Forensic Science Graduate Certificates
There are many ways that you can further your education after earning a bachelor’s degree, particularly if you need to develop special skills for your chosen career. A graduate certificate in forensic science may help you learn the specialized knowledge necessary for different types of criminal justice careers. If you have a bachelor’s degree and you want to take a short-term course in forensic science, a graduate certificate may be a good choice for you.
Graduate certificates were developed in response to the industry’s need for professionals that were trained in specific forensic science skills. Rather than requiring all students to go through an extensive master’s degree program, employers and schools may offer graduate certificates. No matter which area of criminal justice you currently work in, knowledge of forensic science can be helpful in this career area. If you’re ready to take a deeper look at the field of forensic science and apply its teachings to your career, consider pursuing a graduate certificate.
Curriculum for Certificate Programs in Forensic Science
Graduate certificates in forensic science tend to focus on specific areas of this field, rather than covering the entire field of forensic science. This is due to the fact that graduate certificates tend to only last one semester or less. Rather than getting a broad overview of different aspects of forensic science, you become extremely skilled in one area of focus. The graduate certificate you pursue may depend on your career interests or your employer’s wishes.
Specialties that may offer graduate certificates include forensic death investigation, drug chemistry, DNA/serology, and toxicology. Courses in these paths tend to focus on a mix of practical experience and theoretical learning, as both are required in the field of criminal justice. Courses in these specialties cover a wide spectrum, from law and forensic technology to medicine and anthropology. For example, in a forensic death investigation certificate, you may take courses like forensic anthropology, forensic analysis of DNA, and forensic medicine. In a forensic toxicology program, required courses include forensic toxicology, drug biotransformation, and toxic substances. If you enroll in a forensic science certificate program that looks at forensic DNA and serology, you may complete courses like molecular biology, blood distribution and splatter, and biological evidence.
Graduate certificates in forensic science can prepare you for a full degree in this subject if you decide to broaden your education. It may pave the way for you to earn a graduate or doctoral degree.
Outcomes and Salary for Forensic Science Programs
A graduate certificate in forensic science may help you develop the practical skills you need to work in a specialized forensic science career. In fact, the career you’re interested in may determine which graduate certificate you decide to pursue. If you have previous administrative training or you want to move to an office position in the criminal justice field, consider becoming a police identification and records officer. This job involves processing evidence, collecting and filing fingerprints, and taking photographic records of evidence. The average salary for a records officer in the United States is $79,970 per year (O*Net, 2017). Job openings may increase 5 to 9% from 2016 to 2026 (O*Net, 2017).
Working with chemicals is a major part of working in forensic science, since you may use various chemicals to process evidence, test items, and collect data. Chemical technicians claim an average salary of $47,280 per year, and job openings in this field are expected to slowly increase by 2 to 4% through 2026 (O*Net, 2017).
The forensic science field is growing by leaps and bounds. If you’re ready to take your part in this field of study, learn more about graduate certificate programs in forensic science near you.
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