CSI is a great show, or rather shows these days, and itís made a lot of people curious about the forensic evidence and actual crime scene investigation. CSI is short for Crime Scene Investigation. I for one didnít realize how extensive crime scenes can be or the science and math involved in figuring out what happened and who made it happen. Itís fascinating to watch.
CSI Ė The Show
On the show, a team of forensic specialists on the police force in Las Vegas work through impossible crimes to solve the mysteries. They use the latest developments in forensic science and rely on a bit of gut instinct. Naturally they squabble from time to time and butt heads withsuperior officers, but at the end of the show, they get the job done.
CSI is thought by many to be the most popular show on television and has spun off into other cities, such as CSI Ė Miami. The incredible details that are now possible to see with the help of science are baffling. DNA and small particles tell a story only visible with the right technology. Some thing the show, and others like it, are inspiring students to take another look at math and science Ė after all, that is the way to become involved in the real units of CSI.
CSI Ė The Career
To work a job such as the ones shown in CSI, there are very real steps you need to take. Sure, on television someone can walk in off the streets and start taking DNA samples, but in our world, you have to have very specialized training and degrees. To become a crime scene investigator or work in the field of forensic science, you need to do the following:
Emphasize Math and Science
Forensic science is exactly what it sounds like Ė a science. To be prepared while you are still in junior high and high school
, you need to focus on your science classes. The classes you are taking now will be the foundation you need for the heavy college science work youíll be taking in a few years.
Science is very heavy in math concepts and formulas, so be sure to brush up in your math classes as well. Consider taking on extra classes instead of electives to be as ready as possible for the real training. Plus colleges really like students, girls especially, who are skilled in math and science.
Pursue a Bachelors Degree
There are certain things you can do with a certificate or associates degree (two year degree) on a crime scene, but if you want to be calling the shots you need the big degree. Start with a four year degree, otherwise known as a Bachelors degree.
In college, major in biology or physical science. Criminal Justice is great if you want to be a cop, but youíre interested in the high-tech so you need to prepare to be a scientist. Most science programs at big schools have a specialty in the program for forensics. Look for criminalistics, pathology, or toxicology. Consider going back for a Masters or PhD when you finish your Bachelors. The more education and skill you have, the more talented you will be. A good hunch will only get you so far.Once youíve graduated, apply for certification. Itís not required, but it will look good to the people that do the hiring.
Youíll need to apply to a board such as The American Board of Criminalistics or The American Board of Forensic Entomology to get certified. Then youíll have everything you need to get started in your chosen career
Oh, and because we always wonder, if you graduate and become a forensic scientist, you can expect to make $40,000 to $85,000 a year. Not only that youíll be doing something fascinating that you love.