How Do You Become A Forensic Cyber Investigator?

Forensic Cyber InvestigatorSkill in working with computers and an interest in criminal investigation leads many people to consider fulfilling the qualifications to become a forensic cyber investigator. With a growing need for trained and knowledgeable professionals in this field, the added advantages of a fast-paced, demanding, and rewarding work environment and job responsibilities are additional advantages for the right professionals.

Education Requirements

Some of the degree programs that are offered include cybersecurity, digital forensics, and computer forensics. Undergraduate students in one of these programs complete a number of courses in general education, criminal justice, and computer science. Criminal justice courses often include criminal procedure, understanding criminal law, search and seizure procedures, criminal ethics, and criminal investigations. Computer-related course work typically will include classes in system administration, networks, operating systems, and computer systems.

Upper level course work in the cybersecurity or computer forensics major is likely to include digital forensics investigation, cybercrime investigation, professional ethics in cybersecurity, digital incident analysis, and psychology of cybercrime. Other cyber-related courses might include anti-forensics, file forensics, mobile forensic analysis, and network forensics. Additional courses related to the degree are likely to include forensic accounting and additional upper-level psychology and sociology classes.

Professional Licensing

After completing a related undergraduate degree, candidates for these positions will be required to obtain additional certification or licensing in order to qualify for positions in many states. An increasing number of states are requiring for any investigator working with computer forensics or digital environments to complete the training and testing for a private investigator license.

In addition to state requirements and completion of an undergraduate degree, professional certifications can be helpful for individuals looking for a position as a forensic cyber investigator. Possible certifications include the Certified Electronic Evidence Collection Specialist, Certified Forensic Computer Examiner, Certified Computer Examiner, and GIAC Certified Forensics Analyst certifications. Additional information on these certifications and more can be found at the International Association for Computer Information Systems (IACIS) website and the General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA) website.

Other Skills and Requirements

At the top of the list for helpful skills to be successful in a career in cyber investigation is the ability to work with computers. Professionals in this field must have in-depth knowledge into everything from the operating system to digital storage. Curiosity, critical thinking, and creative problem solving skills are all helpful when pursuing a career as a forensic cyber investigator as well. Other related skills include written and verbal communication, interviewing ability, ethics, improvisation, adaptation, and multi-tasking. In some positions, such as those with the FBI or other law enforcement agencies, requirements might also include passing a physical fitness and possible firearms testing.

Related Resource: Cyber Security Jobs

The opportunity to work in an exciting, in-demand career is a benefit that draws many people to this career field. With the right education, skills, and abilities, individuals with an interest in criminal justice and working with the computer may consider completing the requirements to become a forensic cyber investigator.