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Author Topic: Suggestions for Minors?  (Read 13728 times)

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Offline Scott Smith

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Suggestions for Minors?
« on: October 23, 2011, 06:24:45 AM »
Hello again!  Great advice for my undergrad pursuit...now a minor question, literally.  Ha!  Just wondering what you folks minored in.  I'm thinking of anthropology or biological science (the college's name for anatomy & biology).  Thanks!!

-Scott Smith

Offline Brian Smelser

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 09:30:04 AM »
If you want to have the ability to get into a job in the DNA sections, you need to have coursework in Molecular Biology, Biochemistry, and Genetics.  Also, you need training in statistics (mainly as it relates to population statistics).  That would be a reason to get a minor in Biology.  Otherwise, there probably is not a specific minor that is more or less important.  I would suggest taking classes in technical writing, photography, and speach (public speaking).  These are skills that will serve you very well not just in your career, but also in getting that job.  Write gooder and speak even gooder and people will be more likelier to hire you.  that is what I should have done.
Washington State Patrol
Seattle Laboratory
206-262-6032

Offline Scott Smith

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 10:45:21 AM »
Brian, thanks for the heads up.  That will help in choosing the elective courses.  i cant wait to leaned bout this stuff  :clap:

Offline William Cox

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2011, 10:51:10 AM »
Be aware that alot of the science degrees don't require a minor either, mine didn't.  If you're looking at getting into a certain area of forensics, then by all means minor in something that leans that direction.  I was a couple of classes away from minors in math, physics and biology, and maybe a few others.  I didn't do any of them (burnt out mostly).  I only ended up with a german minor since I already speak it having lived in Austria for 2 years.  Like Brian said, look more towards the electives that will help you out in specifics.  Technical writing is a great class that helped alot.  Stats is a good thing to know no matter what you're hoping to get into.  Also remember to have a fun class or two, nothing is worse than being overloaded with science classes and not being able to take the time each one needs to really learn it.  P-chem is hard enough on its own  :o 

Offline baye6212

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2011, 06:20:11 PM »
As a recent graduate with a Bachelor's in Forensic Science, I lucked out and got a job right away in Nashville as a Mass Spectrometrist in a Toxicology lab. It has been a great experience so far but my heart is in ballistics. I'm looking for the appropriate steps to take or places to look to get my foot in the firearms door and become involved. Can anyone help me?

Kyle

Offline Calvin Story

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2011, 08:22:16 AM »
We are a Firearms and Tool Mark training lab. We currently have 7 people in training for our field labs. There are rumors that we will soon have a vacancy in one of our field labs that we were not anticipating.
www.txdps.state.tx.us
At our home page click on employment and scroll down. I don't know when the vacancy will occur but I believe that it will be between now and the end of the year.
Our Second Amendment is America's original Homeland Security provision

Cal Story
Texas DPS, Austin

Offline baye6212

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2011, 08:29:32 PM »
Thank you! I will be sure to keep an eye out for a vacancy.  Are you able to provide me with some information pertaining to things like an approximate number of ballistics/firearm/tool mark labs in the nation, how are they broken down (local, state, federal, etc) and what kind of case loads does a lab like this deal with.  Besides comparison microscopy,and digital photo micrography what other instruments and methods are utilized in the field and what are the estimated costs of such analysis? I've researched a little on my own but the field is so appealing to me it would be great to get some first hand information.


Offline Justine Kreso

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2011, 05:40:52 AM »
Why are you interested in case loads of labs and budgetary aspects of FA/TM sections??
Justine Kreso
Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences
Syracuse, NY

Jerryp

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2011, 07:17:36 AM »
bench examiners dont usually concern themselves with that sort of information( case load and cost etc..). The emphasis is usually on the evidence, conclusions, and verbalizing those conclusions into a report (and then of course lunch and when is the next conference :) ) .

Your questions might be better addressed by managers/administrators.

Offline baye6212

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2011, 08:39:05 PM »
Just like to be educated that is all.  I'm new and "fresh" in the forensic world and was curious as to how FA/TM compared to the toxicology environment.  That being said, regardless of my limited knowledge and experience I have become extremely familiar with our instrumentation, methods as well as approximate costs and types of clients as I am responsible for upkeep, operation, and maintainence of almost 70 different instruments vital for my company's success and growth.
I am not looking for agency-specific details, but rather a very general approximation as to how things are broken down and how this field operates. 

Offline Justine Kreso

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2011, 05:21:20 AM »
There really isn't a comparison between labs.  What the case load of the lone lab in South Dakota is an apples to oranges comparison of how NYPD operates.  Caseload varies drastically depending on number of examiners, cases submitted, services offered, etc.  Fees for analysis as well.  The questions you ask are those that should be asked in interviews with specific laboratories when you are at the application or interview stage.
Justine Kreso
Onondaga County Center for Forensic Sciences
Syracuse, NY

Offline baye6212

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2011, 06:46:23 PM »
Very well, thank you.  How about things to do on my own--such as organizations, training, seminars, or classes I could take to make myself more "marketable" in the field?  I've considered going the law enforcement route, thinking perhaps that law enforcement experience along with the forensic degree might be beneficial?

Iris Johnson

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2012, 08:37:20 AM »
I think getting into lab section is really interesting and maybe you'll have an interest in working both in lab and in field. I know of some people also getting a degree in crime scene investigation. I think it would be a lot challenging. Best luck!  ;)

Karen Cabana

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Re: Suggestions for Minors?
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2012, 08:35:09 PM »
Go with the lab section! It's challenging;but it's worth it. :)

 

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