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Computer Forensics World :: View topic - Undergrad student looking into comp forensics and have ?'s
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Undergrad student looking into comp forensics and have ?'s

 
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Noct27
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 12:48 pm    Post subject: Undergrad student looking into comp forensics and have ?'s Reply with quote

I apologize if this post is in the wrong area or website, if so I will remove.

Just a little background information on myself
I am a freshman at an out-of-state university, and I don't really know what I want to do with my life. Moved to an out of state uni to get out of the house. Started out majoring in computer science, I didn't enjoy programming as much as I thought I would so I switched to management information systems. But I don't want to be an office desk support/ office tech agent for the rest of my life, so I started looking into computer forensics.

A technical school near my home has a two year associates degree in "Cybersecurity, Virtualization and Forensics", according to this program, I can get multiple career titles from this such as Computer forensics analyst, Cyber Forensics Scientist, Network Security Analyst etc...

So, I'm thinking about transferring but have a couple questions about what computer forensics is.

How hard is it to get a job with a two year degree in computer forensics? Should I get a bachelor right away, or should I go back at a later time and continue my education?

How much programming is involved in forensics? I understand forensics have different disciplines, but overall how much programming is involved?

If I want to work for the police in computer forensics, would joining the Air National Guard help me with landing a job?


Again, I apologize if this post is in the wrong area. This is my first time visiting this forum and I didn't see anything related to people looking into forensics.

Thanks
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cybercop
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 22, 2016 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
How hard is it to get a job with a two year degree in computer forensics? Should I get a bachelor right away, or should I go back at a later time and continue my education?

Will largely depend on the area you live in. A bachelors degree will always be better than an associates if 2 candidates go up for the same job.

Quote:
How much programming is involved in forensics?

You might need to do a little scripting, but you aren't going to be "programming" in a forensics career.

Quote:
If I want to work for the police in computer forensics, would joining the Air National Guard help me with landing a job?

It might help a little. Actual Law Enforcement experience would be much better. Might want to start out finding a patrol officer position to get an "in". Even experience as a reserve police officer would be good. It is very difficult to just "get hired" as a forensics investigator with a police department without prior law enforcement experience.
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Noct27
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response cybercop.

[/code]Will largely depend on the area you live in.[code]

I live in Minneapolis MN, I should be able to find job rates and job growth on my own. Not my biggest concern at the moment, just want to know more about this field.

[code] Actual Law Enforcement experience would be much better. [/code]

That's is what I was concerned about, having to be an actual officer. I found minimal information about that, i'm not very interested in becoming an officer but ill look into it more.

I always wanted to work for the government, and use my technical skills to help in the process of taking down criminals. It sounds like a very rewarding career.

Another question,

Dont know what you do for a living, so maybe you wont be able to answer this question to its full extent.

If I continue my Management Information Systems(MIS) degree at my current university, is there anyway I can use that to my advantage to become a forensics investigator? I plan on minoring in computer science so I can have more science/research experience rather than all business.

Per say, I graduate college in 4 years and get a degree in MIS/minor in CS. Get an IT job, couple years down the road I can take some forensic classes at a local technical school to get an associates degree. Would a forensics AA and a MIS BS + years of IT experience help me get a job in the forensics aspect of law enforcement?

Thanks
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PreferredUser
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Change your degree to a CS major and MIS minor. An MIS degree will not have enough CS or math credits to amount to much in the forensic community, but it might get you a help desk job.

Read the info on this web page for some degree requirements:
"https://www.fbijobs.gov/cybercareers"
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Noct27
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PreferredUser wrote:
Change your degree to a CS major and MIS minor. An MIS degree will not have enough CS or math credits to amount to much in the forensic community, but it might get you a help desk job.

Read the info on this web page for some degree requirements:
"https://www.fbijobs.gov/cybercareers"


Cyber careers in the FBI is a big jump for me, I would understand the reasoning and need behind the hard science degree that computer science is. However, is itpossible to become a forensics specialist through an IT degree and work experience? Plus an M.S in computer forensics?

I decided not to go back and get an A.S, but rather get an M.S degree in forensics because I should continue my education and not take a step back.

But, are you saying it is not possible to get into a forensics job without a CS degree? My major originally was CS but I switched out because of the difficulty of programming and my lack of interest in it, also had some problems at home and was still trying to get use to moving out of state which made it hard to focus. That's why Im minoring in CS and going to take some forensics classes. If I find more interest in it next year (when I start my minor classes) I will maybe switch, but I already wasted a year then and dont want to waste more money than I need to if a MIS degree will suffice for my interests.
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Noct27
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 26, 2016 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

PreferredUser wrote:
Change your degree to a CS major and MIS minor. An MIS degree will not have enough CS or math credits to amount to much in the forensic community, but it might get you a help desk job.

Read the info on this web page for some degree requirements:
"https://www.fbijobs.gov/cybercareers"


I understand that computer science is a better path to go on, but I switched out of CS last semester. Looking back, I wish I would done differently but I cannot change that.

Currently taking a calculus course, however it is not the same calc course a CS student would take. My point is, that I would be a couple classes behind and I know If I had another chance at the CS major and java programming class that I would be able to do it and pass. I would just have to try harder.

So my question is, would MIS not help me at all in pursuing a M.S in forensics and the certifications needed?[/quote][/code]
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PreferredUser
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2016 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MIS is a business degree with a focus on improving a process using IT. Following is a quote describing one of many MIS programs: "It focuses on the best way to enable the organization to meet its goals and business challenges. MIS students first learn the current business processes and then analyze how to improve the processes using IT. The purpose of MIS is to analyze, design, develop, and implement information technology strategy to solve business problems."

That is quite different from an Information Systems or Computer Science degree.

What classes did you take in Operating Systems? Networking? Programming? versus Business System Development? Process Improvement? Information Technology Management?

To get through an MS in forensics you will have to step up your computer skills. Do you have the skills to pass the CompTIA A+ right now without taking any training? I would liken A+ to kindergarten in terms of computer knowledge. A home computer hobbyist that has built their own PC should be able to pass A+.

Your other post mentions Champlain. Do you have the background in Python to get through the Scripting class? A good knowledge of how Windows and Linux work to get through the OS class? Knowledge in cellular technology and mobile phones? A masters is not really the place to begin learning those skills, it is where you advance your skills.
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Noct27
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's my main concern is the that it's a business degree, therefore it wont help in forensics, to an extent.

And I'm still a freshman, I havent taken any classes related to my major. I do programming on the side, Im subscribed to code academy and learn java there. I've written some basic calculator programs, but I wish to learn more and currently am trying.

In high school I built 3 top end gaming computers, 1 for myself and 2 for my friends in which they paid me to do it. I dont think I could pass any of the certifications as of now, since Im still in my first year of undergrad.

I've taken apart iphones before, nothing too big into cellular/mobile devices.

Im just looking for the best path to be a cyber forensics investigator... But I dont want to program for the rest of my life (maybe since im new at it my opinion will change), I enjoy it as a hobby but just a hobby, for now.

Again, still a freshman really interested in computer forensics, and looking for the best major that will help me land a job in the future.
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Noct27
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 03, 2016 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Im taking CS courses again next fall, if I decide that I enjoy it more the second time around Ill switch.
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Noct27
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 04, 2016 8:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

To add:
Another one of my main concerns about switching over to CS was that I would have to take different classes in order to satisfy my required courses.

My school offers two options, a comp science degree as a bachelor of science and asa bachelor of Arts. If I go the Arts route, I have to take fewer math courses, because my current one will work as a credit. And my natural science + labs will work for the BA, but if I went with a BS I would have to take 3 more math classes, and different natural science + labs.

The CS courses are very similar, but the BA I get some web scripting courses. Still have to take discrete math, but then I would minor in MIS.
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PreferredUser
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A CS degree without math (Calculus, Statistics, etc.) is not much of a CS degree. If math is not your thing, have you considered an Information Systems degree. More technical than an MIS, not as math/science focused as a CS degree.
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Noct27
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 07, 2016 10:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would still take Statistics, regression analysis, discrete mathematics, algorithm analysis and applied calculus. I would actually be taking two types of applied calculus.

It's not that I am afraid of the math, it's the fact that my current classes wont satisfy the requirement of the B.S degree. But they will satisfy the requirements of the B.A degree.

I want to make sure that my bachelor degree will allow me to get into a masters program in digital forensics. Which I talked to an online rep at a school i'm looking into and they said either B.S or B.A will allow me entrance into the program.

Plus I will learn scripting and can more easily include the computer forensic classes that they offer at my current school if I go the B.A route.


I will probably change to a CS and go the bachelor of Arts route. To save money and time, and it will allow me into a graduate program.
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Noct27
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 09, 2016 5:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

But again the BS would be more employable even outside of forensic jobs. Ill give it more thought.

Or I was thinking of double majoring, BS in MIS and BA in CS.
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