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Career in Forensic Science

Published on September 9, 2019 | Uncategorized
What does a future in forensic science hold?


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The term forensic is derived from the Latin term “forensic” which means “of or before the forum”. 

Forensic Science is a multidisciplinary field that encompasses various subjects like chemistry, biology, psychology, and engineering for application of the scientific knowledge & methodology in areas such as criminal investigations and legal issues. Most of the work revolves around criminal cases, but sometimes it also applies in civil case proceedings. 

From DNA Sampling to blood pattern analysis to firearms analysis, the world of forensic science offers various interesting career paths. Though much forensic work applies to criminal cases, sometimes it applies to civil proceedings as well.

Quick Steps on how to build a career in Forensic domain? 

Step 1: Complete Class 12 with a good academic record as you must have strong academic basics to be able to handle investigations on your own.

Step 2: You need a Bachelor’s degree from a pure science stream or in chemistry, biology, microbiology, or zoology, to be able to be eligible for a career in Forensic Science. 

Step 3: You can also obtain a PG degree in Forensic Science for better positions in this domain. 

Step 4: Since this is a very niche domain, on-the-job training in your specialty of interest is very important. 

Few Colleges that offer graduate and post-graduate courses in Forensic Science in India have been listed below 

Different Career Options to explore 

Forensic science offers interesting career paths to graduates. It is recommended to take up a general Bsc degree or engineering at the graduate level and then opt for specialization at the postgraduate level. This will help test your interest in the specific micro-domain of forensic science and plan out the niche specialty to take up. 

Here are some forensic science careers you can explore 

  • Forensic Science Technician: Forensic science technicians usually go to crime scenes to collect and analyze evidence in the field, or they work in the forensic laboratory, where they perform assessments on the evidence collected. 

The minimum Qualification for this role is a Bachelor’s degree in a natural science field and on-the-job training.

  • Medical Examiner: They are also known as coroners and perform medico-legal examinations and autopsies, which include locating and assessing bodily trauma, determining the cause of death and identifying victims. 

It requires a doctoral degree in medicine to be eligible for this role. 

  • Forensic Psychologists: Forensic psychologists work at the intersection of psychology and law. They evaluate those who have been accused or convicted of crimes. by working closely with the legal personnel, including lawyers, judges and police departments. 

Minimum Qualification: A doctoral degree in psychology

  • Criminal Investigator: This role involves examining or cross-examining witnesses and identifying required evidence along with cataloging details at a crime scene. To start off as a criminal investigator, an associate degree or above in forensic science, or criminal justice is helpful but not mandatory. Some crime scene investigators begin as police officers and lean on their work experience to move into the investigator position.
  • Latent Fingerprint Examiner: These forensic scientists are highly specialized in identifying, lifting and analyzing latent prints at a crime scene. A Bachelor’s degree in science or related field is good to fulfill the eligibility requirements for this role. 

Dearth of Forensic Scientists in India & Untapped Opportunities 

There is a continuous increase in the crime rate across the globe. So, the scope of Forensic Science has increased and there are a lot of opportunities, especially in India. 

Over 40 % of posts in forensic laboratories are vacant as per the admission made by the Central government. Further, as per the government submission, there are six Central Forensic Science Laboratories in Bhopal, Chandigarh, Guwahati, Kolkata, Hyderabad, and Pune. Thirty-one units operate under state forensic laboratories where 3,685 appointments are yet to be made out of the sanctioned strength is 7,582. Lack of infrastructure and shortage of trained staff is taking a huge toll on the forensic examination of the majority of criminal and sexual offenses, leading to a rise in the backlog of court cases. 

According to the latest figure, a total of 13,108 cases are pending with the Central Forensic Science Laboratory (CFSl) and Forensic Science laboratories (FSl) in the country. Though the job of a forensic scientist is demanding, lack of skilled professionals signifies that there are lots of potential for youngsters to tap into. 

The potential job forecast for forensic science experts is pretty strong. According to CNN Money, the field of forensic science is the sixth fastest-growing career path in the world. The level of competition in the field is likely to remain quite low due to higher demand and a limited supply. 

Tentative pay scale for some of the positions in the Forensic Science domain

JOB ANNUAL AVERAGE SALARY
Cyber Security Analyst Rs.5,10,000
Technical Consultant Rs.550,000
Forensic Computer Analyst Rs.6,00,000
Crime Scene Investigator (CSI) Rs.7,40,000
Forensic Scientist Rs.11,79,162
Fraud Investigator Rs.11,90,000

Careers in Forensic Science

The Future of Forensic Science  

The world is rapidly developing in its usage of technology and innovation, and fields such as forensic science have not been left far behind. Previous concepts that revolutionized forensics, such as DNA analysis, have been developed further in order to increase the richness of the information being found; such as DNA phenotyping and externally visible characteristics.

But it is still a long way to go before we see a strong impact of automation coming into forensic sciences; with regulatory constraints being one of the reasons in the light of possibilities of manipulation by the criminal fraternity. 

There are few jobs out there that allow you to make a positive difference to the world, and forensic science roles are a part of this elite community. The job comes with a lot of respect from the general public, and you often help find criminals and make this world a better place.

 

# Fun Fact

Do you know who was the first forensic scientist in the world? Let us know in the comments below! 

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