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What classes do I need to take in order to be a computer forensic analyst and what type of jobs are available?

Hi! Since my sophomore-ish year of high school I always wanted to know what classes I actually need to take and what my career choice would fall on, like major-wise. I also wanted to know what type of jobs do people with that major can get.....so I kind of have a more specific idea of what to study in when I go to university. By the way, I would also want to study abroad to the United Kingdom and sort of live there....or work there.

#computer-forensics


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Selean’s Answer

It’s awesome that you want to become a forensic analyst! We need more women in the field to add diverse perspectives. For me it has been a truly rewarding and enjoyable career.   You want to enroll in classes that cover Computer Seizure and forensic examination procedures, malware investigations, Countermeasures for malware and current issues in forensics overall. You also want to make sure you have a good understanding of networking, network security and computer security.   If there are industry certifications that you can get at discounted rates with your classes, I definitely recommend taking them. 

Selean recommends the following next steps:

Another thing to do is practice. If anyone you know has old hard drives laying around, use those in combination with free tools on the internet. Access Data’s FTK Imager and Magnet’s Internet Evidence Finder (IEF) are some great free software programs that you can use to practice. The only down part is that you may not have a physical write blocker; so the data could be altered on the practice hard drive.
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When it comes to employment, employers are looking for candidates with problem solving skills and out-of-the-box thinkers. They are also looking for people who understand different apps, operating systems and investigation procedure. There are a range of different industries you could work in, basically any industry that even touches a computer. Also consider the telecom industry, car manufacturing industry and law enforcement.
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Tjada’s Answer

For forensics you will want to understand computer internals so classes like, Data Structures, OS Architecture and others from the Computer Science realm will work out well for you. It is also useful to have a decent programming background as now-a-days most of your forensics tasks involve working with scripts or creating them yourself. The type of forensics jobs out there vary. Most commonly you will find Incident Response consultant jobs which rely heavily on forensics but also require you to have consulting skills and incident management. IR Consultants are the people companies hire to go onsite after a incident to determine what happened, what needs to be done to stop the incident from getting worse and provide recommendations to prevent the incident in the future. Another Forensic job is Law Enforcement based where you will spend more time doing actually forensic analysis as you are a technical resource for a investigator.

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