What opportunities are available in forensic science for those with a Ph.D. in science?
What are you doing your PhD on? I am starting mine in chemistry, but don't know what would be the best to specialize in in order to pursue a career in forensics
I am also interested in pursuing a Ph.D in chemistry to eventually get a job in the forensics field. I am currently working on my undergraduate degree in chemistry. Pertaining to you question on specialization, I also have the same question. I am not certain which path is best to take in pursuing a forensics career. From what I have heard from others, it is best to have an upper level degree in whichever specific area of your field you enjoy most. However, there are degree programs in forensics as well. I am wondering if there are any schools which have a forensics specialization for those with a chemistry degree... That may be something to look into. If you hear anything pertaining to these questions, can you please reply here and let me know? I'm sorry I can't be more help to you, I'm just as clueless as you are.
I have a BS in Chemistry and have been working for a biotech lab for the last four years. I am also looking into pursuing a higher degree that would hopefully allow me to obtain a job in Forensics. From my online researching and going to some AAFS (American Academy of Forensic Science) conferences, I have heard the gambit of just getting a BS and finding a job as Quality Control/Quality Assurance associate for a lab and getting some lab experience to getting a graduate degree in Forensic Science or Analytical Chemistry.
In my opinion, there are pros and cons to obtaining a graduate degree in both Forensic Science and Analytical Chemistry. For forensic science, you will get hands-on experience in Forensics, and you will be doing experiments and science that will just pertaining to the field; however, that will also narrow your scientific knowledge to just Forensics. Now with Analytical Chemistry, though your knowledge gained in this degree will be diverse and applicable to forensic science one day, your graduate research in school will probably not be in the field, unless you specifically find a research group that focusing on making technology that have applications in forensics. Either way, the best way to landing a forensic job or any job, in my opinion, is the networking that you do. Try to get involved in the AAFS or a forensic society. Try to attend some conferences, either at the ACS National convention or an AAFS and look through posters or go to talks that might have some application in Forensics or instrumentation, such as HPLC, LC/MS, UV/Vis. Ask questions about their research, their school, their chemistry or forensic program, etc. Once in a program, you can always intern and continue your networking.
If you are interested in looking at graduate programs in Forensic, check out the AAFS website at www.aafs.org or Crime Scene Investigator's website, which also have a fairly comprehensive list of schools with undergraduate and graduate programs. http://www.crime-scene-investigator.net/csi-training.html
I hope this information helps, I will be joining you guys this next year, researching and looking into a graduate program, so best of luck to all of us.
You have given some good suggestions! Good luck on your graduate studies!
I'm working on a PhD in Chemistry also.
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