Crime scene investigators have to go through the same type of rigorous coursework as forensic scientists do if they want to earn an accredited degree in the field. CSI’s, as they’re commonly referred to, don’t necessarily need to know what they want to be during high school, however if they do, it helps. Take a look at the following paragraphs. They are designed to help you understand which courses are more important during each educational level. Entry-level positions can be obtained by earning an Associate’s degree, however, if you’d like to earn more annually and have a chance to advance in position, you should probably be ready to face up to an additional 4-5 years of education after high school is complete.
During high school you should focus on:
- General Studies
These classes can help you understand more advanced curriculum down the line in undergraduate or possibly graduate or doctoral work. General studies are your basic science, history, math, and languages. Having a good background in all of these subjects can help you assess crime scenes faster, and have knowledge of cultures, people, areas, etc.
Your bachelor’s degree should be in one of the following:
- Crime Scene Forensics
- Criminal Justice
- Forensic Science
- Forensic Anthropology
- Forensic Biology
Earning a degree in one of these disciplines can help you get a better understanding of subjects such as molecular biology, biochemistry, fingerprint analysis, trace evidence, DNA analysis, toxicology and more. Generally, employers want to hire someone with additional forensic training, so if you have time, you should consider getting into an internship or apprenticeship. This can also open up the door for a future position in the company in which you are interning at.
The bottom line is, most of today’s crime scene investigators come from all sorts of educational backgrounds. Some CSI’s attend community colleges, while others attend ivy league universities, and others earn their degrees online. Many schools offer certificate or 2-year degree programs, however completion of a 4-year degree program can offer greater career flexibility should you want to transition out of the field and into another.
Online Certificate Programs
Prospective CSI’s who are interested in entry-level experience in the criminal justice field can earn a certificate in crime scene investigation. In fact, this has become quite popular in recent times. They are not only designed to add an additional layer of knowledge, experience and training to your continuous education, they are said to teach students the correct way of examining a scene, using the evidence from fingerprint examinations and other material that’s helpful to other investigators and prosecutors.