Best Online Computer Forensics Programs

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Do you love the latest tech gadgets? Are you a problem-solver and puzzle whiz? Do you want to keep your community and country safe? If so, you might find a career waiting for you in computer forensics.

In this field, professionals help solve crimes, catch criminals, and prevent criminal behavior through technology.

Computer forensics offers an engaging and important mission, along with some of today’s highest-paying jobs. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that computer and information technology occupations garnered a median annual wage of $88,240 as of 2019.

Finding employment in computer forensics usually requires a bachelor’s degree. The following page provides prospective computer forensics professionals with career information, along with a ranked list of the best online computer forensics programs. 

Top 10 Colleges With the Best Online Computer Forensics Programs

Rank School Location
1 University of Central Florida Orlando, FL
2 Champlain College Burlington, VT
3 Robert Morris University Moon Township, PA
4 University of Arizona Tucson, AZ
5 DeSales University Center Valley, PA
6 Utica College Utica, NY
7 University of San Diego San Diego, CA
8 University of the Cumberlands Williamsburg, KY
9 Stevenson University Stevenson, MD
10 Illinois Institute of Technology Chicago, IL
Advertisement CyberDegrees.org is an advertising-supported site. Featured or trusted partner programs and all school search, finder, or match results are for schools that compensate us. This compensation does not influence our school rankings, resource guides, or other editorially-independent information published on this site.

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What Is Computer Forensics?

When more consumers began adding personal computers in their homes in the 1980s, the field of computer forensics started to form. By the time the internet became part of public life in the late 1990s and early 2000s, computer crime had grown into a serious threat. Consequently, computer forensics professionals started pursuing individual perpetrators, crime rings, corporate criminals, and even governments.

Today, computer forensics professionals work on the front lines of criminal investigation, espionage, and national security in government agencies, private companies, healthcare settings, and educational institutions. 

These professionals find employment as computer forensics investigators, information security analysts, forensic computer analysts, or security consultants. Daily responsibilities vary, but the mission remains the same: use digital and electronic tools to investigate crimes. People who can pass a criminal background check, enjoy solving puzzles, have a mind for technology, and want to serve their communities may find their career match in computer forensics.

Starting in this field often requires a bachelor’s degree. Most forensics professionals also pursue professional certifications after completing their bachelor’s degrees. Students aiming to work in leadership roles can pursue master’s degrees in computer forensics or related fields.

Why Get an Online Computer Forensics Bachelor’s?

A bachelor’s in computer forensics is well worth the investment and effort. The best online computer forensics programs prepare students to work on the front lines of law enforcement using state-of-the-art forensic technology. 

The security and technology fields include many of today’s highest-paying and most promising professions, such as penetration tester and computer forensic examiner. These jobs and others like them operate in a constant candidate deficit as the field continues to grow. Other benefits of an online computer forensics program include:

Certifications
Many of the best cybersecurity professions require professional certifications, some of which reduce experience prerequisites for candidates with four-year degrees.
Multiple Career Settings
Companies and organizations in nearly every sector and industry need cybersecurity professionals, including computer forensic examiners. Graduates find work in the government, private companies, nonprofits, schools, hospitals, and more.
Job Availability
Computer forensics is one of the fastest-growing career fields available, and BLS projections indicate that employment will continue to expand over the next decade. Professionals planning to enter this field in the next few years should have plenty of job openings to explore upon graduation.

The Top Bachelor’s in Computer Forensics Programs Online

  1. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Central Florida began in 1963 with a strong interest in space research. Located in Orlando, this public institution awards over 16,000 degrees annually, for a total of more than 347,000 conferred degrees over time. Enrollment surpassed 69,000 for fall 2019 at this military-friendly university. UFC boasts Carnegie Classification and ranks as the 16th most innovative school in the country, according to U.S. News and World Report. The institution's accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    UFC offers a master of science in digital forensics. This program emphasizes cybersecurity and trains students to communicate, examine, and resolve technological issues for companies.

    The curriculum includes 30 credits and three restricted elective course categories: computing and technology, criminal justice, and legal studies. Learners can choose a thesis or non-thesis option and may finish their degree in 24 months. Career opportunities for graduates include analyst and security administrator.

    This online computer forensics degree is a product of several university departments and the National Center for Forensic Science. UCF also delivers online certificates in crime analysis, systems engineering, and design for usability, which can increase students' career options.

    Distance learners at UCF can receive writing guidance through the writing center by using Adobe Connect technology. UCF also provides online tutoring through the student academic resource center. The library offers virtual research consultations to students and allows online candidates to review virtual library materials such as journals and databases. Applicants must provide transcripts, a resume, and a professional statement.

  2. Champlain College
    Location

    Burlington, VT

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Champlain College started as the Burlington Collegiate Institute and Commercial College in 1878. The name changed to Champlain in 1958. More than 2,000 students benefit from a 12-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio at this private institution. Around 94% of 2018 alumni from this Vermont school entered the workforce within six months.

    U.S. News & World Report ranks Champlain as the 66th best regional university in the North, 38th best college for veterans, 46th best value school, and eighth most innovative school in the country. The New England Commission of Higher Education accredits the college.

    Champlain's master of science in digital forensic science prepares students to identify and manage cybersecurity threats for multiple devices. Learners are trained to create tools and determine strategies for countering these cyber issues, as well as to assess the value of current protective methods.

    To complete this computer forensics program, degree-seekers must complete 30 credits in courses that explore encryption, investigation, and systems analysis. Graduation also mandates a thesis. Courses embrace asynchronous delivery and last eight weeks each.

    The Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center recognizes the college as a National Center of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence. This distinction means Champlain is among the best schools for computer forensics, which can help graduates earn careers as research scientists, information systems managers, and computer systems analysts.

    Ideal applicants for the computer forensics master's hold a bachelor's and boast relevant field experience. Candidates must also answer essay questions and provide resumes and transcripts. Military students benefit from reduced tuition rates.

  3. Robert Morris University
    Location

    Moon Township, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Pittsburgh School of Accountancy began in 1921 and later became Robert Morris University. The school's first class only included 26 learners. Today, this private university offers over 80 programs, and 94% of RMU graduates enter the workforce or a graduate program within 12 months of degree completion. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits this military-friendly institution.

    The School of Informatics, Humanities, and Social Sciences delivers the master of science in cybersecurity and information assurance. This program equips learners with skills and knowledge for determining cybersecurity risks and creating systems that are safe and effective against those threats.

    This master's calls for 30 credits in computer forensics courses, including microcomputing technology, information technology governance, and network technology and management. As one of the best computer forensics programs in the country, this degree commonly leads to employment with companies like the Pittsburgh Steelers, Giant Eagle, and Heritage Valley Health System. In fact, 84% of RMU alumni enter careers related to their degree.

    RMU also offers an online 21-credit certificate in mobile forensics and security. Learners can also pursue RMU's on-campus doctorate in information systems and communications.

    The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security recognize RMU as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education. RMU learners can participate in events that relate to cybersecurity concepts such as email privacy and identity theft. The school's website also informs students of relevant certification opportunities, journals, and conferences.

  4. University of Arizona
    Location

    Tucson, AZ

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Arizona's history begins in 1885. Located in Tucson, this public school boasted 45,918 students in fall 2019 and conferred over 10,000 degrees in 2019. The institution ranks on U.S. News & World Report's lists for top national universities, best colleges for veterans, best value schools, and top public schools. The Higher Learning Commission accredits this university.

    The school offers an online master of science in cybersecurity that examines security issues as they relate to individuals, companies, and countries. Coursework provides information for determining and preventing security threats, as well as dealing with security breaches.

    The program calls for 33 credits and delivers two track options: information systems and physical systems. For either track, learners complete online courses related to computer forensics, including data mining for business intelligence and systems cybersecurity engineering.

    The department is recognized as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

    Applicants for this computer forensics master's should have related field experience, certification, or an undergraduate degree that is no more than 12 months old. Candidates also need a minimum 3.0 GPA and must provide three recommendation letters, a resume, and a purpose statement.

    UA does not charge out-of-state tuition for online learners. The school provides military personnel with reduced tuition rates. Online students can benefit from tutoring through the Think Tank and may access online library resources.

  5. DeSales University
    Location

    Center Valley, PA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales opened to students in 1965. This Catholic institution in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, became DeSales University in 2000. Nearly 3,500 learners attend DeSales and benefit from a 13-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio. The university ranks among U.S. News & World Report's top 60 regional universities in the North, best colleges for veterans, and best value schools. The school also holds accreditation through the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    Students who are interested in online courses for computer forensics should consider the university's 30-credit master of arts in criminal justice with a focus on digital forensics. Candidates learn to conduct forensic criminal investigations by using current tools, technology, and research. To prepare for these outcomes, the curriculum includes technology-based courses like network and cloud forensics. The program also addresses criminology and criminal law. All learners complete a master's project seminar.

    Online courses at DeSales use Blackboard technology and may be delivered synchronously or asynchronously. All faculty for this master's program boast professional field experience.

    To enter this computer forensics program, degree-seekers must hold a bachelor's and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Admission also requires three recommendation letters and a goals statement. Learners who work in criminal justice benefit from reduced tuition rates. Out-of-state learners do not pay higher tuition than in-state students.

    Learners can earn related graduate certificates from DeSales to increase their employment odds. These credentials cover topics such as cybersecurity, information systems, investigative forensics, counterrorism digital forensics, and homeland security and counterrorism investigations.

  6. Utica College
    Location

    Utica, NY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Utica College started in 1946 in connection to Syracuse University. Current enrollment at this New York college exceeds 5,000, and more than 29,000 learners have graduated from the institution. Utica ranks as the 86th regional university in the North, according to U.S. News and World Report, and boasts accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

    The college's master of science in cybersecurity offers a concentration in computer forensics. This program covers methods of detecting and dealing with cyber crimes related to breaches, data manipulation, and illegal content. Coursework trains students in using current tools, assessing information, and maintaining evidence to solve virtual crimes through 30 credits of courses. Learners must also complete a capstone project.

    Students can graduate in two years. However, candidates without previous coursework related to computer forensics may need to complete a foundational class in cybersecurity. Graduates may work for organizations such as banks, insurance companies, and law enforcement agencies.

    This degree can help individuals obtain certifications as professional investigators, computer hacking forensic investigators, and forensic computer examiners or analysts. These credentials come from organizations such as the International Association of Computer Investigative Specialists.

    The Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency recognize Utica as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education.

    Other specializations for the MS in cybersecurity include electronic crime, intelligence, malware analysis, and cyber operations. The school also offers certificates in related areas, including cyber policy, cybersecurity technologies, cyber network defense, and financial crime and compliance operations.

    Online students can benefit from online tutoring through Smarthinking, including essay feedback through the Online Writing Lab.

  7. University of San Diego
    Location

    San Diego, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of San Diego dates back to 1949 and offers education that is grounded in Catholic traditions. More than 9,000 students attend USD and can choose from over 75 programs. Over 70,000 learners from more than 140 countries have graduated from this private university. According to U.S. News and World Report, USD ranks as the 91st best national university, 58th best college for veterans, and 66th best value school in the country. The school holds accreditation from Western Association of Schools and Colleges.

    The Shiley-Marcos School of Engineering delivers a master of science in cybersecurity engineering that prepares individuals to detect and counter cybersecurity risks in a variety of settings. The program emphasizes current problems in cybersecurity. Students develop hardware and software skills for designing tools and techniques for safer virtual practices.

    The curriculum includes 30 credits in concepts such as cryptography, security assurance, and cybersecurity operations. Learners can graduate in under two years by enrolling in two asynchronous classes during three 14-week semesters per year. These classes last seven weeks apiece. USD uses Blackboard to deliver online courses.

    Ideal applicants for the program have a bachelor's and work experience in the field. Candidates should also hold a minimum 3.0 GPA and supply a statement of purpose; two references; a resume; and test scores from exams like the Graduate Record Examination, the Graduate Management Admission Test, or the Miller Analogies Test. The university embraces rolling admissions. In-state and out-of-state learners pay equal tuition rates.

  8. University of the Cumberlands
    Location

    Williamsburg, KY

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Williamsburg Institute was founded in 1888 and changed its name to the University of the Cumberlands in 2005. Today, the university educates 11,696 learners, and over one-fourth of these students are first generation. This Kentucky university's accreditation comes from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges.

    To study computer forensics, students can enroll in the institution's master of science in digital forensics. The program equips degree-seekers with technical knowledge for helping companies solve and recover from cyber crimes. Learners also study theories, statistics, communication, and leadership as they relate to digital forensics practices.

    Candidates must earn 31 credits through computer forensics courses such as malware, wireless security, and Windows digital forensics. The curriculum also calls for an applied learning practicum. Alumni can earn positions as police detectives, data security administrators, private investigators, and information technology managers.

    Ideal applicants have a bachelor's, experience in the field, and at least a 2.5 GPA.

    The university does not charge higher tuition for nonresident students.

    The institution is one of the best schools for computer forensics in the country, due to its recognition as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense. This distinction comes from the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency.

    Distance learners can search for available careers through Handshake and polish interview skills through Big Interview. The school also provides online workshops and tutoring for academic assistance. Other online resources include access to e-books and journals through the Hagan Memorial Library.

  9. Stevenson University
    Location

    Stevenson, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Located in Maryland, Stevenson University started in 1947 and currently educates more than 2,700 undergraduate learners. These students experience a 14-to-1 student-to-faculty ratio, and 92% of graduates enter the workforce or another academic program in the six months following degree conferral. U.S. News & World Report ranks Stevenson as the 75th best regional university in the North, 45th best college for veterans, and 33rd best value school in the nation. The Middle States Commission on Higher Education accredits Stevenson.

    The university offers a master of science in cybersecurity and digital forensics that emphasizes information collection and analysis for criminal cases. Students examine effective procedures through assignments that mimic common issues in cybersecurity, such as data loss.

    Computer forensics courses for this program may cover concepts such as incident response, malware detection, and network penetration testing. The university delivers these courses through Blackboard.

    The program prepares for careers as network engineers, network architects, and cybersecurity engineers and analysts. Stevenson's other certificates -- such as credentials in crime scene investigation, forensic accounting, and forensic investigation -- may also help graduates obtain forensics careers.

    The department requires a related bachelor's or field experience for admission. Candidates must also hold at least a 3.0 GPA and submit a personal statement. For higher admission chances, candidates can also supply a resume and two recommendations.

    Stevenson provides online students with online tutoring through Smarthinking. Virtual learners can also browse library resources, including citation guidelines, research tutorials, and online databases and journals.

  10. Illinois Institute of Technology
    Location

    Chicago, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Created through a merger of the Lewis Institute and Armour Institute, the Illinois Institute of Technology began in 1940 and has graduated more than 80,000 learners. This Chicago-based school educated 6,566 students in fall 2019 and conferred over 2,300 degrees in 2018-2019. The student loan default rate for Illinois Tech alumni is 2.7%, which is nearly 9% lower than the national average. The institute ranks as one of the best colleges for veterans and best value schools in the nation, according to U.S. News and World Report, and holds accreditation through the Higher Learning Commission.

    The School of Applied Technology's Department of Information Technology and Management offers a master of cyber forensics and security. The program examines legal, ethical, and technical concepts for overseeing systems and analyzing security issues. Learners explore ethical hacking and efficient protocols for dealing with security breaches.

    The curriculum includes 30 credits in vulnerability analysis and control, digital evidence, and cybersecurity technologies. Candidates can also choose a project path, which requires a research course. The program prepares degree-seekers for careers as information security officers, cybersecurity analysts, and vulnerability researchers.

    Illinois Tech's career services center provides students with Handshake access. Online learners can also explore the school's blog for information on professional development, internships, and networking. Distance students can use electronic library sources, such as journals and research guides.

    Learners at Illinois Tech can take part in study abroad opportunities on all continents but Antarctica. The institution participates in the Yellow Ribbon Program.

What To Expect From Bachelor’s in Computer Forensics Programs

Computer forensics programs prepare students to enter the world of digital investigation. Graduates with a bachelor’s degree possess skills in mobile forensics and computer incident investigation along with knowledge of the laws and ethics regarding computer privacy. 

The field of computer forensics began in the early 1980s with the popularization of personal computers. The field exploded in the early 2000s in parallel with the wave of cybercrime that accompanied the internet’s expansion.

Today, computer forensics experts investigate internet-based crimes, including corporate fraud, child exploitation, espionage, and even murder. Entering this field typically requires a bachelor’s degree.

Most college-level computer forensics programs comprise 120 credits divided among general education, computer technology, criminal justice, and elective courses. Taking 12-18 credits per semester, a student can finish in about four years. Summer courses, online courses, and transfer credits can all help shorten that timeframe.

The price of a bachelor’s degree varies among schools. Often, private and for-profit schools post higher tuition costs than public universities or state-supported community colleges. With the right mix of financial aid, however, even a private school can provide a surprisingly affordable option.

  • Admission Requirements

    Each school sets specific admission standards, but applicants typically must provide transcripts demonstrating completion of a high school diploma or GED certificate. Holding an associate degree or certificate in cybersecurity may provide a quicker, easier path to admission than a high school diploma would. Experience with computers or law enforcement may also help applicants stand out.

    Minimum GPA requirements also vary by school. Each institution also determines what mix of high school courses it considers adequate college preparation. Most colleges and universities expect applicants to provide ACT or SAT scores. Graduates of community colleges and other applicants with transfer credits in hand may not need to submit test scores.

    Many colleges now accept Common App, which streamlines the application process, allowing candidates to fill out one application and send it to multiple institutions.

  • Comparing Degree Types

    Aspiring students quickly discover that online computer forensics programs come in several options, including the bachelor of applied science (BAS), bachelor of science (BS), bachelor of business administration (BBA), and bachelor of accounting.

    Bachelor of Applied Science


    The BAS equips learners to advance directly from college to their careers. This degree best suits applicants with some practical experience in technology or law enforcement.

    Bachelor of Science


    This standard bachelor’s degree provides a thorough academic grounding in the discipline, along with liberal arts and science classes. This degree may provide the best preparation for future graduate study.

    Bachelor of Business Administration


    The BBA prepares students for management roles in public, private, and nonprofit organizations. This degree blends a business background with practical training in technology and forensics.

    Bachelor of Accounting


    At some schools, forensic accounting operates as a subdiscipline of computer forensics or cybersecurity in general.

    In addition, prospective students can pursue bachelor’s degrees in cybersecurity, a field closely related to computer forensics.

  • Popular Computer Forensics Courses

    Most computer forensics programs require 120 credits. These courses consist of a mix of general education classes, major courses, electives, and concentration classes.

    In addition to didactic coursework, many colleges and universities require internships, capstones, or final papers. Some schools also allow students to complete specialized certificates as part of an undergraduate curriculum. Sample courses include:

    Forensics Internship
    In this individually supervised learning experience, the school places learners in organizations to explore potential careers through day-to-day work. While each learner’s internship takes its own shape, each enrollee commonly must complete 120 credits of work, submit regular feedback, and pass a performance review.
    White-Collar Crime
    White-collar crime refers to complex legal violations, including fraud, environmental crime, abuses of power, and computer crime. In this course, students explore different types of fraud, including consumer, securities, corporate, and healthcare fraud. They also learn to use the tools of forensic accounting to determine if someone has committed financial crimes.
    Malware Forensics
    Malware unleashes havoc on businesses, organizations, and families. Security professionals have to keep up with an ever-expanding catalog to detect new types of malware. In this course, students determine sources of malware to successfully stop them. Topics include infection vectors, dynamic analysis, static analysis, and timeline construction.
    Digital Forensic Investigation Techniques
    Students in this course examine the best practices and software tools used in handling digital evidence. The course includes labs to help learners build skills with cutting-edge technology. Students also receive an introduction to the practices required for examining evidence and autopsies.
    Law of Searching and Seizing Digital Evidence
    Law enforcement agencies and district attorneys use digital evidence to prosecute criminals. Cases may include embezzlement, child pornography, or murder. Digital evidence can provide critical points of information that lead investigators to the truth. Students learn to apply legal principles for recovering and using computer evidence to ensure the evidence would be admissible in court.

  • How Much Will a Bachelor's in Computer Forensics Cost?

    Higher education rarely comes cheap in the U.S., but students can use a few tactics to lower their overall debt. Colleges and universities charge tuition, along with technology fees, book sales, and sometimes insurance. On-campus students often encounter even more expenses.

    Some schools, however, cost much less than others. In general, public schools charge less than private institutions, nonprofit colleges have lower tuition than for-profit schools, and in-state programs cost less than out-of-state institutions. Prestigious schools tend to charge more for the value of their brand.

    A student who enters a bachelor’s degree with several undergraduate credits or a full associate degree can save on tuition costs. Nearly all students can benefit from financial aid packages, too.

    The federal government provides grants, loans, and other aid programs to qualifying recipients. Private donors also offer scholarships, and many schools feature aid packages. Working professionals often maintain their employment while attending school online or at night, as well.

Jobs for Bachelor’s in Computer Forensics Graduates

As a branch of cybersecurity, computer forensics ranks among today’s highest-paying and most in-demand career fields. Professionals who want to blend cutting-edge technology with problem-solving techniques may do well as computer forensic specialists. A bachelor’s degree in a related field provides the key educational component new professionals need to secure entry-level jobs.

The following list includes available careers for cybersecurity professionals. Advancing to positions with more responsibility and greater income potential may require going back to school for a master’s degree in cybersecurity or earning a professional certification.

  • Forensics Expert

    A forensics expert typically helps investigate and solve cybercrimes using computer forensic techniques. They educate employees about cybercrime prevention, evaluate security incidents, and retrace events that led to data breaches. These professionals may testify in court as experts in the field. To advance beyond entry-level roles, forensics experts usually earn graduate degrees or professional certifications.

    • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
    • Average Annual Salary: $73,890

  • Penetration Tester

    Sometimes called “white-hat hackers,” penetration testers simulate cyberattacks to test companies’ security measures. These professionals work in the government, banking, and healthcare sectors. Often, they hold appropriate certification with their bachelor’s degrees or other academic backgrounds.

    • Required Education: Bachelor’s, sometimes master’s degree
    • Average Annual Salary: $84,610

  • Computer and Information Systems Manager

    These professionals, sometimes called IT or IT project managers, take responsibility for all facets of organizations’ security systems. They determine their organizations’ IT goals and implement computer systems to make those goals attainable.

    • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
    • Job Outlook: +10%
    • Median Annual Salary: $146,360

  • Information Security Analyst

    Information security analysts keep their employers’ technology safe by monitoring security infrastructure, testing firewalls and procedures, and recommending any updates to the management. Often, these professionals possess strong critical thinking skills, knowledge of programming languages, and facility with computer network security.

    • Required Education: Bachelor’s degree
    • Job Outlook: +31%
    • Median Annual Salary: $99,730

Choosing the Right Computer Forensics Program

Rankings offer a great starting place for researching the right program, but prospective students also need to consider key factors such as accreditation, cost, career services, reputation, and alumni network. 

Accreditation
In the U.S., accreditation is a process by which schools undergo extensive evaluation. Regional, national, and programmatic agencies offer accreditation. Regional accreditation carries the most prestige, but top institutions often hold programmatic accreditation as well. Programmatic accreditors like ABET approve online computer forensics programs.
Cost and Financial Aid
Potential enrollees should think beyond a program’s sticker price alone. Some schools charge higher fees for books and materials. Make sure to compare each school’s financial aid offerings, as well.
Career Services
A solid career services program helps students transition from the world of education into their professional lives. Some schools provide online students with easy access to career services, while others do not.
Reputation
What will potential employers think when they see this school’s name on your resume?
Alumni Network
The alumni network helps graduates make crucial professional connections. Newer programs likely do not maintain the robust networks of computer forensics graduates as more established schools.

Why You Should Get Your Degree Online

While schools have offered distance education programs for decades, only in the last few years have these degrees received equal recognition as traditional academic programs. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the trend toward virtual learning at all levels, transforming online education into a near-universal experience.

For technology-related majors, digital learning provides an ideal educational experience, blending content with hands-on technology use.

Still, prospective learners should weigh all relevant factors before committing to online programs. Virtual learners must consider cost, for example. Some schools add pricey technology fees to their online tuition. Before enrolling, these potential students should also talk to their employers and families about their decision.

In distance learning, enrollees need to show initiative and self-direction. Online learning does not provide an easier path to a degree, but it does offer a more flexible route. As in any academic program, disciplined study still precedes success.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What kind of degree do you need for computer forensics?

    Entry-level professionals need bachelor’s or master’s degrees for most roles in computer forensics. Some careers may also require certification in a specific skill, such as penetration testing or digital investigations.

  • How long is a computer forensics degree?

    A bachelor’s degree in computer forensics takes about four years to complete. Students who already hold associate degrees or certificates may be able to shorten their time in the program.

  • What can I do with a degree in computer forensics?

    Computer forensics degree-holders can pursue many technology and law enforcement careers, including malware analyst, information security analyst, and mobile forensic examiner. With experience, professionals in this field can work in consulting or cybersecurity management.

  • How do I become a computer forensics investigator?

    Most entry-level jobs in computer forensics investigation require a bachelor’s degree in a related field and 1-4 years of relevant professional experience. Investigators need knowledge of computer systems, computer languages, and digital forensics tools.

  • Is computer forensics a good career?

    By blending law enforcement with technology, computer forensics prepares students to work on the cutting edge of security. This emerging field offers high pay for engaging work that contributes to the common good.

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