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Author Topic: associates in forensics  (Read 16888 times)

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associates in forensics
« on: November 29, 2005, 04:56:53 PM »
I have recently become interested in fire arms and toolmark analysis. I have been interested in firearms for years, but never thought of attempting to parlay that interest into a carrer.

I nearly have a degree from Miami university of Ohio in psychology and political science (which I realize is basicly useless for this field). Would it be advisable to get an associates degree in forensics from University of Cincinnati regional campus. I would like to get into a career soon and another bachelors degree would take to long and be to costly.

Would this be worthwhile or would I be underqualified? Are there any other options that could get me into some type of "forensics" career in 2 years? Any help or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


Offline L. M. Kogler

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Re: associates in forensics
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2005, 03:16:55 PM »
On an Associate's in forensic science -- who is the degree designed for?  Most of the Associate's degrees I've seen have been geared toward crime scene personnel, detectives, and officers.  How much biology, chemistry and physics does it require you to take?  Even some Bachelor's and Master's programs in forensic science do not have enough science courses to make a person a viable candidate for a lab job, and that is what the vast majority of positions for firearm/toolmark examiners are.

Many labs hire firearm examiners under more generic job titles like "Criminalist" or "Forensic Scientist", and those job descriptions often require a Bachelor's with a major in one of the natural/physical sciences, preferably chemistry, or XX number of hours of chemistry courses.  [I don't know what is required for NIBIN technicians, for those labs that have those positions.]

In short, to optimize your chances of getting a job in firearms/toolmark analysis, you need at least some science courses, the more the better, especially if you did not major in one of the natural/phyiscal sciences.

Also, you are in for some stiff competition from people out there with Bachelor's & Master's degrees in forensic science and the traditional sciences.  Employers really get to pick and choose who they want these days as far a qualifications go.  I don't know how it will look in two years, but I can't imagine that there will be fewer qualified candidates, especially as more better-developed degree programs are being put into place, and there are people just starting in one of these degrees or are already halfway through.

For some more info on the topic, see this thread:

If you are not yet finished with your Bachelor's degree, have you considered spending the next two years (inlcuding summer school, if necessary) taking extra science courses, maybe getting a minor in chemistry to add to your degree?  I'm not sure what other options would be good for you, because it seems like you are sort of starting from "scratch," but maybe someone else out there has some other ideas...?
L. M. Kogler


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