Search Results for: software skills

Knowing what to study as an adult

After several years of being in the work world, you are likely to find yourself in a position where you are wanting to move jobs, get a promotion or start your own business. It is definitely a period of change and a deepening of understanding which direction you want to go into. It is often the pivotal point in your long-term career, where you have built some experience and have had some exposure but not if you’re ready to forge a clear way forward. It can be hard knowing what to go on to study that will equip you with what you need to make the next move. Here are a few ideas to picking your next learning pathway.

Project management course

You can do a diploma in project management because project management is underlying that supports just about anything you do in business and in your job. Having good project management will help you know how to manage people, manage budget and prioritise and execute tasks. You can choose whether to do your course online or through a university or college, but make sure that it is a recognised certificate or qualification that you can use to improve your resume.

Business acumen ability

Being in business you will want to have a better understanding of how business works overall, whether it be how money is made, money flows through the business or how the practice of management strategies, such as lean management can help improve cash flows and profits. There are several courses that can help develop your business acumen. Popular ones would be a diploma or master’s in business administration and while the name is a bit misleading, you will learn the basics of all aspects of business. This includes marketing, economics, accounting, and even human resources and logistics.

Go industry-specific

Depending on what industry you are in and what direction you are wanting to go and grow into, your further learning may be best suited around doing something that is industry-specific and helps. It could stand you in a good position if you’re looking to improve or motivate for a bigger paycheque because if you’re better skilled and qualified in your position, you will be highly valuable to your company.

General short courses

There are tonnes of short courses available online which don’t necessarily have the credibility of a university or college but do offer comprehensive learning tools to learn a particular skill. This could be a great way of identifying and boosting your skills and knowledge in something like software skills or in public speaking. The range of what is available is vast and you can almost do just about anything. Try to find a way to map your skills and identify the areas that you are lacking. Speak to your colleagues and bosses about what they’d like to see you do better at and find a course that can address that. The cost of these courses can be incredibly low because they work on a model of scale.

Computer Forensics: A Cyber Career Roadmap

Computer Forensics professionals get to use a lot of cool tools ... photo by CC user ErrantX on Flickr

Maybe you don’t like the idea of mopping up after a crime scene – the blood, the bullets etc. At the same time, you love piecing together mysteries. Thankfully, there’s still a job for you in computer forensics. Here’s what it’s all about and how plug yourself into this little-known, but exciting career.

Educational Requirements

To get into digital forensics, you need a good education. The requirements can be fairly minimal, however, in terms of the actual content, quality counts more than quantity. Many computer forensics professionals learn their skills “on the job,” with a strong basic foundation in computer programming or computer forensics.

Because many of the strategies and tactics change over time, it’s difficult to set hard and fast requirements for applicants. A working knowledge of computers is necessary, but beyond that, an investigator will have to be comfortable learning new hardware and software, some of which is custom and proprietary. They may also need special security clearance if they are working on government projects.

Degrees

For those without experience in law enforcement, military, or government, there are degrees. The most common one is an Associate Degree in computer forensics. This is a two-year course of study where the student completes general education courses that are specific to a career in computer forensics.

Various courses in cybercrime, intrusion detection systems, and basic legal protocols are covered. There is also some focus on technical writing, public speaking, and algebra.

Finally, with an Associate’s degree, the individual usually has to complete an internship before graduation. This internship gives the student work experience that will help in finding a job with a forensics specialist.

If a degree isn’t something you want to pursue, there’s also a professional certificate training course in computer forensics. This is a common method of learning the basics of computer forensics. Law enforcement or computer securities professionals usually go this route. Students enrolled in these types of programs usually have a computer or legal background, eliminating the need for additional schooling.

Certificate programs require less study – just 10 courses. However, it may be more challenging for those without prior education in computers.

And, while doctoral degrees in computer forensics aren’t common, they may be in the future as the need for forensics evolves and we become more and more dependent on electronics for daily living. More and more information is being stored in the cloud, on devices locally, and in increasingly complex systems.

Experience

A lot of computer forensics experts have experience in law enforcement, as a private investigator, or in the military. The most successful will also have extensive computer programming or some other related field experience. This digital forensics expert, for example, hires those with experience in law enforcement and intelligence organizations.

As with most jobs, the more experience, the better. Many of the best forensics experts and investigators are former FBI special agents, former CIA agents, former U.S. State Department officials, and professionals from international crime and anti-terrorism units.

Experience in behavioral science, latent fingerprinting, polygraph examinations, and traditional forensics doesn’t hurt either.

Jared Stern, a certified digital forensic examiner, is a federal and state court-admitted computer and cell phone forensics expert. Mr. Stern is also the President of Prudential Associates, an investigative agency that uses a powerfully-equipped forensics lab which goes above and beyond the capacity and capability of over 90 percent of U.S. law enforcement labs. His articles appear mainly on criminal science education and industry websites.

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