Computer forensics investigators meld skills in criminal justice and info sec. And, in this emerging field, play a key role in cyber security.
If you enjoy detective work, this is a high growth field. About 32% more jobs are in store for skilled computer forensic analysts by 2028. And a computer forensics degree may set you up to succeed!
What do Computer Forensic Analysts Do?
Why is the area of Computer Forensics Important?
There are many reasons computer forensics is important. Especially if you manage info systems and networks.
For one, it ensures the integrity and strength of your networks. As such, it is part of a “defense in depth” tactic and is vital to security.
Computer Forensics Investigator Degrees
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What Skills Do You Need to Become a Computer Forensics Analyst?
Computer Forensics Investigator Salary
Computer forensics investigators & analysts earn above average salaries. In May 2018 for instance, info sec analysts earned an annual average salary of $98,350. Since this is the mid point, some earned more than $156,580. And, some earned less than $56,750.
Salaries also vary by industry. For instance, those in computer systems design earn an average of $102,620. While those in the finance sector earned $101,130.
Other industries where computer forensics investigators & analysts earn high wages are information, management and support services. Average salaries for these jobs are $96,580, $94,180 and $94,120 respectively.
Experience Level and Salary Info for Computer Forensics Investigators & Analysts
The level of experience you have as a computer forensics investigator may impact salary too.
|Experience Level||Years Of Experience||Median|
|Entry-Level||< 1 Year||$56,000|
|Early-career||1 -4 Years||$66,000|
|Mid-Career||5 – 9 Years||$86,000|
|Experienced||10 – 19 Years||$100,000|
|Late-Career||20 + Years||$100,000|
Top Paying Cities
Another factor that impacts your salary as a computer forensics analyst is location. Some cities, like D.C and Dallas, pay more than the national average at 38 and 33 percent respectively. But on the flip side, some cities, like Chicago, pay 12% lower than the national average.
|Location||Compared to National Average||Median Salary|
|Washington, DC||38% higher||$98,000|
|Dallas, TX||33% higher||$95,000|
|Boston, MA||5% higher||$75,000|
|New York, NY||2% higher||$73,000|
|Atlanta, GA||2% higher||$73,000|
Computer Forensic Investigator Job Titles to Look For
As an emerging career field, many job titles for computer forensic investigators exists. Some are computer forensic analysts, specialists or technicians. And others may go by these popular job titles.
- Digital Forensics Specialist
- Forensic Computer Examiner
- Info Security Analyst
Professional Resources for Computer Forensics Certifications
Computer forensics certifications may help boost your resume. And some employers may only want to Certified Forensic Computer Examiners (CFCE).
There are a few ways to get the CFE Certification.
- International Society of Forensic Computer Examiners (ISFCE)
Analysts who pass the ISFCE exam earn the credential.
- International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists (IACIS)
This certification for people with board approved training, who also pass the exam. Once you get it, you also need to renew it every three years.
- Advanced Computer System Security or Advanced Computer Forensics
Another route that has fewer requirements is the ACFCE. These are Advanced Computer System Security or Advanced Computer Forensics credentials for analysts.
If this is your goal, you have to provide proof of adequate work experience / training. And, pass the exam.