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Criminal Justice Articles

Finding the right Economic Crime Investigation education

Thanks to advancements in computer technology and the internet, white collar crime has risen exponentially the past few decades. Martha Stewart, Bernard Madoff, and Enron are just a few extreme cases of white collar crimes. Most likely, economic crime investigators from various government agencies and other entities worked on these cases to gather evidence and prove guilt. Just what is economic crime investigation and how do you find the right education for this unique but growing field of study?

Defining Economic Crime Investigation

With evolving white collar crime in the form of stock scams, medical fraud, insurance crime, money laundering, tax evasion, identity theft, cyber terrorism and credit card fraud, just to name a few, a keen knowledge of forensic accounting, computer technology and criminal justice is a must. A relatively new area of study, called economic crime investigation, covers these bases and provides a solid foundation for an investigative career in a number of industries.

Federal regulatory and law enforcement agencies like the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hire economic crime investigators. Private Banks and financial institutions use them, as do companies in the insurance, healthcare, information technology (IT) and telecommunications industries. Anywhere the potential for financial and cyber crimes exists, there is a need for an economic crime investigator.

Finding an Economic Crime Investigation Degree Program

While the study of criminal justice, computer technology, and forensic accounting are not new degree programs, economic crime investigation is. There are currently a few universities and community colleges across the country already offering this special degree program; however, because white collar crime is a booming $200 billion dollar problem, more and more educational institutions are paying attention and developing their own degree programs to address the growing need for economic crime investigators. Typically, a Bachelor of Science degree is required for entry level investigation positions in this field.

If you live in an area that does not offer this specialized degree program, you can still get into the field of economic crime investigation. It is a matter of choosing a closely applicable degree such as forensic accounting, computer security or criminal justice, and populating your course load with classes that will enhance your chances of earning an internship or entry level position in the economic crime investigation field. For example, in established economic crime investigation degree programs, you can expect to find heavy emphasis in economics, statistics, auditing, forensic and managerial accounting, computer technology, business ethics, sociology, psychology, business law, criminal justice, investigative methods, and other related specialized courses of study.

Many colleges offer a number of suitable classes that can boost your chances of getting hired in the economic crime investigation field. The key to success is finding a degree program which also offers hands-on technical experience. If you do not have access to an educational institution with an actual economic crime investigation degree program, seek those that offer lab work, special projects and internships in the specialized fields of study in accounting, computer technology and criminal justice. When your schedule does not permit full-time course loads or commutes to college, a number of online universities exist that offer economic crime investigation degrees.

Considering the field of economic crime investigation, you should visit the career counselors at several colleges nearby, as well as talk with some actual economic crime investigators. Quiz them about what courses to take in school in addition to the expected training and job tasks involved. Arming yourself with as much information as possible will help you make an informed decision about your future studies within the field of economic crime investigation.

Schools Offering Criminal Investigation Courses:

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