If you live in the large and beautiful state of New York and are interested in becoming a forensic scientist, you will be happy to know that there are lots of great opportunities just waiting for you to take advantage of them in the state.
However, before you start going to school for forensic science, there are some things that you should spend some real time considering and thinking about carefully.
This will help to ensure that you make smart, informed choices every step of the way, and that you ultimately end up happy with the choices that you have made.
First and foremost, you need to really consider whether or not you are right for this line of work. In truth, few people actually are.
In order to be a good forensic scientist you need to be mentally and emotionally healthy in order to cope with the difficult and often dark nature of the work, capable of reducing stress in healthy ways and separating your work and personal life, able to work alone and in groups or with a partner efficiently, committed to being a lifelong learner, and also someone who is ethical, fair, honest, and capable of dealing appropriately with law enforcement professionals.
If you are lacking in many of these qualities, then a career in forensic science might not be the best fit for you. If it is not, don’t beat yourself up. Just move on and find a different career path.
Not being suited to forensic science does not mean that something is wrong with you, and it is better that you learn this now, through honest self assessment, than later on down the road when you have already invested countless amounts of time, effort, money, and energy into the field.
When you are absolutely certain that you are cut out for life as a forensic scientist, then do some research on the field in general.
Learn about its purposes and the many different career capacities in which you can work. Definitely set aside some jobs that you feel you would be well suited to for further examination. You should, if possible, get up close and personal with some of these jobs.
Try to arrange a job shadowing experience, an observation, an in person or online interview of a professional working in your desired capacity, or even a full on internship. Learn about the requirements and preferences for people working in these positions, and use all of the information you learn to come up with a career goal of your own. Once you have a career goal firmly in place, you will find it so much easier to plan your educational path to meet that goal.
You will also need to devote some time to thinking about the type of school you wish to attend. While most forensic science professionals choose to go the route of traditional colleges and universities, this is certainly not the right choice for everyone.
These institutions often force upon their students a very traditional and rigid class schedule, which, quite simply, won’t work for everyone. Whats more is that they can also be quite expensive. More flexible and more affordable options include community colleges or trade or technical schools, or online schooling opportunities.
Community colleges and trade and technical schools tend to offer only associate’s degree programs, but you can easily take the credits you earn and transfer them to an accredited undergraduate degree program. Online schools are great, but you need to be careful about choosing one that is fully legitimate and accredited.