Most Florida residents with an interest in possibly working in the forensic science field have a lot of questions. Overwhelmingly, however, the most commonly asked questions center around how to get started as a forensic scientist and what the training is like. Really, though, this isn’t a simple question to answer.
People undergo all kinds of different training and schooling to reach their career goals. It is really just a matter of where you are at educationally, how much time you have to devote to your studies, and what you are hoping to do in the field.
The vast majority of forensic scientist jobs out there require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree. In some rare cases, entry level positions may be available to those with only an associate’s degree, but these positions do not tend to pay very well.
This is why most people who first seek out associate’s degrees will eventually transfer their credits to an accredited undergraduate institution. Whichever degree you decide to pursue to start your education, you will, of course have to choose a subject to major in, and there are lots of different choices.
Obviously, one of the simplest and most clear cut paths to becoming a forensic scientist is to major in forensic studies or forensic science itself. However, for some job capacities in the field ,other majors are more in line with the duties and necessary skills and knowledge their career will call for.
These majors are, more often than not, related to criminal justice. The best way to determine what major you will need to choose will be to spend some time learning about the field itself and the different jobs in it. After you have selected the jobs that appeal to you, you can then learn about its requirements and/or the preferred educational background for applicants.
This will help you to tailor your educational experience to meet your career goals.
Of course, what we have been talking about so far is starting your education. If you already have an educational background of some kind, your path might look a little bit different. If you already possess an associate’s degree, the obvious next step would be to transfer your credits and earn a bachelor’s degree.
If you have a bachelor’s degree already, but it is in an unrelated field, then you can still seek out a master’s degree program. Don’t worry; lots of master’s degree programs in the state are more than happy to admit those from diverse educational backgrounds. This lends unique perspectives to the program, and can actually work for, rather than against, you.
Your training, no matter what level it is at, will most likely take place at a traditional college or university. At least, this is the most commonly taken path. If you are pursuing a bachelor’s degree at such an institution, this may take, on average, about four years, or two if you already have an associate’s degree.
If you are earning your master’s, this can take anywhere from one to three years on average. PhDs vary significantly in terms of program length, but often take as long as seven years.
If you are not someone who, for whatever reason ,feels that a traditional learning environment and course of study will work for you, don’t worry; you still have other options. Today, it is becoming increasingly more common for such people to seek out online schooling opportunities, and for good reason.
Online schools tend to be much more affordable than traditional institutions, and they also allow students to work at their own pace. This is often ideal for busy parents or working adults who cannot manage a traditional school schedule. If you choose an online school, though, you are advised to be especially careful and selective, as there are, unfortunately, quite a few scams out there that exist only to take your money and waste your time.
You will want to make sure that any school you attend, especially with an online school, is fully accredited. Don’t forget either that, as mentioned earlier, community colleges and trade and technical schools are another viable option.