I am currently studying IT in college and am focusing on information security and am really interested in pursuing digital forensics as a career specifically for law enforcement. I am currently watching the videos done by you guys and am really enjoying them, in your opinion what do you guys think is a good way to get into the digital forensics career. I know there are many different avenues to take, for instance would pursuing a degree in IT and then joining law enforcement and training within law enforcement be a good avenue? Don't know if Sean Oriyano is still around but unfortunately I came a little too late to ask this question, anyways I am interested in hearing answers from around the spectrum so please feel free to include your opinion. Thank you!
Digital Forensics Career Starting Point?
These days you have some interesting options that were not available just a few years ago. The most logical way to go is typically to focus on this as an area of study while in college. You can do a BS and even a Masters in Digital or Cyber Forensics at many Universities and Colleges these days. (online or in person)
The "formal" degree route gives you several advantages:
Form relationships with peers that will be important to you professionally as you pursue your career
Access to a wide variety of tools and techniques through the course of your studies
Internships and real world experiences
You could "self-study" and get certified and pursue a job at a company or with a consulting company that has a need for someone with Forensics skills as well. The only challenge that I have found with that approach is that it is hard to get the chance to prove that you are good and know what you are doing unless you are being promoted from within by people that already trust and believe in you.
Years ago when I started out doing this, you only had the option of figuring it out for yourself, as there were no degree programs, or college degrees that you could go out and get. As a result, it was a very different part of the IT landscape for a long time, where people built their reputations on their abilities, and on word of mouth from others who knew of worked with them. These days, while that is still the case at a certain level, to break in and get started a degree makes it much easier.
A quick Google search shows some interesting options:
Take a look and be super picky, and compare what the programs offer and how they offer it. The trajectory of the degree program is important. What additional certifications and skills will you acquire as a result of doing that program? What internships do you have access to? What kind of hands-on experiences do they offer with the tools of the trade?
If I can be of any additional help, please feel free to reach out as needed.
Thank you very much for the information!