Increase in Jobs, Affordability, and CSI:Miami? Factors in the Continued Popularity of the Forensic Science Degree

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Thinking of getting a forensic science degree? You’re not alone. With jobs in the forensic sciences projected to grow by more than 20%, it’s not surprising so many people are interested in becoming part of this up-and-coming field. If you’re pursuing a forensic science degree, you can enter the work-force with a two-year technical degree, or go well beyond a Ph.D, there’s a degree for every student’s ambitions and budget. Forensic science programs at colleges and universities have also seen increased numbers, and a theory proposed by Glen Paul Jackson at Ohio University, is that popular TV series like CSI, have lead young career-seekers to enroll in forensic science degree programs. While spending your days at work like Charlie Russell, does admittedly sound pretty awesome, there are plenty of other good reasons to begin a forensic science degree as well.

The most important factor to almost anyone seeking a profession in this job-market, is whether or not there are jobs in the proposed sector. While it’s true that it’s hard to find work anywhere, The Bureau of Labor Statistics says forensic jobs are increasing “. . . much faster than average. Employment growth in State and local government should be driven by the increasing application of forensic science techniques, such as DNA analysis, to examine, solve, and prevent crime.” In a dismal job-searching atmosphere like the present, a piece of positive news such as this can provide the much needed light to choose a profession.

Starting at the relatively entry-level forensic-pathologist technician, all the way up to the post doctoral Forensic Pathologist, there is a position suited for each individuals professional and educational goal. If you dream of working in a forensic lab solving crimes, but don’t have the money or time to spend obtaining a Bachelors in Arts or Science degree or higher, a career as a forensic-pathologist technician, may be right for you. With a limited amount of required education, (an Associates in Arts or Science degree is sufficient) this is the perfect choice for someone hoping to jump into the field as fast as possible. You can begin interning in the workplace once you’ve earned your AA. This would be the perfect choice for a young person who has time to work their way up on the job, without having to take years and thousands of dollars, earning a forensic science degree. Medical, chemistry or biology students, may want to consider specializing in Forensic Pathology. Forensic pathologists pick up where coroners and medical examiners leave off, examining corpses to collect evidence for a criminal case or trial. For the student who possesses the desire and ability, to practice medicine on the deceased in order to find justice, what could be more rewarding than a career in Forensic Pathology? There are also a number of other doctorate degrees offered in forensic science.  Bachelors degrees in Biology, Chemistry and Physical Anthropology, are all great building blocks for a graduate, or doctorate degree in forensic science. The vast nature of forensic science leaves the door open for lots of career possibilities.

From 2002-2007 forensic science related bachelors degrees nearly tripled. The speculated job-growth combined with the diverse academic options, are enough to attract many prospective students. That said, it’s impossible to deny that the workplace happenings of Charlie Russell have probably intrigued, and possibly even encouraged, a few young people into obtaining a forensic science degree. I say, what harm can come from making it cool to help catch the bad guys?