Certificate in Forensics

Forensic science may be defined as using scientific methods to collect evidence from crime scenes for analysis. The need for forensic analysts can be seen in a range of law enforcement agencies, homicide departments, and crime units. Over the years, with advancement in technology and science, the forensic science field has grown. Television dramas such as CSI and Bones have also added to the popularity of this field.

Many individuals are joining crime units as forensic scientists to assist law enforcement officers and detectives. Their services are crucial to helping solve a criminal case. The findings of forensic scientists may be used as evidence in court and put criminals behind bars. Forensic science is being offered by many schools as a major academic discipline. Now individuals may prepare for a challenging career in this field by earning a degree and getting a forensics certification.

Forensic Science Certification
The certificate in forensic science is an academic program that is designed to provide individuals with a thorough understanding of the field and prepare them for a forensic career. The program has a shorter duration as compared to traditional degree programs. It may be completed in 6 to 8 months, depending upon the school. Forensics certificate programs are career-oriented and may also be pursued online. The program offers a cross-disciplinary approach, where students not only learn about natural sciences and forensics, but also acquire an in-depth overview of the criminal justice system. Students will learn about different scientific methods and techniques used for evidence collection. The coursework is divided into theory-based subjects and practical training. During the initial phase of the program, students will cover general science subjects. Further in the program, more advanced-level areas are briefed. Listed below are a few of the subjects that students will cover in the coursework:

  • Physical evidence
  • DNA evidence
  • Trace evidence
  • Toxicology
  • Latent prints
  • Forensic photography
  • Organic chemistry
  • Calculus
  • Criminalistics

Students will be required to work in learning labs where they will develop skills and gain practical experience. The minimum credit hour requirement must be satisfied to successfully complete the certificate program. There are a few recognized agencies such as the American Academy of Forensic Science that accredit schools and oversee the educational services being offered in this field. It is important to make sure you check the accreditation status of the school as well as the program before enrollment.

Career Opportunities
If you have already earned a bachelor or master's degree in forensics, and now hold a certification in forensic science, you could boost your current career. Certificate programs are gaining popularity among many professionals who wish to take their career to the next level. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the annual median wage of forensic science technicians was $52,840 in 2012. These experts are hired mostly by crime units. However, you could also seek employment in other institutions such as the corners office, morgue, and in the police department. The career is challenging as forensic science technicians are required to collect evidence from crime scenes that can be disturbing in nature.


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