dcsimg

Do Forensic Degrees Really Prepare You for the Job?

There's no question that crime-solving TV shows like CSI are popular. They've created a huge interest in the demand for forensic science programs at colleges across the nation as students strive to have such a prestigious job. However, just like the depiction of the job of forensic scientist isn't accurately portrayed in these shows, the ability of a student to get a job in this field without an advanced degree may be over-exaggerated by colleges that offer 2-and 4-year degrees in forensics. According to Medill Reports:

In order to be a forensic pathologist, you need to first go through medical school, then get a pathology specialization, then do residency," said Tolley, head of the Forensic Chemistry Program at Southern Illinois University.

The best path to CSI-like jobs, said Tolley, is to either become a police officer or get an advanced degree in a hard science.

Of the 160-some forensic and crime scene programs listed on crime-scene-investigator.net, 10 are online degrees, 27 are certificates, and 46 are two-year degrees. Many offer a mixed bag of criminal justice and introductory chemistry courses that some experts worry don't prepare people to do much of anything.

"You're not going to get out of a certificate program and all of a sudden police agencies are going to beat your door down and say, ���Oh will you come and work for me,' " said R.E. Gaensslen, head of the forensic science masters at the University of Illinois at Chicago. "That's not happening."

In truth, the jobs of collecting evidence and examining it are performed by two different entities. The forensic team has the job of examining the evidence after the detectives have collected it. It's not nearly as prestigious as these TV programs, and even some colleges, would have you believe.


Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

    See More

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.

Searching Searching ...

Matching School Ads
5 Program(s) Found
  • In Walden’s online PhD in Criminal Justice program, you’ll explore contemporary theory and practice as well as national and international issues in the administration of criminal justice.
  • Our PhD in Criminal Justice program gives you the opportunity to integrate scholarly research with your experience to create effective solutions to real-world problems.
  • Participate in four academic residencies designed to enhance both your development as a scholar-practitioner and your ability to effect positive social change.
  • Our program coursework focuses on criminal behavior theory along with technology, homeland security, and management skills applicable to the challenges facing the law enforcement community.
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
1 Program(s) Found
  • • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
  • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
  • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
  • *BestColleges.com Gold Medal of Distinction
  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
2 Program(s) Found

An accredited online university, Capella University offers bachelor’s, master’s/MBA, doctoral, and certificate programs designed to take you to the forefront of your profession. Our competency-based curriculum delivers foundational knowledge and real-world skills, so what you’re learning is immediately applicable to your career. Right now, more than 36,000 students are expanding their opportunities with Capella programs.

  • Online Courses
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits
3 Program(s) Found
  • There's still time to apply to Grand Canyon University and pursue your education. Learn more today!
  • Study on your schedule - GCU offers many programs 100% online to fit your busy lifestyle.
  • GCU offers a variety of opportunities to reduce the cost of furthering your education. Campus students may qualify for scholarships, while online students can take part in limited special offers.
  • A regionally accredited university, GCU also holds specialized accreditations and approvals for some of our core program offerings.
  • Degrees in business, education, nursing, humanities and social sciences, theology and more. Find the degree that fits you.
  • Talk to us today to learn more about financial aid and start dates!
Good for Working Adults
  • Accredited
  • Online Courses
  • Flexible Scheduling
  • Accelerated Programs
  • Financial Aid
  • Transferable Credits

Featured Schools