If you like to solve puzzles, you might be interested in a forensic analyst career. There is a need for forensic analysts for several aspects of law enforcement, but there is a growing need for forensic analysts in the IT field. A forensic analyst in IT can help law enforcement identify and trace malware and present evidence to the courts.
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Prerequisites: What You Need in the Forensic Analyst Industry
As with any job in the forensics territory, you need to know how to find and discover evidence. The materials you need are given to you, but you need to know how to use these materials to find the clues needed for trial. One of the big talents you need is the ability to look through a hard drive and identify malware or malicious programs. Some ability to decrypt messages and software also help you break into systems that are locked after being confiscated by law enforcement.
What Does a Forensic Analyst Do?
A forensic analyst does everything needed to translate IT or technical terms into reports that are used by law enforcement to prosecute criminals. You must be able to “hack” into computers and identify different data aspects that could give you clues to further investigate computer hardware or software.
In most cases, you are just handed a computer and asked to investigate the hard drive for any criminal activity. In some cases, files or software are encrypted, so you need to be able to break encryption codes that block you from reading the data. You can also qualify as an expert witness if you have a lot of experience and knowledge in the IT malware and forensics world. As a key expert witness, you not only investigate computer hardware for anything suspicious, but you also present your evidence and testimony to the courts during trial. It can be difficult for IT professionals to make the transition to a forensics position if they don’t have any experience. One way around this is to earn an industry accredited certification, such as the CCFE (Certified Computer Forensic Examiner). Certification is a great way to make you resume stand out even if you have experience. If you are interested in learning more about how you can become certified, fill out the form below for pricing information and a course syllabus on our 5 day Computer Forensics course.
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Forensic Analyst Salary Information
Notice the salary information below. Forensic analysts make good salaries, especially after you have acquired some experience. The amount of money you ear is dependent on where you are located, but you can get a general idea from the graph below. Notice that high risk security forensic analysts in IT make up to $140,000 each year. Security IT analysts make the most out of all the forensic careers. If you are a lead IT analyst, you can make about $136,000 each year.
A senior analyst has the most experience, and it takes several years to reach a senior level. A senior security analyst can make up to $159,000 each year. This number increases as you gain more experience.
In the graph below, you’ll notice that there are other areas of expertise you can focus on such as chemistry and psychiatry. Any of these positions have a high salary rate since you are able to solve puzzles and analyze data unlike many others in the field.
A forensic analyst is an exciting career that you can keep for years. IT has a high turnover rate with layoffs, but forensic analysts make great salaries and can keep a position for decades.