If you live in the beautiful state of Tennessee and want to become a forensic scientist, then you probably have quite a few questions about what it is truly like to work in the field in the state. There really are not, though, any simple answers to such questions.
Contrary to popular belief, forensic scientists do not all work in the same ways. In fact, they work in a wide variety of different ways and capacities.
This is why it is so important that you take the time to find the career that is right for you. Once you know that, figuring out what your day to day working life will be like becomes quite a bit easier.
You should begin your inquiry process by researching the forensic science field. In addition to learning about the field in general, you should also learn about the many different career opportunities that are in forensic science. Read up on a lot of different positions, and take note of those that are of interest to you and that you think you might like to have one day.
You will want to go back and research those particular careers further, paying special attention to the academic and other requirements for those in the profession.
You need to do more, though, than just reading about jobs you might like to have. You should also take the time to get some real world experience whenever possible. You can get this in a number of different ways, but you are going to need to have a professional connection first.
If you already have one, that’s great, but if you don’t, you can forge one by going through the local phonebook or searching online to get in contact with professionals doing the type of job you are interested in having.
Try to arrange, if possible, some kind of experiential learning opportunity with this professional. This could be as simple as observing the person at work or as involved as setting up a full blown internship. You could also find some middle ground and do job shadowing, where you closely follow the person at work, participating or helping on some tasks.
Whatever you do, the point is for you to actually see what it is like to work in your position of interest and ultimately to make decisions about your own career.
When you do have a career goal set in place, then planning out your education becomes a lot less complicated. You can essentially tailor it to meet the educational goals you have put in place. No matter what degree you are earning or what you want to do in the field, make sure you give your schooling everything that you’ve got.
After all, school is the biggest experiential learning opportunity of all. You should focus not just on doing well in school, but on learning everything you possibly can and on applying your knowledge to your future career.
Don’t forget that once you’re out of school and looking for jobs, you can count the internship, job shadowing, or observation that you completed as part of your planning process as experience on your resume. Having experience, no matter how small, will truly make all the difference in terms of how easy it is for you to get hired. Most people are not interested in hiring those who have only sat in the classroom and who haven’t had any real, hands on experience. So, don’t let this be you. Be willing to do real work and to “get your hands dirty” as they say.
Once you finally do land that big first job, don’t feel like you have to know everything. In spite of all of the preparation and schooling you have had, actually working a job in the field is an experience all its own. So, don’t put too much pressure on yourself to be the best from day one.
Just like everything else, a new job and learning how to do it correctly is a process. So, give yourself time and take your on the job training seriously. The more open you are to learning at every stage of this process, the better.