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Despite the convenience of the digital age, it?s become a scary time for consumers victimized by cybercrime. Identity theft, illegal funds transfers, private and corporate hacking, email fraud, and online child solicitation have created a brave new world where little seems safe from the prying hands of high-tech criminals.

Corporate theft and inappropriate use of company or government computers is on the rise. Perpetrators lurk in check-out lines, at automated teller machines, and in passing cars with wireless routers. They steal receipts from dumpsters and hack into credit card accounts.

In response, companies and government law enforcement organizations are looking for trained computer examiners and digital forensics experts to strike back. The federal Homeland Security Act of 2002 created funds for agencies and schools to offer direct training for law enforcement roles with computer hacking and intellectual property teams. The development of cyber-security and network safety technology companies has created potent job market for professionals with training and hands-on experience.

Taking a Byte Out of Crime
If you want to be a cybersleuth, consider pursuing coursework through dedicated business, computer, or security schools. Many computer forensic programs have sprung up in community colleges. A number of computer forensic schools prepare you for passing the Certified Computer Examiner (CCE) exam. Coursework teaches you to conduct network investigations and capture magnetic media for use by law enforcement agencies and the justice system.

On the job, you may be asked to investigate computer break-ins and industrial espionage. For advancement in the profession, consider enrolling in BS, MS, and PhD programs in criminal justice administration or network security.

Publish date: February 10, 2011