Forensic science encompasses a whole range of different practices that use science to examine palpable, organic, and other forms of data for criminal and judicial purposes. We commonly think of forensic science as a method used by those in law enforcement when trying to prove guilt or innocence. If processing a crime scene and analyzing evidence appeals to you, then you should consider a degree in forensic science.
As with other police and medical occupations, forensic science has been popularized by television. However, it is a science that has been around for a very long time and one that was truly established by the FBI in 1932. The forensic scientist has a very challenging job and one that is anything but routine, from establishing and proving evidence to testifying in court.
Forensic science offers different tiers of participation from which to choose. An Associate’s program will give you an entry-level education to enter the field. Many schools such as community colleges offer science curricula resulting in a two-year degree.
With an Associate’s degree, you should be able to work in a laboratory alongside a forensic scientist as an assistant in scientific and technological investigation. A Bachelor’s degree, however, will allow you to advance your employment status and possibly allow you to move into a job as a forensic scientist. Your four-year credential will get you involved with some of the jobs you have seen on television, such as profiling and medical examination.
Some forensic science majors decide to further their education and continue on to graduate school to further increase their roles in the field of forensics. If you already have a science degree, then you will qualify for graduate school, but remember to submit your letters of recommendation as you would for any graduate program application. Your Master’s program will continue your science education and provide additional studies in the very core of forensic principles.
As with other professional occupations, a Master’s program in forensic science focused on the techniques for finding and analyzing evidence under the mentoring of professionals in the field. An advanced degree will open up career opportunities not available to undergraduates, even those in pathology programs. The American Board of Criminologists awards a certification that presents very positively on a resume.
As fast as the employment growth of other occupations, so is the expectation of growth opportunity for the field of forensics. The largest increase will be seen in teaching positions as well as the scientific opportunities. Today, more so than in the past, government is more focused on environmental concerns and concentrating on clean-up, which only contribute to the increased need for more scientists.
If you were one of those children who would rather have a microscope than a bicycle for Christmas, forensic science might be what you have always wanted to do. Check out online degree details to see if an education on the go is right for you. No matter which degree program or career level you decide on, a career in this field will forever challenge your thinking and force you to look at things in many different ways. Don’t spend another minute thinking about it; apply for online criminal justice degree programs today!