Education

Best Online Computer Forensics Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Computer Forensics programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Computer forensics is the process of using computer science to investigate crimes. Computer forensics experts use their skills to collect and analyze evidence from computers and other digital devices. Computer forensics experts work in a variety of settings, including law enforcement, private companies, and government agencies.

Computer forensics degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in computer forensics, including computer forensics analyst, computer forensics investigator, and computer forensics examiner. Students in computer forensics degree programs learn about the different methods of computer forensics, and how to use those methods to investigate crimes.

How to Choose the Right Computer Forensics Program

When it comes to choosing the right computer forensics bachelor’s degree program, there are many factors to consider. The most important factor is whether the program is accredited. There are many computer forensics programs out there, but not all of them are accredited. This means that they may not be recognized by employers or other organizations. Make sure to check with the program to see if it is accredited.

Another important factor to consider is the curriculum. Each program has different requirements, so make sure to look into the curriculum of each program you are considering. Some programs may require internships or other real-world experience, so make sure to check if that is something you are interested in.

Finally, you need to consider the cost of the program. Make sure to look into tuition, fees, and other associated costs. Some programs may offer scholarships or other financial aid, so make sure to check into that as well. By considering all of these factors, you can make sure you choose the right computer forensics bachelor’s degree program for you.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Computer Forensics Programs

The best online programs for Computer Forensics ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
Norwich University
Northfield, VT

Norwich University’s Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity program combines core principles of cybersecurity with elective and project-based courses that allow students to explore topics in depth and strengthen their skills in critical thinking, communication, and research and analysis. Students in the program can also choose to specialize in computer forensics and vulnerability management, or information warfare and security management.

Rank 2
Champlain College
Burlington, VT

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Forensics from Champlain College is geared toward helping students build a foundational skillset that can be used to adapt and grow in the ever-changing field of digital forensics. The program is nationally recognized and has been designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the U.S. National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security.

Rank 3
Drexel University
Philadelphia, PA

The Bachelor of Science in Computing and Security Technology from Drexel University is designed for those who are currently employed in the field of information technology or who are seeking a career change. The program emphasizes practical hands-on education and provides students with the fundamental concepts they need to be successful in the field.

Rank 4
Stevenson University
Stevenson, MD

The Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity and Digital Forensics from Stevenson University is designed to prepare students for careers in the growing field of cybersecurity. The online program provides students with the ability to develop security policies for organizations and the skills to mitigate the effects of cyber-attacks on a network infrastructure.

Rank 5
Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
Okmulgee, OK

The Bachelor of Technology in Information Technologies-Digital Forensics degree from Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology is a fully online program that prepares students for the highly specialized work of protecting computers, computer systems, and networks from various threats such as hackers, cyberterrorists, viruses, and worms.

The program offers a comprehensive and robust curriculum that covers a wide range of topics in cybersecurity and IT. Ranging from programming and databases to project management, the curriculum provides hands-on learning and pragmatic training that instructs students how to use industry tools to solve digital security issues.

Rank 6
Pace University
New York, NY

The Bachelor of Science in Computer Forensics from Pace University provides students with a strong foundation in information technology and an understanding of the criminal justice system and cybercrime. Students in the program gain hands-on experience solving cybercrime in virtual labs and have the opportunity to develop security plans for computer networks. The faculty in the program bring their extensive experience to the online learning environment to give students insight into real-world problems and solutions that major companies develop and utilize.

Rank 7
Regent University
Virginia Beach, VA

Regent University’s Bachelor of Science in Cyber & Digital Forensics will prepare students to work in the highly advanced world of cyber defense. Taught from a Christian perspective, the program offers coursework in cybersecurity, digital forensics, and criminal justice to equip them with the skills to combat cyberattacks and cybercrimes. Students will learn how to examine, collect, preserve, and analyze digital “fingerprints” to assist legal proceedings and cybersecurity personnel.

Rank 8
Middle Georgia State University
Macon, GA

The Bachelor of Science in Information Technology from Middle Georgia State University is accredited by ABET and offers concentrations in Cyber Security, Network Technology and Administration, Software Engineering and more. The lower-level division courses in the program can be completed through a combination of eCore and MGA courses, and the upper-level division courses are all offered through the School of Information Technology. The entire program can be completed online, and students may be able to lower their tuition by taking advantage of credit for prior learning or by transferring college course credit previously earned at other accredited institutions. Financial aid is available through MGA’s Financial Aid Office.

Rank 9
ECPI University
Virginia Beach, VA

The Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice degree from ECPI University provides students with a practice-based approach to learning about law enforcement, corrections, the court system, and private security in the United States. The program covers topics such as mobile device forensics, fraud examinations, and ethical hacking.

Rank 10
University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ

The University of Arizona’s Bachelor of Applied Science in Cyber Operations program is designed to prepare students for careers in cyber security. The curriculum delivers offensive and defensive cyber security content within a state-of-the-art Cyber Virtual Learning Environment, which allows students to gain extensive hands-on experience. The program offers three degree emphases: Engineering, Defense & Forensics, and Cyber Law & Policy.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Computer Forensics Program

Students in a computer forensics program can expect to learn about the investigation of computer crimes and the proper procedures for handling digital evidence. The coursework emphasizes the technical aspects of computer forensics, such as data recovery, analysis, and reporting. In addition, students learn about the legal aspects of computer forensics, such as search and seizure laws and privacy issues.

Most computer forensics programs require the completion of a capstone project or thesis. This allows students to apply the knowledge and skills they have learned in the program to a real-world situation.

Prospective students should have strong computer skills and be able to work with complex data. They should also be detail-oriented and able to think logically.

Common Computer Forensics Courses

A computer forensics degree program will typically offer courses that cover topics like computer science, criminal justice, and information security. The following is a list of five courses that are often found in a computer forensics degree program.

Ethical Hacking

This course covers the ethical hacking of computer systems and networks. Topics include types of attacks, footprinting and reconnaissance, scanning networks, system hacking, Trojans and backdoors, viruses and worms, denial of service attacks, social engineering, session hijacking, web application attacks, SQL injection, buffer overflows, cryptography, and wireless hacking. Upon completion, students should be able to apply ethical hacking techniques to test the security of computer systems and networks.

Operating Systems

This course covers the features and functions of common operating systems with an emphasis on those systems most often used in computer forensics investigations. Topics include file systems, process management, memory management, input/output, and device drivers. Upon completion, students should be able to identify and describe the features and functions of common operating systems, and explain how these features and functions relate to computer forensics investigations.

Computer Networks

This course covers the basics of computer networks with an emphasis on their application to the field of computer forensics. Topics include network architectures, protocols, and components; data link, transport, and application layer concepts; and an overview of popular networking technologies. Upon completion, students should be able to identify the components of common network architectures, explain how data is transmitted across networks, and apply knowledge of networking concepts to the field of computer forensics.

Database Management

This course covers the basics of database management systems and their role in computer forensics. Topics include database design, data types, data structures, file systems, and indexing. Students will learn how to use various database management tools to create and manage databases. Upon completion, students should be able to design and create databases, populate them with data, and query them using SQL.

Computer Crime

This course covers the identification, collection, preservation, and analysis of digital evidence from computers and other digital devices. Topics include an overview of digital forensics, digital evidence types and locations, digital evidence collection methods, and digital evidence analysis. Upon completion, students should be able to properly identify, collect, preserve, and analyze digital evidence from computers and other digital devices.

Career Options for Computer Forensics Graduates

Graduates of computer forensics programs work in a variety of industries, including law enforcement, government, and the private sector. They may also work in fields such as information security and computer forensics.

Cybersecurity Analyst

Cybersecurity analysts work to protect computer networks and systems from cyberattacks. Their duties may include monitoring network activity, investigating suspicious activity, installing security software, and developing security policies. They may also be responsible for training employees on cybersecurity best practices. Cybersecurity analysts typically have a bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field, and many employers prefer candidates who have experience in the field.

Computer Forensic Examiner

Computer forensic examiners, also known as computer forensics specialists, computer forensics analysts, or digital forensics specialists, use their computer and investigative skills to gather and analyze data from computers and other digital devices. They may be asked to find and preserve evidence of a crime, such as child pornography or embezzlement, or they may be asked to recover data that has been lost or deleted. In either case, computer forensics specialists must have a strong understanding of both computer hardware and software, as well as investigative techniques.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts are responsible for the safety of an organization’s computer systems and data. They plan and carry out security measures to protect computer networks and systems from unauthorized access, damage, or theft. Information security analysts may also be known as computer security specialists or information assurance specialists. They typically work in an office setting, but some travel may be required, particularly for larger organizations with multiple locations.

Network Administrator

Network administrators are responsible for the design, implementation, and maintenance of an organization’s computer network. This can include everything from setting up new user accounts to managing server infrastructure and troubleshooting network issues. Network administrators typically work in an office setting, but some positions may require travel to different locations. In larger organizations, there may be a team of network administrators, each with their own area of responsibility.

IT Auditor

IT auditors are responsible for assessing an organization’s information technology infrastructure and making sure it’s up to snuff. That includes everything from making sure data is backed up properly to ensuring that networks are secure. IT auditors also assess an organization’s compliance with laws and regulations. The job can be done internally, at the organization being audited, or externally, at a consulting firm. In either case, IT auditors typically report to a manager or partner.

Insights From a Computer Forensics Graduate

Jimena Harding is a Cybersecurity Analyst at KPMG. She has a bachelor’s degree in computer forensics from Champlain College. Jimena has over 3 years of experience in cybersecurity and risk management.

ClimbtheLadder: What were the biggest takeaway(s) you got from your Computer Forensics program that you may not have gotten otherwise?

Jimena Harding: The biggest takeaway from my computer forensics program is that it’s important to stay up to date on the latest technology and trends. The field of computer forensics is constantly changing, and new technologies are constantly being developed.

It’s also important to be able to think like a criminal. In order to catch a criminal, you need to be able to think like one. You need to be able to understand their motivations and how they think.

ClimbtheLadder: What should students interested in Computer Forensics be good at?

Jimena Harding: To be successful in computer forensics, students should be good at critical thinking and problem solving. They should be able to think outside the box to find creative solutions to difficult problems. Additionally, they should be detail oriented and have strong analytical skills.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Computer Forensics program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Jimena Harding: I didn’t expect the computer forensics program to be as challenging as it was. I thought that it would be a lot of theory and not a lot of practical application. I was wrong. The computer forensics program was very hands-on and I had to apply what I was learning in the classroom to real-world scenarios.

The computer forensics program was also very interdisciplinary. I had to take courses in computer science, criminal justice, and law. I found this to be very beneficial because it gave me a well-rounded view of the field of computer forensics.

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