Skip to main content
X

Explore your training options in 10 minutes

Degrees

Best Computer Forensics Associate Degree Programs, Jobs, and Salaries

Oluwaniyi Raji - May 07, 2022


Computer forensics , also known as digital forensics, is a highly sought-after area of study, especially given the increase in cyber attacks and financial/identity crimes. There is a wide range of companies hiring skilled technicians to curb this menace, resulting in a growing number of high-demand computer forensics associate degree jobs.

This article will outline the best computer forensics associate degrees available today, including factors like tuition, admissions, and credit requirements. We’ll also show you the top-earning jobs in the industry, the salary you can expect, and how long it will take you to earn your Associate Degree in Computer Forensics.

Where Can I Get an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics?

You can get an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics from top colleges like Southern New Hampshire University, Century College, Central Maine Community College, Delta College, and the Community College of Baltimore County. There are many more accredited schools on our list offering computer forensic associate degree programs.

Get offers and scholarships from top coding schools illustration

Find Your Bootcamp Match

  • Career Karma matches you with top tech bootcamps
  • Access exclusive scholarships and prep courses










By continuing you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy , and you consent to receive offers and opportunities from Career Karma by telephone, text message, and email.

What Schools Offer the Best Computer Forensics Associate Degrees?

  • Southern New Hampshire University
  • Century College
  • Delta College
  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College
  • Community College of Baltimore County

What Are the Admission Requirements for an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics?

The typical admission requirements for an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics include a high school diploma or GED, a completed application, and ACT or SAT scores. Additional computer forensics associate degree requirements include a high grade point average in any previous high school or postsecondary education, proof of English language proficiency, and a personal essay or letter of recommendation.

However, the exact admission requirements for prospective students depend on the type of institution, learning mode, and program type. Be sure to review the admission requirements for your chosen school before applying.

Computer Forensics Associate Degree Admission Requirements

  • High school diploma or equivalent, such as a GED.
  • Minimum grade point average of at least 2.0, but the higher the better.
  • ACT or SAT scores are mostly optional, but if you have a high score, you can submit them.
  • Official postsecondary school transcripts (if applicable).
  • Completed application form and any applicable fees.

How to Get a Computer Forensics Associate Degree

You can get a computer forensics associate degree if you meet the admission requirements, complete the required coursework, and finish within the stipulated time, which is usually about two years. Also, most degree programs require a minimum grade point average, so be sure to check with your chosen school to make sure you meet each requirement.

You’ll have to have enough experience with computers that you don’t feel overwhelmed, but you don’t need to be an expert because you’re there to learn. You should have strong attention to detail, as some types of evidence you’re learning about may be easy to miss unless you are keenly aware of the particulars of each situation.

The skills and knowledge that you’ll need both in the field and when you’re earning your computer forensics associate degree are an ability to compartmentalize and a strong set of communication skills. Some of the content you’ll have to investigate in the field is very upsetting and you’ll have to be able to objectively analyze the subject matter and communicate your findings to your colleagues.

How Many Credits Do You Need for an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics?

You need about 60 to 66 credits for an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics. These credits mostly center around the computer forensics major, but also include general studies and elective courses.

Computer Forensics Degree Requirements

  • Minimum grade point average of 2.0 in the program
  • Approximately 60 credits worth of courses
  • A capstone project
  • Completion of all schoolwork on time

Best Computer Forensics Associate Degree Programs and Schools: Overview

School Program Accreditation
Central Maine Community College Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity-Digital Forensics New England Commission of Higher Education
Century College Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity, Visualization, and Forensics Higher Learning Commission
Cochise College Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity Higher Learning Commission
Community College of Baltimore County Associate of Applied Science in Digital Forensics Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Community College of Philadelphia Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Delta College Associate of Applied Science in Digital Forensics Higher Learning Commission
Georgia Piedmont Technical College Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Forensics Technology Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
Howard Community College Associate of Arts in Computer Forensics (Transfer) Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Lehigh Carbon Community College Associate of Science in Computer Forensics and Digital Security Middle States Commission on Higher Education
Minneapolis Community and Technical College Associate of Applied Science in Computer Forensics Higher Learning Commission

Best Schools for Computer Forensics: Top Computer Forensics Associate Degree Programs

We have curated a list of the best schools for an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics to save you some time and help you make an informed choice. These colleges and universities differ in their curricula, modes of operation, tuition, and licensing. Review the details to select the best program for your needs.

1

Central Maine Community College

Auburn, Maine

Central Maine Community College is a two-year public institution with more than 3,000 students enrolled in full-time and part-time programs. It dates to 1963 and is known for its open admissions policy. Some of its popular programs include subjects like business administration, accounting, information technology, and building construction technology.

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity-Digital Forensics

Cybersecurity-Digital Forensics is a 60-credit associate degree program that prepares students for a career in the data forensics field. Students learn to secure networks in cyber space through technology, processes, and controls. At the end of the program, graduates can work in careers such as forensic analysts and network security officers.

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity-Digital Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $96/credit (in state); $192/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • CMCC Graduation Rate: 25%

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity-Digital Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: College transcripts (if any)

Applying to Central Maine Community College

  1. Complete an online application.
  2. Submit required documents.
  3. Apply for financial aid or the school's scholarship program.
  4. Visit the school's physical or online admissions office for help when necessary.

2

Century College

White Bear Lake, Minnesota

Founded in 1967, Century College is a two-year public community technical institution known for its state-of-the-art facilities, expert instructors, and leading-edge programs. It serves about 16,400 for-credit and non-credit students and offers degrees and programs in areas of study such as accounting, 3D modeling, computer science, education, and engineering.

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity, Visualization, and Forensics

This program equips students with the technical knowledge necessary for careers in cyber security. At the end of the program, students will be capable of providing various cyber security measures and conducting data recovery. Some potential job positions include network analyst, forensics officer, and network security personnel.

Venus, a software engineer at Rockbot

"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"

Venus, Software Engineer at Rockbot

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity, Visualization, and Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $196.89/credit
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • Century College Graduation Rate: 22%

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity, Visualization, and Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA required
  • Standardized Tests: ACCUPLACER Course Placement, ACT, SAT, or MCA
  • Application Fee: $20
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Century College

  1. Complete the online application on the school's website.
  2. Submit necessary documents via email or physically to the Testing Center.
  3. Apply for financial aid or scholarships while you wait for further admission information.
  4. Complete orientation.

3

Cochise College

Sierra Vista, Arizona

Founded in 1964, Cochise College is one of the most affordable schools for acquiring an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics. In addition to its low tuition, the school is also known for its high success rates. The school has about 8,000 students and offers a wide range of programs, such as nursing, engineering, aviation, and digital media arts.

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity

This program prepares students for network security, digital forensics, and cyber security careers. Significant areas of study include cyber operations, cloud computing, and networking. The application of forensic skills in creating adequate security policies is also taught. Graduates can work in positions such as a digital forensics professional and a systems security architect.

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $91/per credit
  • Required Credits: 60 or 61 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • Cochise College Graduation Rate: 29%

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: Minimum GPA of 2.0
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: None

Applying to Cochise College

  1. Apply for admission online.
  2. Complete the FAFSA form.
  3. Schedule and complete placement testing.
  4. Meet with an advisor.

4

Community College of Baltimore County

Baltimore, Maryland

Community College of Baltimore County is a public institution founded in 1957 that has three campuses in Baltimore and offers a wide range of programs and courses. It is known for its open admissions policy, for assigning college credit for life experiences, and for its employment services for students. Successful associate degree graduates enjoy a guaranteed transfer to the University System of Maryland.

Associate of Applied Science in Digital Forensics

This program creates professional pathways for students interested in digital forensics by providing foundational knowledge of the forensic investigation and reporting process. The program integrates technology and law and provides hands-on experience through the investigation of a created crime scene, including the gathering of electronic evidence.

Associate of Applied Science in Digital Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $122 or $241/credit (in state); $242 or $372/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • CCBC Graduation Rate: 14%

Associate of Applied Science in Digital Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Placement testing (can be replaced with minimum ACT/SAT scores)

Applying to Community College of Baltimore County

  1. Apply online or in-person via the admissions office.
  2. Submit necessary documents.
  3. Apply for financial aid using the FAFSA form.

5

Community College of Philadelphia

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Community College of Philadelphia is a reputable public institution that has served more than 685,000 students since its inception in 1965. With four campuses in the Philadelphia area, the school system offers more than 70 associate degree and certificate programs, including in the healthcare, science, technology, and education fields.

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity

The Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity features courses such as computing and network security, systems administration, and system programming. It also prepares students for industry certification exams such as CompTIA Security+ and Certified Ethical Hacker.

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $159 or $318/credit (in state); $477/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • CCP Graduation Rate: 16%

Associate of Applied Science in Cybersecurity Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA required
  • Standardized Tests: None required
  • Application Fee: New student processing fee of $60
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Placement testing (can be replaced with minimum ACT/SAT scores)

Applying to Community College of Philadelphia

  1. Apply for admission online.
  2. Apply for financial aid.
  3. Satisfy English and math placement requirements.

6

Delta College

University Center, Michigan

Delta College was founded in 1961 as a two-year college and currently has about 8,000 students. It offers 140 programs in popular fields of study such as healthcare, business, computer science, humanities, and communication. The school is also known for its high retention rate and innovative teaching style.

Associate of Applied Science in Digital Forensics

This degree prepares students for a range of positions in the field of forensics. Students learn about evidence examination methods and legal requirements within the criminal justice system. The program offers two career tracks: Digital Forensics in Criminal Justice and Corporate Digital Forensics.

Associate of Applied Science in Digital Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $121-$205/credit (in state); $214/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 62 or 66 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • Delta College Graduation Rate: 16%

Associate of Applied Science in Digital Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $40
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: A photocopy of your driver's license or Michigan state ID for residency verification if you’re not a recent high school graduate

Applying to Delta College

  1. Apply online or submit a physical application to the school's admissions office.
  2. Submit official transcripts.
  3. Submit ACT/SAT scores, if applicable.

7

Georgia Piedmont Technical College

Clarkston, Georgia

Georgia Piedmont Technical College was founded in 1961 under the name DeKalb Area Vocational School. More than 5,600 students are completing their education at this public institution. This school offers its students more than 180 different associate degrees.

Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Forensics Technology

The Cyber Forensics Technology program at Georgia Piedmont Technical College provides students with hands-on experience in network and system security, preparing them with opportunities to thrive in the industry. Students learn about operating systems, security software, and scripting. Major courses are about subjects such as information security fundamentals, legal aspects of cyber security, and cyber crime investigations.

Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Forensics Technology Overview

  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
  • Tuition: $100/credit (in state), $200/credit (out of state), $400/credit (non-US citizens)
  • Required Credits: 62 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: On campus
  • GPTC Graduation Rate: 47%

Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Forensics Technology Admission Requirements

  • GPA: If lower than a 2.5 GPA, you’ll have to take a placement test
  • Standardized Tests: Accuplacer, SAT, ACT, or the ASSET Test
  • Application Fee: $25
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Foreign education credentials evaluation, if applicable

Applying to Southern New Hampshire University

  1. Complete the online application.
  2. Submit high school transcripts.
  3. Apply for financial aid.
  4. Take placement test, if applicable.

8

Howard Community College

Columbia, Maryland

Howard Community College opened its doors in 1970 and is one of the newer community colleges in Maryland. Almost 30,000 students each year take advantage of this school’s many flexible learning formats and passionate faculty. It’s possible to get an exemption from the required placement tests if you have an unweighted GPA of 3.0 or satisfactory SAT, ACT, GED, or PARCC exam scores.

Associate of Arts in Cyber Forensics Technology (Transfer)

This program prepares students for entry-level cyber security expertise and offers transfer options to four-year institutions. Students learn to evaluate system vulnerabilities using a variety of resources. Graduates help companies implement and follow security policies as cyber security professionals.

Associate of Arts in Cyber Forensics Technology (Transfer) Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition: $144-$259/credit (in state); $324/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: In person, online, or hybrid
  • Howard Community College Graduation Rate: 26%

Associate of Arts in Cyber Forensics Technology (Transfer) Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required, but placement test must be taken
  • Application Fee: None (beginning Fall 2022)
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Placement testing (can be replaced with minimum ACT/SAT scores)

Applying to Howard Community College

  1. Complete the admission application.
  2. Take placement tests if applicable.
  3. Set up your account online and determine placement.

9

Lehigh Carbon Community College

Schnecksville, Pennsylvania

Founded in 1966, Lehigh Carbon Community College is a two-year public institution with more than 10,000 students enrolled. It offers almost 100 different programs of study in fields such as business, healthcare, science, communication, and engineering. The school offers a mix of online, in-person, and hybrid classes.

Associate of Science in Computer Forensics and Digital Security

This program provides students with a foundation in security skills theory and application, including identifying threats and vulnerabilities and mitigating risks. Upon successful degree completion, graduates will be skilled in using a variety of tools and techniques to secure digital systems.

Associate of Science in Computer Forensics and Digital Security Overview

  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Tuition (and Fees): $180-$255 or $321/credit (in state); $462/credit (out of state)
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: Hybrid
  • LCCC Graduation Rate: 20%

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Forensics and Digital Security Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: None
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Placement testing (can be replaced with minimum ACT/SAT scores or high school grades)

Applying to Lehigh Carbon Community College

  1. Apply online via the school’s website.
  2. Submit your high school transcripts.
  3. Take placement tests (or submit ACT/SAT scores or high school report card for possible waiver).

10

Minneapolis Community and Technical College

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Minneapolis Community and Technical College , founded in 1996, has an enrollment of about 10,000 students each year. Its programs include subjects like criminal justice, business administration and management, computer programming, and human services. Minneapolis Community and Technical College awards about half a million dollars in scholarships each year.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Forensics

The computer forensics program at Minneapolis College provides students with a comprehensive background in information technology while teaching them about systems security, criminal justice, and investigation ethics. Graduates gain valuable technical, problem-solving, and communication skills to help them begin their career or continue onto a four-year degree program.

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Forensics Overview

  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Tuition (and Fees): $206.90/credit
  • Required Credits: 60 credits
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Learning Format: On campus
  • MCTC Graduation Rate: 17%

Associate of Applied Science in Computer Forensics Admission Requirements

  • GPA: No minimum GPA required
  • Standardized Tests: Not required
  • Application Fee: $20
  • Minimum Education: High school diploma or equivalent
  • Other Requirements: Placement testing (can be replaced with minimum ACT/SAT scores)

Applying to Minneapolis Community and Technical College

  1. Apply for admission and pay the application fee.
  2. Submit your high school transcripts.
  3. Submit ACT or SAT scores, if applicable.
  4. Visit the course placement webpage.

What Is a Computer Forensics Associate Degree?

A computer forensics associate degree is a two-year program centered on digital forensics training in areas such as network and system security and data collection and analysis. Although it is an introductory degree for anyone looking to enter the field of forensics, it indicates professional knowledge of cyber crime and security.

In most cases, students will be required to complete 60 credit hours to attain this degree. It can be a preliminary step in earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Forensics or another related field, where earning potential is higher.

How Important Is an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics?

An Associate Degree in Computer Forensics is very important because it provides one of the fastest ways to enter the quickly growing field of digital forensics. As the amount of data shared online continues to grow, the need for data and network security grows too. Another reason why a computer forensics associate degree is important is that it allows students who cannot afford a four-year degree to have rewarding careers in this expanding field.

What Types of Associate Degree Can You Get in Computer Forensics?

The two main types of associate degrees you can get in computer forensics are the Associate of Science (AS) and the Associate of Applied Science (AAS). The AS degree is considered a more liberal degree, making it easier to go on to a four-year program following graduation. The AAS degree is more job-focused, with graduates usually entering the workforce right away.

Is It Better to Get an Associate of Science or Associate of Applied Science in Computer Forensics?

If you want to get a job right away after graduating, the Associate of Applied Science degree may be the better choice. However, if your path after graduation will likely involve furthering your education through a bachelor’s degree, consider the Associate of Science degree, which is a broader degree that typically makes transferring easier.

Choosing the best associate degree depends on your academic and career needs. The two main associate degrees are equally respected, but there are some differences between them to consider. Because programs differ from school to school, talk to your admission officer to get all your questions answered.

What Is the Difference Between a Computer Forensics Associate Degree and a Computer Forensics Certificate?

The difference between a computer forensics associate degree and a computer forensics certificate is that the former involves a longer, more involved education than the latter. Also, an associate degree is a broader program involving general education and even elective courses, whereas a certificate is generally an add-on to an associate degree.

Certificates are mainly obtained from vocational or trade schools and junior colleges, while universities and community colleges award associate degrees. Furthermore, you can transfer your associate degree credits to a bachelor’s degree program, but you can’t do the same with a certificate.

How Much Does It Cost to Get an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics?

It costs about $3,621 to get an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics , which is considerably less than the cost of a bachelor’s degree. The average bachelor’s degree costs about $16,647 .

You can also apply for scholarships or financial aid to minimize the financial burden. Ultimately, this degree will make you eligible for several job opportunities in a growing industry. It is great for anyone looking to pursue an advanced degree or get entry-level positions in computer forensics.

How Long Does It Take to Get a Computer Forensics Associate Degree?

Getting a computer forensics associate degree takes about two years. You must complete around 60 credit hours to graduate, mostly in computer forensics-related courses, but also in general education and elective courses.

If you have completed a previous degree or college coursework, you may be able to transfer credit hours toward your associate degree in computer forensics. However, this will vary by school. Speak with your school’s academic officer or admissions for details.

How Hard Is It to Get an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics?

It is not hard to get an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics. The institutions that offer associate degrees tend to have more open admission requirements, and you can most likely complete your schooling within two years.

For students in today’s world, computers are somewhat familiar to almost everyone, so the subject matter is relatively easy to learn. Make sure you pay attention and take good notes, and you should catch on with no problems.

Why Should You Get a Computer Forensics Associate Degree?

You should get a computer forensics associate degree to be eligible for the growing forensics and cyber security job market. Obtaining this degree will help you acquire the hard skills needed to thrive in the industry, such as familiarity with mobile forensics and network architecture.

What Courses Do You Need to Take in an Associate Degree Program in Computer Forensics?

Courses you need to take for an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics include System Security, Operating Systems , Mobile Forensics, Scripting, and Computer Investigative Law for a Forensic Analyst. You will also likely need to complete a capstone project. Learn more about typical courses for this degree below.

System Security and Network Auditing

This course focuses on the techniques and strategies used to protect operating systems. Students learn industry best practices to ensure system security through compliance management and auditing, including the ability to explain user rights and agreements and evaluate data in the computer’s log.

Mobile Device Forensics

As its name implies, this course introduces students to mobile device forensic analysis, including the recovery of digital evidence from mobile devices. Students also learn to apply best practices to collect and analyze digital evidence from mobile devices for criminal investigations.

Scripting for Cyber Security

Regardless of their coding background, students in this course will learn how to do penetration testing to identify system vulnerabilities. Programming languages common to hackers are taught, such as Python, so that security professionals can best defend against them and build automated security programs.

Computer Investigative Laws for Forensic Analysts

This course provides students with a strong legal foundation for beginning their work in collecting and analyzing digital evidence. Students discover information laws, disclosure ethics, investigative strategies, and how to respond to government requests for information.

Computer Forensics Capstone

Completing a capstone project is a significant prerequisite for acquiring an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics. The project provides students with the opportunity to test and show their knowledge, skills, and ideas in computer forensics and cyber security. Students may visit corporate environments for better hands-on, real-world experience.

Continuing Education Paths for Computer Forensics Associate Degree Graduates

Continuing education paths for computer forensics associate degree graduates include pursuing professional certifications, such as those offered by the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Careers and Studies and the EC-Council . Another path graduates can take after getting an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics is to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s degree in computer forensics or a related field.

Related Computer Forensics Degrees

In today’s world, an online Associate Degree in Digital Marketing is one of your best tickets to a fulfilling career in marketing. Marketing is a ...

Read more

Computer-aided drafting and design (CADD/CAD) is a subfield of engineering and one of the most sought-after technical skills by industry professionals. Thus, getting valuable training ...

Read more

To succeed in a competitive and lucrative field like web development, you need both technical skills and soft skills. Attending schools that offer the best ...

Read more

What to Look For in the Best Computer Forensics Associate Degree Programs

The things to look for in the best computer forensics associate degree programs are accreditation, learning format, school or program reputation, curriculum, and career services. We’ll briefly explore these five factors below.

Accreditation

Make sure that your computer forensics associate degree comes from an appropriately accredited school. You do not want to spend time and money on a degree from an institution that is not widely recognized as meeting certain quality standards.

Learning Format

Many schools with computer forensics associate degree programs offer online, in-person, or hybrid learning modes. Determine the best learning format for you and check to make sure that your school offers it. As online classes have grown in popularity, their value has become equal to their in-person counterparts.

School Reputation

A school’s reputation has a considerable impact on its activities and structure. Moreover, acquiring your degree from a well-known institution can attract more career opportunities. When looking for the best computer forensics associate degree programs, check out the school’s reputation as well as its position in national school rankings.

Curriculum Content

Consider the curriculum, concentrations or specializations, course outlines, and overall academic quality of your chosen school. Evaluate the possible learning outcomes, skills, and knowledge that you’ll attain from course content. Most schools have this information on their website, or you can meet with the school’s academic officer.

Career Services

The main reason why many people go after an associate degree is because they want to acquire a good-paying job as soon as possible. If this sounds like you, be sure to look into your school’s career services and assistance with landing a job after graduation. Career services also include internship placement, if that’s of interest.

What Is the Most Affordable Computer Forensics Associate Degree?

The most affordable computer forensics associate degree is the one from Cochise College, coming in at about $5,460 for the entire program. This is a great option for students looking to start a new career as quickly and easily as possible in the growing cyber security industry.

Salary and Job Outlook for Computer Forensics Associate Degree Graduates

People in an office space with multiple computers
Computer forensics associate degree graduates work together with security agents.

Computer forensics associate degree jobs for graduates generally have high salaries and job outlooks and have great potential, as costly cyber crimes are increasing. Additionally, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects that the employment rate in associate and postsecondary occupations will grow by 11 percent from 2016 to 2026.

This means more job offers for computer forensics associate degree graduates. Having a degree from an accredited, respected school will help you get your foot in the door. Should you choose to pursue a Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Computer Forensics or a related field, your job prospects and starting salary will improve.

How Hard Is It to Get a Job With a Computer Forensics Associate Degree?

It is not hard to get a job with a computer forensics associate degree, especially with the latest projections for the industry. Many associate degree programs prepare you for diverse careers by providing internship and partnership opportunities. At the end of the program, you can work as a forensics investigator, network architect, or security system analyst.

What’s the Average Computer Forensics Associate Degree Salary?

According to PayScale, the average salary for someone with a computer forensics associate degree is around $74,000 . This is a median salary figure, and actual salaries will vary across locations, employers, and positions.

What Types of Jobs Can You Get With a Computer Forensics Associate Degree?

Some of the jobs you can get with a computer forensics associate degree are information security analyst, computer network architect, forensic computer analyst , computer network support specialist, and forensic technician. You are eligible for various computer forensics associate degree jobs in pretty much any sector of choice, including healthcare, education, law, or finance.

Computer Forensics Degree Jobs

  • Computer network architect
  • Information security analyst
  • Forensic scientist
  • Computer network support specialist
  • Forensic technician

Potential Careers With a Computer Forensics Degree

[query_class_embed] how-to-become-a-*profession

How Much Money Can You Make With an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics?

You can make between about $50,000 and $125,000 with an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics. What you’ll earn will depend on your specific job position, experience level, company, and location. However, your computer forensics associate degree makes you eligible to earn a substantial income.

Below are some of the highest-paying jobs available for computer forensics associate degree graduates.

Highest-Paying Computer Forensics Associate Degree Jobs and Salaries: Overview

Computer Forensics Associate Degree Jobs Average Salary
Computer Network Architect $120,520
Information Security Analyst $102,600
Computer Support Specialist $62,670
Forensic Science Technician $61,390
Forensic Scientist $56,159

Best Jobs for Computer Forensics Associate Degree Grads

Computer forensics associate degree graduates are eligible for jobs in cyber security, information technology, and digital forensics. These jobs are part of the in-demand entry-level jobs in the tech industry.

1

Computer Network Architect

Average salary: $120,520

Computer network architects design and deploy computer and information networks. They also manage these networks and troubleshoot issues as they arise. While this position is not typically open to associate degree holders, acquiring an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics will help you gain experience and give you a head start for landing a job like this in the future.

2

Information Security Analyst

Average salary: $102,600

Information security analysts plan, coordinate, and implement security strategies or techniques to protect an organization's data and networks. They also oversee information and data storage procedures. Although this job typically requires a bachelor's degree , with enough experience associate degree holders have served in this role.

3

Computer Support Specialist

Average Salary: $62,670

Computer support specialists assist network and system administrators in troubleshooting and identifying vulnerabilities or threats. They also work with cyber security experts and offer direct support to users when necessary.

4

Forensic Science Technician

Average Salary: $61,930

Forensic science technicians support the forensic unit of an organization by receiving, arranging, transferring, analyzing, classifying, and preserving items related to an investigation. They also assist lead computer forensic experts in examining digital evidence. This job typically requires a bachelor's degree, but associate degree graduates do work in this position.

5

Forensic Scientist

Average Salary: $56,159

Forensic scientists are lead players in the forensics field. They identify, collect, and examine the evidence found at crime scenes for investigation purposes. They also work closely with police officers and network security experts. While this job often requires a bachelor's degree for employment, getting an associate degree is a good starting point to advance your career and will help you get your foot in the door and gain more experience.

Best Jobs According to Your Major

[query_class_embed] jobs-for-*subject-majors

Is an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics Worth It?

Yes, an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics is worth it if you want to kickstart your career journey in technology. An associate degree also provides opportunities to further your education. Instead of waiting until you are financially buoyant to take on a bachelor’s degree, you can earn an associate degree, start working, and save toward more advanced degrees.

The computer forensics associate degree is also widely recognized and can land you a good-paying job in any industry, be it a government or private-owned organization.

Additional Reading About Computer Forensics

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/computer-forensics/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/how-to-become-a-forensic-computer-analyst/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/cyber-security-associate-degree/

Computer Forensics Associate Degree FAQ

Is computer forensics the same as cyber security?

No, computer forensics is not the same as cyber security. Computer forensics focuses on recovering and unveiling encrypted or lost data for investigation or security purposes, while cyber security centers on preventing data loss or cyber crimes. However, they are similar in course requirements and job responsibilities, as one can do the work of the other.

How many hours do computer forensics professionals work?

Computer forensics professionals typically work full-time, or 35 to 40 hours per week. Despite that, their work duration can increase or decrease depending on their job responsibilities, current projects, and experience level.

Can a computer forensics expert work from home?

Yes, a computer forensics expert can work from home. Most forensics jobs are remotely accessible from anywhere in the US. However, you may need to visit the office periodically, especially when there are complicated investigations.

What is the most popular programming language for computer forensics?

The most popular programming language for computer forensics is Python. It aids with penetration testing, forensic investigations, and building formidable system frameworks.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

What's Next?

Oluwaniyi Raji

About the author: Raji is an expert content writer who specializes in B2B business sales writing and blog writing. Outside of his writing career, he is interested in learning how to code and develop websites. Raji holds a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Lagos.

Skip to main content