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Criminal Justice Articles

Finding the right Crime Scene Investigation education

Education is a necessary part of becoming a crime scene investigator. Individuals who take the time to properly research job options and obtain at least a bachelor's degree will find flexibility and better pay. Some areas may allow individuals to become a police officer and gain training from in-house programs to become a crime scene investigator, or allow employment after taking a certification course or earning an associate's degree.

Although a degree in criminal justice may be a popular option, it is a bit too broad and general for crime scene investigation. Degrees in forensic science, forensic biology, forensic chemistry, forensic investigation, and other related fields offer the specialized training needed to understand how data from crime scenes should be gathered and stored, as well as the technical expertise to handle lab work and conduct tests.

Those interested in gaining employment should review the training offered by a degree program to make sure it is specific to their future needs. For example, online degree programs are usually faster to complete and more flexible. But do they offer the same level of hands on experience? Does an accredited institute offer the programs? Will the police department chosen consider the curriculum appropriate for crime scene work? Consider students enrolled at Mountain State University for a bachelor's degree in forensic investigation. The school provides enrollees access to crime scene rooms and a crime scene automobile. This allows them to see and experience exactly what they will be required to do on the job.

Online programs should not be completely dismissed. Some online schools offer a quality education at a better cost than a traditional campus, and greater flexibility for those with a busy schedule. Besides on-campus opportunities, Mountain State University also provides an online bachelors degree in Criminal Justice Administration. The American Academy of Forensic Sciences offers detailed listings of colleges and universities offering degrees in forensic science. They also offer information on accredited programs; these are schools that have passed quality standards, met the requirements graduates will need to do laboratory work, and ensured graduates have received training in all subject areas needed for crime scene investigation, including genetics and biochemistry.

The education of a crime scene investigator does not end once they leave school and receive on the job training. State licensure or certification for various specializations may also be desired or required. The exact needs may depend on the state where an individual works. For example, the International Association for Identification offers certifications in crime scenes, footwear, forensic photography and other areas where forensic experts are required. The American Board of Criminalistics offers certification in areas where investigators are required to be knowledgeable, including drug analysis.

Crime scene investigators will be required to continuously learn to stay knowledgeable in the field throughout their career. Joining membership organizations, professional societies, and subscribing to crime scene magazines, newsletters and other publications can help crime scene investigators stay up to date.

Schools OfferingCrime Scene Technician Courses:

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