Forensic Science Programs in Kansas
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Kansas?
Technology has brought massive change to many industries, but few have been as heavily affected as criminal justice. Though a career in criminal justice still requires a keen understanding of human psychology, criminal behavior, and sociology, much of the day-to-day work in this field has become infinitely easier thanks to technological developments.
As a result, the field of forensic science is now one of the most rapidly growing specialties in criminal justice.
Considering a career in forensics? Learn more now…
Contact Kansas schools that offer forensic science degrees today.
Forensic science has led to many huge developments in Kansas alone. In Wichita, engineers created a virtual reality device that allowed criminal justice professionals to recreate crime scenes exactly as they were when they were found (Kansas.com, 2017).
At each crime scene, investigators take hundreds of pictures and scans. The technology merges these scans together to recreate a crime scene, essentially allowing investigators, special agents, and forensic scientists to walk through the crime scene whenever needed.
Technology like this may be the key to keeping Kansas safe; criminal justice professionals note that violent crime has significantly increased in Kansas in recent years (Hays Post, 2017). They're looking ahead to 2017-2019 budgets to increase funding for special agents and forensic scientists, since a significant amount of crime laboratories are severely understaffed throughout the state.
Forensic Science Degrees in Kansas
Here's where to start…
If you're ready to learn how to become a forensic scientist, you have to get started with the right training. There's a lot to learn in this field, and professionals at all levels of education may use their skills in different work settings and career paths.
To qualify for entry-level careers in forensic science, you may want to start with an Associate's degree. This is a short-term study option that helps you gain some experience and find out how dedicated you are to this field. You should be able to graduate in approximately two years with 60 credits behind you.
Associate's-Level Forensic Science Classes
- Criminology (3 credits): Find out why people turn to a life of crime, what factors make crime more likely, and how investigators can use this information to prevent crime.
- Forensic Science Analytical Techniques (3 credits): Explore basic investigative techniques used to assess evidence in the lab.
- Criminal Investigation (3 credits): This course covers the basic process of criminal investigation and shows how evidence is collected, analyzed, and used.
- Criminal Law (4 credits): Students in this class learn the fundamentals of criminal law to understand how crimes are tried and what rights suspects have.
- Crime Scene Investigation (4 credits): Learn more about the initial steps taken when a crime scene is discovered and how professionals carefully process evidence.
If you're considering a more in-depth forensic science education, you may be a good fit for a Bachelor's degree with a forensic science major. This is much more lengthy than an Associate's program, providing you the chance to get lots of hands-on experience with forensic science technology and techniques.
From start to finish, a Bachelor's degree lasts four years. You should have at least 120 credits by the time you reach graduation.
As part of your education, you may get the chance to complete an internship. Internships are an excellent opportunity in this field; you may get to build your experience in real-life crime labs, make connections with forensic scientists and leaders, and learn how to work on real criminal cases.
Bachelor's Degree Coursework
- Criminal Evidence (3 credits): Instructors introduce students to different categories of criminal evidence and show students how to properly process common types of evidence.
- Forensic Identification of Narcotics and Other Illicit Substances (1 credit): This short class introduces students to methods of testing samples for the presence of illegal drugs.
- Forensic Serology (1 credit): This laboratory-based course gives students experience in processing and testing bodily fluid samples.
- Forensic Toxicology of Alcohol (1 credit): Learn how to test for alcohol in the body and how to determine when a person was drinking based on their blood-alcohol level.
- Forensic Arson Analysis (1 credit): Students discover how to investigate arson and find out whether a fire was accidental or intentional.
- Fingerprint Development and Analysis (1 credit): Fingerprints are still one of the most useful tools in the field of forensic science. This course shows you how to collect and analyze them.
- Forensic Anthropology (3 credits): Forensic anthropologists analyze skeletal remains and other human remains to get information on crimes, cause of death, and victim identification.
Now that you know more about forensics degree options, it's time to find a school that suits your needs.
Use our list of Kansas forensic science programs to contact schools near you.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Kansas
Here's the exciting part…
Earning an Associate's degree or Bachelor's degree may put you on the path to several rewarding careers in criminal justice. Some of the most popular career choices in forensic science require previous experience, so you may need to get started with an entry-level career and work your way up to a position that perfectly suits you.
Those who most enjoy their time in the laboratory often go on to become forensic science technicians. In this position, you spend most of your time working directly with evidence samples, forensic technology, and analysis tools. The average salary in Kansas is $49,640 per year (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Between 2014 and 2024, job openings for forensic science technicians may increase 11% throughout Kansas (O*Net, 2017).
Becoming a criminal investigator is an excellent way to combine an interest in forensic science with a passion for law enforcement. Kansas criminal investigators claim an average annual income of $57,920 (BLS, 2017). Job growth in this field is expected to remain steady for several years, with an anticipated 2% increase in job openings by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
In many facilities, coroners work alongside investigators and forensic science technicians to process cadavers and collect evidence. This sort of streamlined workplace is optimal, since it minimizes evidential decay and ensures that remains are handled carefully with minimal transportation. Coroners in Kansas bring in an average of $58,150 per year (BLS, 2017). Through the year 2024, job openings may swell 7% throughout the state (O*Net, 2017).
As forensic science becomes a more crucial part of criminal justice, you may find that your education can be used in a greater variety of work settings and careers. It's important to stay on top of current technology and techniques, which is why continuing education is often recommended in the field of forensic science.
Don't wait any longer to learn more about your options to start your career in criminal justice.
Contact some of the best forensic science colleges in Kansas today!
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