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Homepage / Careers in Digital Forensics

Careers in Digital Forensics


A common misconception

When people think of digital forensic science, they may consider career prospects to be limited to roles in law enforcement. Whilst it is accurate to say that those that have trained in digital forensic science may go on to be employed in digital forensic units and labs conducting work for regional police forces or national and international crime prevention agencies, this is not the only option.

The options

Sticking with the law enforcement theme for now, those with the knowledge and skills of this domain may not necessarily go on to conduct digital forensic work, instead seeking to pursue more analytical or intelligence-based roles within police forces. In turn, rather than conducting more ‘post mortem’ work due to the reactive nature of forensics, an individual may choose to apply their skills in a more preventative security role.

If we consider these types of agencies to also include those beyond regional police forces, such as those operating at both a national and international level, then careers may include working with those conducting work such as serious fraud or organised crime investigations. In turn, there are a range of private sector firms who conduct outsourced digital forensic work for law enforcement as well as private clients.

The following job adverts require digital forensic specialists in the following areas:

  • Health care providers.
  • Government organisation.
  • Social media companies.
  • Private sector companies.
  • TV/cable providers.
  • Airlines.
  • Google.
  • Visa.
  • Warner Bros.
  • Supermarkets.
  • Graduate schemes.
  • Academic teaching, research and training.


Practitioners in high demand!

This shows that the potential range of careers is large, effectively driven by businesses and organisations who utilise technology to have the in-house capability to investigate incidents if and when they occur. Given that technology is now prolific in society and relied upon by almost all, then many companies need the capability to interrogate their systems and establish any chain of events following a potential incident – a potentially perfect task for someone trained in digital forensic science!

It is important to remember that digital forensic practitioners have a range of technical and analytical skills that can be applied in a number of domains beyond those career areas that may seem more obvious. They possess knowledge of both the computer science and forensic science fields, in essence being somewhat of a ‘digital detective’, where there are many fields and careers requiring those which have such investigative abilities.

Dr Graeme Horsman

Written By: Cormac Mcmanus

Dr Graeme Horsman is a Digital Forensic expert and practitioner as well as course director of Digital Forensics at Cranfield University.

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