Thursday, March 18, 2010

When is it too early to specialize?

Incident Response, Crime Lab, Expert Witness for Defense, Private Consulting.

These are all very real career possibilities. The question is "When is it too early to choose a speciality?". Considering my small town life, my path will most likely be all of the above. No one is doing Incident response here, the DOJ and State sporadically contract out forensics work, most lawyers have a hard time interpreting the reports they receive from the crime lab and I'm already a consultant. All of it sounds good as experience on a resume, but do I run the risk of never becoming particularly good at any one of these things?

Companies aren't exactly clamouring for entry-level forensic analysts who work from home.

I guess we'll just have to see.


  1. Personally, I think you should find the need that is either closest to you and fill it, or find the need that you enjoy filling the most.

    I enjoy corporate investigations b/c it gives me the ability to volunteer with LE. Also, the level of complexity in the types of cases that I work is so high, when I get to work what one would call a "traditional forensics" case, it's extremely easy.

    My recommendation would be to work as much as you can, get all of the experience you can, and try to direct your career to what you like the most.

  2. An approach to consider is to develop a specialty in what you enjoy, particularly something you can do on your own quite readily. Mac, Windows or Linux analysis, response with bootable CDs, whatever.

    Maybe from this, you could write something for the ITB.

    In your situation, it's likely a good idea to have a breadth of services you can offer, while developing depth in something of particular interest.

  3. I'd be happy to contribute. The problem is I'm enjoying all of it. What kind of an article were you thinking about?