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The Job Market of Forensic Science
Forensic science can be defined as the application of scientific methods and principles to solve crimes and other types of legal issues. In most criminal cases, a forensic scientist is typically involved in looking for and examining many kinds of physical evidence that can help establishing a link between a suspect of committing a crime and the scene of the crime or victim. Forensics is now a more popular subject since several TV shows became successful, such as Crime Scene Investigation (CSI).
However, very few people realize that being a CSI or forensic professional can be a very good career alternative. One can put forward many reasons that make forensic science one of the best career prospects nowadays. The reasons range from labor market, salaries, benefits to training availability and beyond.
The availability of jobs for someone seeking to be a forensic professional used to be very small for a long time until about five years ago, when many technological and scientific advances started to develop and provided new kinds of tools that substantially improved the efficiency of the police and security forces in solving crimes and other problems. As a consequence, most law enforcement agencies and other institutions greatly expanded their resources and facilities in order to increase their ability to employing techniques and methodologies of forensic science.
Even though police departments alone employ (and keep hiring) thousands of people coming from diverse areas of forensic work and with many different educational backgrounds, police is not the only alternative for those looking for a job related to forensic science or criminal justice. Methods and concepts of forensic science are increasingly being used by many other institutions for diverse purposes so the job market for forensics is greater than ever. Companies that develop, improve and produce tools, reagents, kits and devices to be used in forensic investigation are also a good part of the available job market. The size of the job market and the opportunities associated greatly increase if one considers working abroad. Besides the United States, countries like Britain and Australia are also part of this trend.
Being a discipline that relies strongly on technology, working in forensic science requires the acquisition of certain skills. This means somebody wanting to work in forensics needs at least some sort of higher education. The type of degree and the length of the program vary largely and depend on the kind of work one is interested in doing. Some positions require higher degrees such as Ph.D. or Masters, but many more posts can be taken after a short course of one or two years earned at smaller private academies.
But these requirements are not a big obstacle to be sorted out if one considers the many benefits of working for a forensic department. Positions at police agencies and other law enforcement institutions are often accompanied by substantial benefits and competitive salaries and, best of all, good prospects of stability and professional growth along with an aura of social approval typically associated with law and order public service. These and many other reasons make forensic science on of the best career alternatives available today.
Ernesto Guevara is a web publisher and helped many people develop a successful career in forensics. He researches and writes about forensics jobs and educational programs in forensic science.
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