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A question from a postgrad student about what they can do with a degree in digital forensics. What’s possible? Where to start?

It’s great that you are interested in digital forensics. Your country has a large, growing market. It is also relatively easy to move to other countries if you have a specialty in digital investigation.

Law enforcement is dealing with a lot more cybercrime, but even offline crime includes digital evidence. If you want to work for your government in law enforcement, military, intelligence, they can use digital investigators. Even organizations like national banks often have dedicated IT security teams, sometimes with digital investigators.

Large private organizations tend to have their own IT security teams, also with digital investigation specialists. Small organizations tend to outsource IT security to security firms.

The types of work in public and private sectors are very different, but the skills needed are similar.

Starting with an internship in anything related to technology is good. Better if it is security or digital forensics specific. Getting any security certificate is good but often costs quite a bit. The CHFI will help you to get interviews, but so will Security+ (which is cheaper). Choose a certification based on your interest first and job-seeking second. Make sure you learn the skills, not just get a piece of paper.

  1. The field of digital investigation is very broad. There are a lot of different things you can choose to do.
  2. Identify the organizations or types of work that you are most interested in. Most likely, there is a need for IT security / digital investigation in those organizations.
  3. Think about your life goals. Are you willing to work long hours, nights, and weekends? Are you willing to travel a lot? Do you need to be in a specific place with specific hours? How much money do you need to make? How much money do you want to make?

If I were you, I would think about your definition of a ‘good life’ first. That will help you narrow your scope. IT security and even digital investigation affect most parts of society. It is somewhat easy to find a work conditions you like while doing the work you enjoy… most of the time. You just have to generally know what you want first.