The Life of a Computer Forensic Analyst
The career of computer forensic analyst comes with many titles such as, digital forensic examiner, forensic computer examiner, forensic computer analyst and computer forensic detective. Regardless of title, these professionals are in charge of the proper handling of all digital media involved in criminal cases. Another option for a career as a computer forensic analyst is within the business sector and involves finance management, economics and market analysis.
At the very minimum, a person interested in a career as a computer forensic analyst will need to pursue an associateís degree in a field such as computer forensics, criminal justice, forensic computing, or another area of computer majors with a specialization in digital forensics. Most places of employment prefer individuals who have obtained a bachelorís degree in one of these fields. A strong understanding of how computers operate is necessary in order to become a success within this field.
Computer Forensic Analyst Coursework
During the course of their degree, computer forensic students can expect to take classes such as programming, encryption, data recovery, computer security, and operating system management. For professionals that wish to work in the law enforcement field, classes in evidence processing techniques and basic law enforcement will be necessary. Individuals wishing to pursue a career in the business field will need to take coursework in finance, management, marketing, and economics.
Day-to-Day Job Duties of a Computer Forensic Analyst
The job duties of a computer forensic analyst will vary, depending on the area chosen to work in. Most often, a computer forensic analyst will find their job requirements to include recovering deleted emails, recovering data that has been deleted or encrypted, and uncovering passwords. The data that is recovered through these techniques will then be used by law enforcement officials to help with ongoing investigations. Depending on the type of evidence that is recovered, the data may also be used as evidence in court.
There are a number of options available for computer forensic analysts. Large companies employ many computer forensic analysts in order to keep their computer files secure. Law enforcement jobs for computer forensic analysts involve working directly with police officers and detectives to help solve cyber crimes. Many people choose to work as a consultant and bill different agencies for the time spent on each specific problem they are employed to solve.
Salaries vary greatly based on position. The average salary for a computer forensic professional is $36,640 per year, according to the United States Bureau of Statistics. Those working in the private sector tend to earn a higher salary than those individuals working in the public sector. Although those choosing to work in the public sector usually find a set pay scale along with excellent benefits.
The work of a computer forensic analyst used to be done by police officers. However, with the increased use of technology there has become need for people specifically trained in the area of computer forensics.