Online Education Options for Degrees in Forensics
Online educational options for degrees in forensics cover a broad spectrum of specializations at several different levels, although some course work is standard across all of them. Those who choose to pursue an online forensics degree can expect to study criminal law, biology, chemistry, and physics. Course work may also include training in specific skills used by forensics investigators, such as blood spatter analysis, fingerprint capture and analysis, evidence collection and proper storage, DNA analysis, ballistics, forensics mapping, and psychological profiling. Some programs have specific focus on aspects of forensics such as forensics or DNA analysis while others cover a broad range of forensics skills.
Online options for forensics exist at the following levels:
- Online Certification in Forensics and related fields
- Online Associates Degree in Forensics and related fields
- Online Bachelor Degree in Forensics and related fields
- Online Master Degree in Forensics and related fields
- Online Doctorate Degree in Forensics and related fields
Although educational options are available at all levels (whether online or not) many people begin their careers in forensics as police detectives and receive on-the-job-training within the police force. However, to secure better jobs in forensics, many choose to augment their skills with an academic education that will give them a more solid foundation and assist them in building their credentials.
Degrees in Corrections Career and Salary Information
Career opportunities for those who have earned an online degree in forensics include both civilian and sworn police officer service. Depending on the size of the police department, they may have both sworn officers and civilians doing forensics work. Specific job descriptions and requirements vary greatly from one police department from the next. A rural police department may not require many forensics specialists while a large urban police department will need many forensics specialists with varying areas of expertise. Some have sworn officers who work in the field and civilian forensic scientists who work in a crime lab.
The need for forensics specialists is on the rise. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the number of available jobs in forensics will increase 27% by 2014. Although not all forensics specialist jobs require degrees, most employers choose applicants with degrees over applicants without. Particularly in areas where the population exceeds 25,000, forensics specialists tend to be highly educated scientists as well as police officers. The salary for a forensics investigator varies by geographic location, training, and experience. The salary ranges from $20,000 to $50,000.