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Is the forensic science department very competitive?

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Jordan’s Answer


Anecdotally speaking, I can say forensics is very competitive right now, and has been for some time. There is a great need for scientific, curious people to try and puzzle together timelines of events from incomplete series' of facts, whether physical in nature (footprints, tire tracks, etc), chemical/biological (DNA, drugs, etc), multimedia (video or audio recordings), computer (computers, cellphones, etc), or otherwise. Lots of young, talented people have recognized that need and are working their way into the field all the time. With a graduate degree, lots of training, and hands-on experience, I thought I would be a standout; as it turns out, nearly all of my colleagues either have a similar background or are working hard towards those same goals.

With that said, if you're a motivated person who wants to enter this sort of field and works hard enough to get in, you'll find yourself in an exhilarating and rewarding industry where you'll get to see places you may have never otherwise visited, you'll be able to help all different kinds of people that (admit it or not) really need your help, and you'll be given a chance to look behind the curtain to try and find out how our world and the people in it really work.

Jordan recommends the following next steps:

  • Consider what kinds of science you're most interested in: physical, chemical, biological, multimedia, computer, and so on.
  • Use your interests to guide research into forensics-type jobs that specialize in what you're most excited about.
  • Attend career seminars or fairs, speak to seasoned experts, meet with advisers, counselors, and teachers, and just interact with professionals who might illuminate any areas you're unsure about, so you can either proceed with the plans you're making or revise and retry.
  • Most importantly, take enough time to make your career decision the right one, but don't be afraid to later recalculate and make a "more right" career decision. There is no real 'start' or 'finish' to what you want to do with your life, there's only how you choose to spend each day you have.