Where Do Cyber Forensic Investigators Work?

Cyber Forensic InvestigatorsWhere do cyber forensic investigators work is generally one of the first questions that students ask when they hear about computer crime degree programs. Though you might imagine yourself working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigations or another agency to track criminals through the streets as you work in the field, you’ll spend much of your time sitting behind a desk in an office. If you have a strong background in computer science, the ability to work with different types of software and a familiarity of different operating systems, you might look for cyber jobs in different sectors.

Government Agencies

The answer to the question of where do cyber forensic investigators work is often government agencies. While you might think of the FBI or the CIA first, you’ll also find jobs available with the Department of Homeland Security, the Justice Department, the DEA and other federal agencies. There are also a number of jobs open within the state or local government. You might work with the state government to perform audits on companies operating within the state or with the local government to look for missing funds.

Law Enforcement

Many of the cyber crime jobs today are in law enforcement. Television shows like “C.S.I” and “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” showed those at home what police officers and investigators do every day on the job. As a forensic investigator working for the police department, you need to find evidence that police and lawyers can present in the courtroom. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for those working as forensic science technicians is close to $56,000 a year. Those specializing in cyber forensics often make more, but those positions also require a higher level of education.

Security Companies

As a cyber forensic investigation specialist, you have the skills that can assist you in finding a job with a security company. It wasn’t that long ago that these companies installed alarms and security systems, provided companies with armored cars and offered bodyguards. Those same companies now need experience in cyber and online security. Technicians and investigators look for signs of hacking and other issues, including confidential information disappearing or money that vanished without a trace. Those investigators also trace data found on computers to find signs of theft that will help the company identify the culprit.

Private and Public Sectors

Where do cyber forensic investigators work is a question that some students ask. Though some think they can only work for the government or in law enforcement, they can actually find positions open within both the public and private sectors. Many private companies keep investigators on retainer. They can make one phone call when a problem arises and get help instantly. Those who launch their own security firms can advertise their services to small business owners, large corporations and even high schools, colleges and nonprofit organizations. Some investigators also remain on call to assist law enforcement in smaller towns that cannot afford a full-time investigator.

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Working in the cyber forensics field requires more than just a computer science background. You also need to know how to look for signs of hacking, trace IP addresses and perform hundreds of other tasks. Law enforcement, security firms and government agencies are just a few answers to the question of where do cyber forensic investigators work.