As a Delaware resident with an interest in forensic science, you are probably curious about how to go about getting started in this career field. As with most respectable jobs, becoming a forensic scientist requires you to have a formal education of some sort.
While the vast majority of forensic scientists in the state will have at least a bachelor’s degree, there are some entry level positions open to those with only associate’s degrees. No matter what level degree you are thinking of getting, you are likely confused about what, exactly, to get your degree in, due to all of the many choices out there.
Most forensic scientists will either earn their degrees in forensic studies specifically or in some related area of criminal justice. The two fields are so closely tied together that a degree in either area will usually be sufficient for almost any position.
However, some positions will require more specialized knowledge, but even then, you can always supplement your education with additional coursework or even a certification program. Don’t underestimate the importance and helpfulness of on the job training either. Of course, if you know exactly what you want to do before you start your education, you won’t have to worry about supplementing it at all; you can instead tailor your studies to meet your career goals.
The easiest way to get your career goals set firmly in place is to do some research. You can do this online or by visiting your local library. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the field in general and the wide variety of different positions available in it.
When you find a position that you like or are interested in, learn about the various requirements for securing that position. You should also, whenever possible, try to connect and talk with those already working in a forensic science capacity you are interested in. Job shadowing or just asking questions can greatly help you to choose a career that is right for you. Once you have done that, you are ready to begin planning your educational path.
When you do complete your degree, the next step to getting established in the field is to work on building up your resume and on gaining some real world experience outside of school. The easiest way to do this is by taking on an internship. You can learn about internship opportunities, which may be completed while you are still in school or shortly thereafter, from your college’s career center or its equivalent.
You can also seek them out yourself by searching online or by directly contacting agencies that you would be interested in working for. Your internship may be paid, unpaid, or in some cases, taken for school credit. In any case, you will want to treat it as seriously as you would a job and to focus on learning as much as possible and on building important connections in the forensic science field.