Many colleges and universities offer programs in computer forensics. A majority are certificate courses, and a few universities offer bachelor and masters degree courses. These programs make a good entry point, but are no substitute to the skills learned by practice or on the job.
Successful computer forensics careers however depend more on skills and experience than qualifications. Formal employment with the police or a corporate detective agency might require any post secondary degree, however. A degree in criminal psychology helps but a degree in computer science, though not essential, is the ideal degree to have to pursue a career in computer forensics. Certifications usually enhance the credibility of the job seeker, especially for private sector jobs.
Among the various computer forensics certifications, the Certified Information System Security Professional (CISSP) offered by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium or (ISC)2, a non-profit organization, ranks among the most valued.
The specialization or the nature of the employer’s work also has a bearing on the qualifications required. For instance, employment in a detective agency specializing in corporate crimes might require qualifications in business management and accounting besides the forensics skills. A niche in providing evidence of computer crimes to law enforcement agencies requires knowing the legalities of search and seizure, and approved techniques for collecting and preserving evidence.