth is slipping away. :?

I need to make a decision fairly quickly, since application deadline for the university I want to go to is Nov 1. Any advice would be much appreciated.
 

Complete

Administrator
Aug 19, 2006
861
0
#2
Just something to think about... if you get hired as a police officer, make sure you _really_ want to work as an officer. If your ultimate goal is to conduct computer forensic exams, it's going to take a while to get there within the department. In the meantime, you're going to have to cut your teeth working the street and dealing with a lot of situations they never show on TV.

LE can be very rewarding, but if you don't feel it deep down that it's something you want to do, you're going to get burned out before you ever make it to the cyber division.
 

b1ack0ut3

New Member
Sep 30, 2008
6
0
#3
Complete said:
Just something to think about... if you get hired as a police officer, make sure you _really_ want to work as an officer. If your ultimate goal is to conduct computer forensic exams, it's going to take a while to get there within the department. In the meantime, you're going to have to cut your teeth working the street and dealing with a lot of situations they never show on TV.

LE can be very rewarding, but if you don't feel it deep down that it's something you want to do, you're going to get burned out before you ever make it to the cyber division.
I've been wanting to be a law enforcement officer far longer than I've been wanting to be in the computer field. I realize that law enforcement isn't similar to what is seen on television. I'm just wondering which path would be better followed to reach my ultimate goal.
 

Complete

Administrator
Aug 19, 2006
861
0
#4
Whichever path you follow is up to you as there are pros and cons for both. My coworker and I came from entirely different backgrounds and work experience but ended up in the same place. We both bring different skills and expertise to the table. I was LE, he was corporate. Each of us represents one of the paths you've outlined and I can't really say that either path was better than the other.

My advice is to apply for school and the PD. The hiring process for LE can be fairly lengthy and competitive (depending where you're at). Keep going to school until they offer you a job and then you'll be forced to make the decision. No sense in quitting school if you don't already have a job lined up.
 

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