Forensic Science Programs in Oklahoma
Like most people, you’ve probably seen one of the wildly popular crime investigation shows on television. While much of the technology used in television shows is dramatized and glamorized for TV, the tenets of forensic science are sound.
With advances in technology, it is much more difficult for criminals to obscure the evidence of their criminal activity. This allows criminal investigators to conduct more thorough investigations and ensure that justice is served, bringing peace and closure to families throughout Oklahoma.
Have you ever thought about a career in forensic science?
Learn more about how to become a forensics scientist by getting in touch with Oklahoma forensic science schools today.
What Can I Do with a Forensic Science Degree in Oklahoma?
When you look at criminal justice reform across the country, you may see that forensic science plays a big role in it. With forensic evidence, it is much easier to erase doubts during investigations.
Forensic scientists can eliminate innocent suspects and verify the accuracy of DNA testing, making it very difficult for guilty suspects to deny their involvement in a crime. Forensic science was important in a recent overhaul of the Oklahoma criminal justice system, which has led to reductions in criminal activity and safer streets (News OK, 2017).
Forensic Science Degrees in Oklahoma
A forensics degree may be one of the most important aspects of your career in forensic science. While you can learn quite a few skills on the job, a solid foundation of scientific skills and laboratory know-how is mandatory.
There are many paths you may follow to start making your mark in the world of forensic science, which is why it’s essential to compare different forensic science programs and choose one with learning outcomes that align with your career goals.
As a new high school graduate or an adult pursuing their first degree, you may find what you’re looking for in a certificate program. Certificate programs tend to be very short, often only lasting six to 12 months. These programs don’t typically have any general education requirements, so you can start your forensic science education immediately. Plan on earning between 15 and 30 credits as a certificate student.
Certificate in Crime Scene Investigation
- Crime Scene Photography
- Principles of Investigation and Interview
- Technical Investigations
- Fingerprint Identification
A bachelor’s degree in forensic science may be the best decision for you if you have an associate’s degree, a certificate, or a high school diploma. This is a four-year program, so it’s important to have the motivation and determination needed to see this degree through.
If you have an associate degree, you may save up to two years on your education, while those who have a certificate may save up to one full year on their degree. On top of theory courses, plan on developing your professional skills through laboratory courses and internship courses. By the time you reach graduation, you should have no fewer than 120 credits.
Bachelor’s Degree Coursework
- Crime Scene Processing
- Forensic Science Analysis and Lab
- Behavioral Aspects of Crime Scenes
- Digital Evidence
Taking your education to the graduate level may have many benefits for you. Those with master’s degrees may qualify for leadership positions and research roles, which may boost your income potential and leave you with more room for promotions and upward growth.
Additionally, the in-depth exposure you get to complex forensic science theories may put you in a position to solve challenging crimes. Beyond completion of your bachelor’s degree, you should plan on spending about two years earning the 30 to 40 credits required for a master’s degree.
Graduate Courses in Forensic Document Examination
- Forensic Examination of Questioned Documents
- Forensic Handwriting Examination
- Ethics in Forensic Leadership
- Forensic Psychology
Ready to compare forensic science degrees and choose the one that’s right for you?
Check out our list of Oklahoma criminal justice schools and request information from programs near you.
Working as a Forensic Scientist in Oklahoma
The job search can be complex in this field, simply because forensic science graduates may apply their skills to many different roles. It’s important to spend some time comparing career paths as a student so that you can apply for jobs that make full use of your education and experience.
You may also want to start building a professional network prior to graduation. This is much easier when you complete an internship and join local organizations. The connections you build as a student may help you find the ideal position for you after graduation.
Want to find out what it’s like to work in a real crime lab? Look into forensic science technician job openings. Forensic science technicians work in crime labs to collect evidence, process it, and make analysis reports available to criminal justice professionals. Per the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Oklahoma forensic science technicians earn an average of $55,270 per year (2017). Demand is growing rapidly in this field, with an expected 27% increase in job openings by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
If you decide to become a criminal investigator, your forensic science background could be very useful. Investigators often report to crime scenes first and stay with cases until their conclusion, providing important context for forensic evidence and samples. In Oklahoma, criminal investigators earn an average of $68,240 per year (BLS, 2017). Job openings for criminal investigators may jump 10% by the year 2024 (O*Net, 2017).
Coroners are employed by health departments and criminal justice agencies throughout Oklahoma. In rural areas, you may be the only coroner for an entire county, so you must be able to work independently and be self-motivated. Oklahoma coroners bring in an average annual salary of $52,360 (BLS, 2017). From 2014 through 2024, demand for coroners in Oklahoma may see a 10% boost (O*Net, 2017).
Why not take advantage of this chance to learn more about forensic science programs in Oklahoma?
Explore the list of Oklahoma’s best forensic science colleges on this page and get in touch with schools that fit your learning style.
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