Thanks to television, millions of people know the types of forensic science jobs available for those who earn a degree in the field. While not quite as dramatic as depicted onscreen, the wide variety of forensic science careers share something in common with their fictionalized counterparts: a desire to use their skills to further the cause of justice.
Forensic science gives law enforcement surer methods to identify and capture criminals than unreliable witness testimony or unlikely confessions.
Employers today require forensic science job applicants to earn a degree in either forensic science or a related area of study. A Bachelor of Science in Forensic Science is one recommended pathway for entering this fascinating and vital field.
What is Forensic Science?
Forensic science involves the application of science to criminal or civil legal issues. Forensic scientists work on both lab and field settings.
Forensic science offers so many varied career opportunities that graduates can find a job in their field of interest.
Options for Forensic Science Careers
Rather than preparing graduates for just one occupation, a forensic science degree program instills the knowledge and skills that apply to many jobs. Graduates also can focus on one specific area of the profession. Most of the following jobs involve working for police departments, crime labs, or medical examiner offices.
Crime Scene Investigator
This career became famous from the many different “C.S.I.” television series since 2000. In the real world, these technicians are responsible for the gathering. documenting, and preservation of physical evidence.
In this area of forensic science, fingerprint analysts focus on finding and evaluating fingerprints found at a crime scene. Also, with the aid of computer databases, these analysts conduct comparisons for potential fingerprint matches. This job usually involves working in both a lab and at crime scenes.
Bloodstain Pattern Analyst
This job involves using clues from blood patterns at violent crime scenes to gain insight into how an assault was committed and help determine the assailant’s identity. Details they can determine from bloodstain pattern analysis include the type of weapon used, the direction the victim and assailant were moving, and whether a struggle occurred.
An expert in firearms identification evaluates physical evidence from a crime scene involving guns and bullets to determine the type of gun used. They also can match a particular bullet to a single weapon. Their work often provides a crucial link in investigations that connects a specific weapon to an individual.
Other Careers in Forensic Science
Some forensic scientists may also combine a forensic science degree with psychology, accounting, engineering, or pathology. This opens the door to working in occupations such as medical examiner or as a forensics psychologist, engineer, or accountant.
Marian University’s Forensic Science Degree Program
The forensics science bachelor’s degree program at Marian University is the only forensics science program in Wisconsin that features a foundation in the natural sciences. Students prepare for careers in forensic science by taking courses in disciplines that include biology, chemistry, criminal justice, forensic science, mathematics, and physics. Students in the program earn a minor in chemistry.
Marian University also gives students a unique opportunity to learn firsthand how to work a crime scene. The university uses the Forensics Science House. located across the street from the main campus, to set up mock crime scenes. Students in field-based courses investigate the scene, learning how to objectively find, document, recover, preserve, and analyze physical evidence.
Experienced faculty teach in the program. Students benefit from their expertise, learning the scientific principles behind crime scene investigations and how to apply them to real-world situations.
Forensic science jobs offer those who earn a bachelor’s degree the chance to apply that knowledge to solving crimes. For those interested in a career in forensic science, the first step is contacting an admissions counselor and finding out how Marian University can provide the first step into this fascinating field.