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Computer forensics without computer related experience

Discussion of computer forensics employment and career issues.
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Computer forensics without computer related experience

Post Posted: Nov 25, 14 13:32

Hey everyone, so just curious. How does one get into the digital forensic field? I don't have a computer science degree (oh how I wish I did) but I do have a biology degree, worked as a DNA analyst and now I am a CSI technician. I have video software, computer hardware, basic networking, basic programming, etc experience but I assume that is not even close to good enough.

The only digital work that my lab does is video and digital imaging work but that is about it. While I might be able to get some experience in those two areas, it most likely won't happen any time soon.

Anyways, I am wondering how I can possibly get into the field of digital forensics without any real computer related experience (nothing I can really put down on a resume; IT guy for family, video related work for my own personal use, etc. Are there agencies/companies that will hire people with general forensic experience and would provide on the job training or is this the sort of field where it mostly consists of prior computer engineers and IT guys with several years of experience? Do I need to start taking classes or something?

While i enjoy the work I do, sometimes it's a little dirty, inconsistent and damn well doesn't pay enough :/ Digital forensics seems like a nice medium between the tech world that I wish I was apart of and the world I am currently in. Anyways, I'd appreciate any advice.


Senior Member

Re: Computer forensics without computer related experience

Post Posted: Nov 25, 14 15:44

There is a large overlap with data recovery and computer forensics. Good data recovery skills may make you more attractive to a forensics based employer. It may be an easier route to build up relevant experience.

The next level is to understand file systems, though NTFS will cover probably 80% of what you require, and also document structure. Again look at the 10% of packages that are used 90% of the time, (Word, Excel).

Think in Hex, and a hex viewer should be a very natural tool.
Michael Cotgrove

Senior Member

Re: Computer forensics without computer related experience

Post Posted: Nov 25, 14 22:17

One of my colleagues at the police was a former CSI who transferred to DF. That was a long time ago (2000). I hear it still happens in some police agencies. He was trained in DF after the move. Good luck.
Tony Patrick, B. Inf Tech, CFCE

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