Over the last year there has been a dramatic increase in both the demand and salaries of computer forensics workers. In a recent UK study, the average minimum salary had increased 17% in one year. Because of the increase of demand for these industry professionals, getting a job in computer forensics has become an attractive option for both graduates and people who are looking to diversify in the IT industry. For such a specialized occupation, job opportunities are relatively plentiful. This doesn’t mean that there is an overabundance of jobs, more that there are certainly enough jobs for willing and able job seekers to secure a position.
There are computer forensics jobs for both employees and consultants available; many government organizations such as the military and law enforcement are in need of Computer Forensics workers. There may also be positions available for people to work for themselves in a computer forensics business or as a computer forensics consultant. For these self employed positions extensive experience and knowledge of the industry is required to establish legitimacy, as well as constant upgrading of skills, techniques and knowledge. For many, self employment is out of reach through lack of experience or market availability; i.e. you need a geographical location where a consulting business will get enough customers, so this rules out everything except larger cities.
What is more in reach of most aspiring computer forensics experts is gaining a position within a government organization or established business. Most jobs require a degree in the field, as well as at least 2 years of experience. Occasionally, extensive experience will be taken in the place of a degree, or extensive education in the place of experience. Experience in other areas of IT is often looked upon favorably, but remember that computer forensics is a highly specialized industry so general computer knowledge will not transfer into a computer forensics job.
Most employers are looking for completion of a Bachelors Degree, certifications for static disk analysis/forensics as well as hardware, software, a CCE certification, and completed courses in court room testifying and criminal justice procedure. On top of this most are looking for 2 years experience. This may sound a lot of education and experience, but for a technical job such as this it is usually industry standards to have at least this much experience. If you are interested in forensics, start familiarizing yourself with the tools used by companies as often this knowledge will translate well when put on your resume.
In order to gain a job in computer forensics but lack experience, look for entry level positions in companies which may be related to your field of choice, it then becomes a lot easier to move up to a forensics job. There are still a lot of positions available in computer forensics and this is only going to increase as technology becomes more and more integrated in to our lives. With the right education and experience the industry of computer forensics is an attractive profession for many individuals either looking for a change in their IT job, or entering/graduating into the field.