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Best Computer Forensics Schools: The Top Colleges and Universities for Computer Forensics Programs

Hristijan Josifovski - June 19, 2022


Cyber crime has grown over the last decade, which is costly for governments and private organizations. The need for cyber security and computer forensics experts is increasing rapidly. If computer forensics is an area you would like to pursue, you may be interested in the best schools for computer forensics.

In this article, we will cover the best computer forensics schools at the university and college levels. Additionally, we will discuss options for paying for your degree, career paths after graduation, and the best jobs for someone with a computer forensics degree.

Best Computer Forensics College and University Rankings: Top 10 Computer Forensics Schools at a Glance

School State Formats Available US News Ranking
Champlain College VT Online #62
Farmingdale State College NY In person #15
Florida State University FL In person #55
George Mason University VA In person, online #148
George Washington University DC In person, online #63
Keiser University FL Online, in person, hybrid #299-#391
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus PA Online #63
Purdue University Global IN Online #53
Stevenson University MD In person, online #82
Utica College NY Online #90

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Computer Forensics School Rankings: Best Computer Forensics Colleges and Universities

Some of the best colleges for computer forensics are Champlain College and Utica College, while some of the best universities for computer forensics are Purdue University and Florida State University. Below, we will outline the schools from the table above with an in-depth look at their ranking, accreditation, and programs offered for computer forensics students.

1

Champlain College

Graduation Rate: 68%

Champlain College was founded in 1878 and is a private college located in Vermont. It was named after Samuel de Champlain, who survived more than 20 trips over the ocean between Europe and North America 400 years ago. Champlain is one of the most innovative educational institutions in the US, and has 2,100 undergraduate students enrolled.

Champlain College Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 62%
  • Accreditation: New England Commission of Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate
  • US News Ranking: #62
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best Champlain College Computer Forensics Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Forensics & Digital Investigations. This undergraduate course requires a competition of 120 credits and offers an online learning format. It can be completed in four years.
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity. This cyber security undergraduate program offers a 100 percent online learning format. It is 120 credits and can be completed in four years.
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Cybersecurity Fundamentals. This is a fully online undergraduate certificate program that requires 18 credit hours. It is a stand-alone program that can be used towards a Bachelor’s Degree in Cybersecurity.
  • Undergraduate Certificate in Advanced Cybersecurity. This undergraduate certificate requires the completion of 18 credit hours through a fully online learning format. Credits from this certificate can be transferred to a Bachelor’s in Cybersecurity.
  • Master's Degree in Digital Forensic Science. This is an online master's degree program that requires students to complete 30 to 36 credit hours. There is a partner program that offers an online graduate certificate with the same focus.

Champlain College Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

Champlain College is a top-ranked, award-winning, computer forensics and cyber security institution recognized by leading security agencies.

2

Farmingdale State College

Graduation Rate: 53%

This school was founded in 1912 as the New York State School of Agriculture on Long Island, which was a school of applied agriculture. Farmingdale State College is now a private institution with 10,070 enrollees. It offers bachelor’s, master’s, and certificate programs with focuses that range from aviation to dental hygiene.

Farmingdale State College Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 73%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree
  • US News Ranking: #15
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: > #600

Best Farmingdale State College Computer Forensics Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement Technology. This bachelor’s degree program is in-person and requires the completion of 122 credits over four years. It covers topics in crime prevention, technology, and cyber security.
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Security Technology. To earn this undergraduate degree in computer security technology, students must complete a total of 121 credits. The program doesn’t offer an online learning format.
  • Bachelor of Science Degree in Security Systems. This is an on-campus program that must be completed in four years. It covers computer forensics and network and personal security, and will require the completion of 122 credits.

Farmingdale State College Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

Farmingdale State College is a good school for computer forensics, as it prepares students to combat security issues with cyber forensics in a digital environment.

3

Florida State University

Graduation Rate: 83%

Florida State University was established in Tallahassee, Florida. It is one of the most respected research institutions in the US. It has a total of 43,999 students enrolled on the main campus and offers different kinds of undergraduate and graduate programs in psychology, finance, criminal, marketing, justice, and safety studies.

Florida State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 37%
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Degrees Offered: Associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, post-master's certificate, doctoral degree
  • US News Ranking: #55
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #251-#300

Best Florida State University Computer Forensics Programs

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Cyber Criminology. This cyber criminology program requires students to complete 52 hours of credits and maintain a minimum 2.0 GPA. Students can complete this undergraduate program in four years. This in-person interdisciplinary program teaches students to use computers to combat cyber crime.

Florida State University Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

Florida State University’s forensic science program has one of the highest placement rates among all majors.

4

George Mason University

Graduation Rate: 70%

George Mason University was established in Fairfax County, Virginia in 1949. It is a public research institution that offers 78 bachelor’s, 94 master's, and 38 doctoral degree programs. The school has 39,143 students enrolled. It is a multidisciplinary university with a large focus on engineering and information technology.

George Mason University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 91%
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Degrees Offered: Bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, doctoral degree
  • US News Ranking: #148
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #251-#300

Best George Mason University Computer Forensics Programs

  • Bachelor of Applied Studies in Applied Science - Cybersecurity Concentration. This degree offers an online learning option. It can be acquired in two years with the completion of 63 to 66 credits. It is a continuation of an Associate of Applied Science degree. Students need to have earned an AAS degree to enroll in this program.
  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Security Engineering. This is a four-year program that must be taken on campus. Students need to complete 126 credits to graduate from this cyber security engineering program.
  • Master of Science in Digital Forensics. This on-campus master's degree requires students to complete a minimum of 30 credits throughout the program. The Master's in Digital Forensics can be acquired in two years and will prepare students to work in law enforcement and digital forensics.
  • Master of Science in Cyber Security Engineering. This program requires the completion of a minimum of 30 credits over two years. Graduate students will need to complete a thesis project to graduate. After completion students will have adequate knowledge of how to design and implement security software.
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Security and Assurance. This graduate certificate consists of 12 credits that can be completed alongside another program. It provides students with in-depth knowledge of information security and network systems.

George Mason University Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

George Mason University's department of computer forensics offers accelerated master's degree courses and some online bachelor's degree courses.

5

George Washington University

Graduation Rate: 84%

George Washington University was founded in 1821 by the United States Congress. The university has comprehensive programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some of the most popular programs are in the fields of business, management, marketing, biology, and journalism.

George Washington University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 50%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Associate degree, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, post-master's certificate
  • US News Ranking: #63
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #201-#250

Best George Washington University Computer Forensics Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. This cyber security bachelor’s degree program requires students to complete 60 credits in two years. Students must already have an associate degree in a related field to enroll in this program.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity in Computer Science. Students need to complete 30 credit hours in two to three years to earn this Master's Degree in Cybersecurity in Computer Science. This program is only offered in person.
  • Master of Engineering in Cybersecurity Analytics. This master's degree program offers a fully online learning format. Students will complete 30 credits taken from core and elective classes over the two-year program. Students will need to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field to enroll in this program.
  • Master of Engineering in Cybersecurity Policy & Compliance. This program requires students to complete 30 credits in two years. It is also a fully online master's degree option that covers cryptography, algorithms, and software paradigms.
  • Doctor of Engineering in Cybersecurity Analytics. This online doctoral program requires the completion of 30 credits over two years. It is an accelerated program that will require a research phase with an advisor to successfully complete.

George Washington University Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

George Washington University has a wide variety of computer forensics-related degree programs that offer online learning.

6

Keiser University

Graduation Rate: 67%

Keiser University is a private university located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It was founded in 1977 by Evelyn Keiser and Dr. Arthur Keiser. It offers more than 100 doctorate and associate degrees in sectors such as business, computer technology, health care, legal studies, and education.

Keiser University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 96%
  • Accreditation: Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, Commission on Colleges
  • Degrees Offered: Associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree, post-master's certificate, doctoral degree
  • US News Ranking: #299-#391
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best Keiser University Computer Forensics Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cyber Forensics/Information Security. This is an accelerated bachelor's program that requires students to have Associate of Science degrees before enrollment. The on-campus or online program can be completed in two years with 60 credit hours. Students will learn about cyber crimes, digital media forensics, systems security, network defense, and countermeasures.
  • Bachelor of Science in Digital Forensics and Incident Response. This fully online bachelor’s program requires students to complete 120 credit hours over three to four years. Students in this program will learn about criminal evidence and computer system forensic analysis.
  • Master of Arts in Homeland Security. The Master of Arts in Homeland Security degree program has an online learning option and requires students to complete 33 credit hours.

Keiser University Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

Keiser University has broad undergraduate courses in computer forensics, specifically in cyber forensics and counterterrorism.

7

Pennsylvania State University

Graduation Rate: 72%

Pennsylvania State University was established in 1855 as the Farmers' High School of Pennsylvania. It is a top-ranked research school with a total of 88,914 students enrolled. It offers 200 minors, 160 majors, and 100 undergraduate certificates. Some of the most popular programs are in the fields of marketing, business, management, engineering, computer and information sciences, etc.

Pennsylvania State University Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 92%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Certificates, associate degree, bachelor's degree, Postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, doctoral degree
  • US News Ranking: #63
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #119

Best Pennsylvania State University Computer Forensics Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations. To complete a  cyber security analytics and operations bachelor's degree, students need to complete a minimum of 123 credits in the four-year online program. This undergraduate degree prepares students to anticipate and identify vulnerabilities, properly communicate possible dangers to clients, and protect the security of digital information.
  • Master of Professional Studies in Homeland Security - Information Security and Forensics . This program is 33 credits and teaches students about intelligence analysis, cyber threat defense, and forensics. It can be completed in two years and requires a capstone project.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity Analytics and Operations. This cyber security analytics and operations master’s program lasts two years and teaches students about information technology, cyber security, and network management. It is a 33-credit undergraduate program that offers an online learning format.
  • Master of Science in Cyber Threat Analytics and Prevention. In this program, students can learn about policies and programs of homeland security administration, understand cyber laws, and focus on preventing cyber attacks. This master’s program must be completed in two years with a total of 33 credit hours and a final capstone project.
  • Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Cybersecurity. Penn State's online interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Information Systems Cybersecurity requires the completion of 15 credits that may be transferred to a degree.

Pennsylvania State University Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

Pennsylvania State University is a good place for people with an interest in business and organizational security who are motivated to protect digital information, data stores, or computer networks from threats.

8

Purdue University Global

Graduation Rate: 29%

Purdue University Global is a branch of the prestigious Purdue University System. It is an online university that offers over 175 graduate and undergraduate degrees. It is known for its advanced discoveries in math, science, engineering, and technology.

Purdue University Global Overview

  • School Type: Public
  • Acceptance Rate: 67%
  • Accreditation: Higher Learning Commission
  • Degrees Offered: Certificates, associate degree, bachelor's degree, master’s degree, doctoral degree
  • US News Ranking: #53
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #105

Best University Global Computer Forensics Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. This is a fully online course that provides students with a foundational knowledge of digital forensics. It also offers Python programming and six cyber security concentrations. The cyber security bachelor’s program can be completed in four years and is a total of 180 credits.
  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity - ExcelTrack™. This is an online accelerated cyber security course that can be completed in 10 weeks. Each ExcelTrack™ course is a single credit. You progress based on what you already know and spend your time learning what you need to learn.
  • Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Computer Forensics. This post-baccalaureate certificate can be obtained in eight months and requires students to complete a total of 28 credits. This online computer forensics degree covers topics such as practicing IT trends, designing information systems, and analyzing users’ technical issues.
  • Postbaccalaureate Certificate in Information Security. This program can be completed in eight months and has a total of 21 credits. It is an online course where students can learn about network security, network security concepts, and security breaches.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity Management. This master's program requires two years of study and 60 credits to graduate. It offers an online learning format that will give students in-depth knowledge of computer systems and networking technology. It also covers topics like ethical hacking and data security.

Purdue University Global Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

Purdue University Global has a wide range of undergraduate computer forensics programs that can help you prepare for entry-level positions in computer forensics.

9

Stevenson University

Graduation Rate: 59%

Stevenson University was established in 1947 as Villa Julie College. It has since been changed to Stevenson University. It offers a variety of academic opportunities at the associate, bachelor’s, and master’s levels. It has a rich campus life and offers the majority of its students financial aid options.

Stevenson University Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 91%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Associate degree, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, doctoral degree
  • US News Ranking: #82
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: #501- #600

Best Stevenson University Computer Forensics Programs

  • Associate of Applied Science in Information Assurance and Cybersecurity: Digital Forensics . This associate degree program requires the completion of 61 credits over two years. Students can learn about criminal justice, cyber essentials, network intrusion detection, and penetration testing digital forensics.
  • Bachelor Of Science in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics. This is a four-year bachelor's degree program that offers an online learning format. Students need to complete 120 credits to graduate with this bachelor’s degree. The program covers topics in network forensics and security, digital forensics, cyber security, and legal aspects of cyber security.

Stevenson University Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

Stevenson University offers computer forensics degrees that cover a wide range of skills, including detection, prevention, and mitigation of cyber crime.

10

Utica College

Graduation Rate: 60%

Utica College was established in 1946 and is a private university in Utica, New York. It offers 40 undergraduate programs, including 16 of the top 20 most popular majors. Some of the most common programs are developmental and child psychology, construction management corrections, and criminal justice. Utica College has a total of 4,613 enrolled students.

Utica College Overview

  • School Type: Private
  • Acceptance Rate: 89%
  • Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education
  • Degrees Offered: Certificates, associate degree, bachelor's degree, postbaccalaureate certificate, master's degree, doctorate
  • US News Ranking: #90
  • Times Higher Education Ranking: N/A

Best Utica College Computer Forensics Programs

  • Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. The cyber security bachelor’s program is 120 credits and four-year studies. This undergraduate degree program has an online learning format that teaches students topics like forensics, cyber security, information assurance, and counter-terrorism.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity: Computer Forensics. This is a computer forensics specialization of the Master of Science in Cybersecurity degree. It is a two-year degree that requires the completion of 30 credit hours. This is an online degree that covers topics in cyber intelligence, critical national infrastructures, national security, cyber conflict, and cyber data fusion.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity. This is an online master's degree that covers topics in international terrorism, cyber counterintelligence, network forensics, and data mining. It requires 30 credit hours and two years to complete.
  • Master of Science in Cybersecurity: Cyber Policy. This Master's Degree in Cyber Policy is 30 credits and takes two years to complete. It has an online learning option and covers topics in machine learning, data visualization, malware practicum, fraud management, and fraud analysis.

Utica College Computer Forensics Key Takeaway

Utica College is a great college that offers programs where students can learn to detect and investigate cyber threats and learn in cutting-edge laboratories.

The Best Schools for Computer Forensics: Types of College Degrees and University Programs Offered

There are many types of college degrees and university programs offered to students interested in the field of computer forensics. Below we have outlined the degrees offered at various levels of education. Some of which include college certificates, associate, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees.

1

Computer Forensics Community College Certificate

A typical community college usually offers associate degrees and postsecondary certificates. A computer forensics community college certificate is a certificate that is equivalent to a high school diploma. It may take one to two semesters to complete a community college computer forensics certificate.

Students in this kind of program learn to gather digital artifacts and deliver them as digital evidence to relevant parties. Students will learn how to process cases from beginning to end, as well as how to use software forensic tools.

2

Computer Forensics Associate Degree

An Associate Degree in Computer Forensics is a two years program that introduces students to programming languages and subjects in criminal justice, networking technologies, electronic crimes, and digital forensics.

An associate degree helps students learn how to collect and evaluate evidence on computers to solve cyber crimes. With an Associate Degree in Computer Forensics, you can get an entry-level position in government agencies, private security, law enforcement agencies, or security. Credits can usually be transferred from this degree to an accelerated bachelor’s.

3

Computer Forensics Bachelor’s Degree

A computer forensics bachelor's degree can be obtained typically in four years. Typically, a Bachelor of Science in Computer Forensics is the most common degree type. Students with a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Forensics have a good understanding of predictive modeling, alias identification, and data mining. They are better equipped to conduct independent research and use new approaches in computer forensics.

4

Computer Forensics Master’s Degree

Master’s degree programs are a level higher than bachelor’s degree programs and require a more focused approach to the field of study. Usually, there is a thesis or capstone project that will need to be completed in a specialized area. Typically a Master's Degree in Computer Forensics takes two years to complete.

Students enrolled in a master's degree program will learn how to manage and analyze cyber security threats, identify security breaches, and store legal records. They can also learn about information security analysis, computer systems analysis, and digital investigation. There are various computer forensics master’s degree programs to choose from.

5

Computer Forensics Graduate Certificate

A graduate certificate is awarded to graduate students to demonstrate completion of specialized study at a college or university level. It does not lead to a degree but provides practical skills and information on the subject area at a more basic level.

It will take roughly a year to earn a computer forensics graduate certificate. Students in these kinds of courses learn to investigate network intrusions, data breaches, insider threats, and forensic analysis of digital evidence.

6

Computer Forensics Doctorate

A computer forensics doctorate is a terminal degree that can be acquired after four to five years of studies. When students complete a Doctorate in Computer Forensics, they receive the highest level of education with a PhD. Students typically learn about the advanced level of methodological, conceptual, and theoretical approaches to the digital and cyber forensic fields.

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Best Computer Forensics Schools: Other Computer Forensics University Rankings

Some students may be looking into alternative ways to complete a computer forensics program, such as online or at a community college. Below, we have outlined the best computer forensic schools with other computer forensic university rankings, to help you make an informed choice.

Best Online Computer Forensics Schools

  1. Purdue University. According to US News & World Report, this university is ranked 49th in national universities and offers a 28-credit post-baccalaureate certificate in computer forensics. Online computer forensics programs are available through Purdue Global University. It is one of the best online schools for computer forensics and offers multiple starting dates with a flexible schedule.
  2. Stratford University. Stanford is one of the best universities and is ranked #6 among national universities . It has a Master of Science in Digital Forensics program that requires students to complete 54 credits for graduation. This program offers online and on-campus learning formats.
  3. University of Arizona Online. This public university offers 18-credit programs that educate students in the digital investigation of crime. It is located in Tucson, Arizona, and has one of the best undergraduate certificate programs for digital forensics. University of Arizona online is ranked 7th in the best online bachelor’s programs

Best Community Colleges for Computer Forensics

  1. Catawba Valley Community College. Catawba Valley Community College was ranked nationally in the top 10 for the best online Associate Degree in Entrepreneurship programs. It offers several certificates and diplomas, including a Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity. Students can learn about networking technologies, security controls, and information policy.
  2. Farmingdale State College. Farmingdale State College is ranked 15th in regional colleges north . It is part of the SUNY university system in New York that offers great programs for a Bachelor of Science in Computer Security Technology and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice: Law Enforcement Technology.
  3. Western Iowa Tech Community College. This school offers a great Cyber Security and Digital Crime program. The Associate of Applied Science in Cyber Security and Digital Crime teaches students to implement security practices, investigate computer crimes, and safeguard network infrastructure with the acquired skills.

Best Undergraduate Schools for Computer Forensics

  1. Champlain College. This college offers a bachelor’s program that is perfect for working professionals and part-time students that enjoy online learning. It is a shortened program that runs for seven weeks. Students can take other electives and earn an extra certificate in digital investigation, cyber security, or forensic accounting.
  2. Purdue University. The Department of Computer and Information Technology has one of the best computer forensics degrees. Purdue offers both a post-baccalaureate degree and a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Forensics. Students in these programs learn how to use computer forensics tools and other techniques to detect computer-related crimes.
  3. University of North Carolina at Charlotte. This university is also known as UNC Charlotte, it’s had a renowned cyber security program for over 22 years. It offers a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a cyber security specialization.

Best Graduate Schools for Computer Forensics

  1. University of Fairfax. Located in Fairfax County, this university offers an affordable Doctor of Science in Information Assurance degree. Students are taught by top, practical cyber security teachers. They will learn the relevant challenges of cyber security policy in enterprise management and complete a cyber security project.
  2. Dakota State University. Dakota State University is ranked 82nd among regional universities midwest , according to US News & World Report. It has an excellent PhD in Cyber Operations with a paired program from computer science with an emphasis on cyber security. Students in this PhD program can learn about the analysis of malicious code, reverse engineering, and software exploitation.
  3. Sam Houston State University. Sam Houston offers its PhD in Digital and Cyber-Forensic Science to equip students with the problem-solving abilities, technical skills, and advanced specific discipline knowledge needed to advance leadership positions in organizations.

Best Computer Forensics Schools With Dual Degree Programs

  1. University of Arizona | Cyber Operations. The Bachelor of Applied Science in Cyber Operations is a dual degree program that offers a Forensics and Cyber Operations Defense track, which includes courses in cyber investigations, cyber warfare, and malware threats.
  2. University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) | Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation. Students in the online Master of Science in Digital Forensics and Cyber Investigation program can learn how to determine whether a digital system has been hacked and identify or present evidence for legal action. This program is part of a dual degree path combined with a Master’s of Business Administration.
  3. University of Michigan – Dearborn | Computer and Information Science & Cybersecurity . According to US News & World Report, University of Michigan – Dearborn is ranked 31st in regional universities midwest . It offers a dual Bachelor of Science degree program in computer and information science and cyber security and Information assurance.

Best Schools With Accelerated Computer Forensics Programs

  1. University of Arizona | Cybersecurity. University of Arizona offers an accelerated master’s degree program in the area of cyber security. The 33-credit program offers flexible admission dates and can be completed in an eight-week intensive course.
  2. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University | Information Security & Assurance. It offers an online Master’s Degree in Computer Forensics where students will receive a well-rounded foundation in business and security assurance. Students can transfer up to 12-credits from a bachelor’s degree to complete this program at an accelerated pace.
  3. Robert Morris University | Cybersecurity MS This accelerated master’s degree program is designed for students interested in leading investigations using digital technology. There is an online option with four-week courses to accelerate completion.

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Is Graduate School for Computer Forensics Worth It?

Yes, graduate school for computer forensics is worth it. When you enter the workforce employers look for adequate levels of experience and education. The work put into your education throughout graduate school will give you higher qualifications than students with lower education.

What Jobs Can You Do With a Computer Forensics Degree?

The jobs you can do with a computer forensics degree include information security analyst, computer and information research scientist, malware analyst, and digital forensic investigator. Some of the best schools that offer degrees that qualify you for these jobs are University of Arizona and Purdue University Global.

How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Computer Forensics?

With an Associate of Applied Science in Computer Forensics Degree, you can earn a $74,000 average salary per year . Your salary will typically increase with your level of education. For example, students with a master’s degree can earn up to $85,000 per year in the field of computer forensics.

Highest-Paying Computer Forensics Careers

Profession Minimum Education Average Salary
Computer and Information Research Scientists Master’s degree $131,490
Information Security Analysts Bachelor’s degree $102,600
Computer Systems Analysts Bachelor’s degree $99,270
Database Administrators Bachelor’s degree $98,860
Malware Analyst Bachelor’s degree $92,880
Forensic Accountant Bachelor’s degree $77,250
Cyber Security Analyst Associate degree $77,235
Forensic Computer Analyst Bachelor’s degree $74,798
Information Technology Auditor Bachelor’s degree $70,017
Digital Forensic Investigator Bachelor’s degree $66,614

Best Jobs With a Computer Forensics Degree

The best jobs with a computer forensics degree are computer and information research scientists, information security analysts, and computer systems analysts. Most jobs will require an associate degree or a bachelor’s degree as a minimum level of education but may vary depending on experience.

1

Best Computer Forensics Associate Degree Jobs

The best computer forensics associate degree jobs are cyber security analyst, network engineer, and network administrator. An associate degree will qualify you for entry-level jobs in an IT department. Typically, a bachelor’s degree is required for most jobs, but an entry-level position will allow you to develop your skillset and progress in your career.

Top Computer Forensics Careers With an Associate Degree

2

Best Computer Forensics Bachelor’s Degree Jobs

With a bachelor’s degree, you can work in the most common computer forensic positions. Some of the best computer forensics bachelor’s degree jobs are information security analysts, computer systems analysts, and malware analysts. They require good analytical skills and good knowledge of computer forensics.

Top Computer Forensics Careers With a Bachelor’s Degree

3

Best Computer Forensics Master’s Degree Jobs

The best computer forensics master’s degree jobs are computer and information research scientists, cyber security engineers, and ethical hackers. A master's degree provides in-depth knowledge of IT infrastructures, operating systems, and computer forensics.

Some job positions mentioned can be obtained with only a bachelor’s degree but will require specialized training and experience. In most cases, the level of knowledge and skills can only be obtained through a Master's Degree in Computer Forensics program.

Top Computer Forensics Careers With a Master’s Degree

4

Best Computer Forensics Doctorate Jobs

Obtaining a PhD in Computer Forensics creates exciting and dynamic career alternatives such as a cyber crime investigator, security consultant, and information technology auditor. While a PhD is not necessarily required for these positions, it will give you a competitive edge in the field and a higher salary potential.

Top Computer Forensics Careers With a PhD

5

Best Internships for Computer Forensics Students

Some of the best internships for computer forensics students can be found with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Tencent, and the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA). Most internships begin in the fall and require applicants to apply on the official websites.

Top Computer Forensics Internships

  • Tencent CyberSecurity Intern: $99,718
  • Federal Bureau of Investigation Honors Program Intern: $59,249
  • National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance Intern: $42,823

How Can I Pay for Computer Forensics School?

You can pay for computer forensics school with scholarships, fellowships, grants, and loans. In most cases, scholarships and fellowships require a certain GPA or prerequisites. Many students go for student loans and repay them later on.

  • Scholarships. Computer forensic scholarships are a type of non-repayable financial help. Some good scholarships include the AFCEA Cyber Security Scholarship or the Heinlein Society Scholarship.
  • Fellowships. A computer forensic fellowship is a monetary prize given to students to help pay for their scholarly endeavors. They are granted for months or years.
  • Grants. Grants for college or universities are a type of financial aid that is rarely returned. They pay for a range of educational costs, such as tuition, fees, and housing.
  • Loans. A student loan is borrowed money that can be repaid with interest later. Students who don’t qualify for scholarships, fellowships, or grants often turn to student loans to pay for their education.

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Choosing the Best Computer Forensics School for You

To choose the best computer forensics school for you, you should consider the cost of the degree, the learning format, and your career goals. You can also consider whether the school has a dual degree program in computer forensics which will allow you to graduate with higher education at a lower cost.

Flexibility and Learning Format

Online learning provides more flexibility for students. Online computer forensics degrees are a good option for students looking for a flexible schedule and self-paced learning. On-campus degree programs offer a more structured approach and can be completed part-time or full-time.

Cost

Diplomas and Master’s Degrees in Computer Forensics can be quite expensive. When applying for any degree program, cost should always be a consideration. Choose a program that is affordable, aligns with your goals, and is delivered through your preferred learning format. Consider your financial aid options and speak to an advisor to see what’s available to you.

Career Goals

Career goals are important when choosing a school for computer forensics. When choosing a school, keep in mind the areas you wish to pursue after graduation. Look at the courses offered, read student testimonials, and speak with advisors to ensure the program fits your career goal.

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Does It Matter What College I Go to for Computer Forensics?

Yes, it does matter what college you go to for computer forensics. While most computer forensic degree programs offer a similar breadth of knowledge, each program will be specific to the school. Schools that offer specializations, accelerated degrees, or dual programs will give you the chance to complete a degree unique to your goals, which may lead to more rewarding careers.

Computer Forensics University Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Schools for Computer Forensics

We ranked the best computer forensics schools by consulting the university rankings conducted by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. To further refine our computer forensics university ranking methodology, we gave special consideration to things like reputation, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and breadth and depth of computer forensics degree program offerings.

Additional Reading About Computer Forensics

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Best Computer Forensics Schools FAQ

Can you become a computer forensics expert without a degree?

Yes, you can become a computer forensics expert without a degree. While a degree will give you more knowledge on the subject and a better return on investment, prospective students can gain hands-on experience and skills in computer forensics through other avenues, like a cyber security bootcamp .

Are there any black hat hackers that became white hat hackers?

Yes, there are black hat hackers that became white hat hackers. Some national agencies hire them to use their hacking skills to test systems. It is better to hack a system to check its defense for companies than to illegally hack.

How can I become a forensic computer analyst?

You can become a forensic computer analyst by getting an Associate or Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Forensics or enrolling in a cyber security-related bootcamp. Forensic computer analysts recover data that has been encrypted or wiped from computers, smartphones, and other computing devices.

What are the five digital forensics elements?

The five digital forensics elements consist of identification, preservation, analysis, documentation, and presentation. These elements elaborated look like identifying the problem, preserving the data, processing the data, documenting the crime, and presenting the data.

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.

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Hristijan Josifovski

About the author: Hristijan is an expert content writer who has worked extensively in tech and human resources. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master’s Degree in Public Relations from St. Cyril and Methodius University. He has also completed a Fullstack Academy course at Code Academy as well as a digital marketing certificate at Google.

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