I have a degree in psychology and in criminal justice/forensic investigations. When I apply for jobs I am told that I have no experience or didn't go to an accredited college. How is a person supposed to get experience if they don't want to hire a person out of college and as for an accredited college, I took the same classes as the other person from an accredited college in another state. I feel like I am getting the run around. If a department wants experience I would apply for an entry position just to get the experience that a department is looking for.
This is EXACTLY what I say. How are we suppose to get experience if they won't even try you out.
How do I get experience in this career while I'm going to school for it, sometimes it doesn't make sense. But I suppose that's why they have the internships. But hey, I don't know. I have been in school for so long , I've finally decided to go for Forensic Investigation.
I went to school for nursing and it just wasn't for me. So Now ill be done with my associates in Aug, and starting my bachelors in Forensic Investigation and then in 2 years I'll be finished, how can I possibly get experience if I'm in school for what I want to go for..... lol. Society.
I would suggest joining an organization. Check out The American College of Forensic Examiners Institute. We are a certification body with over 8 different certifications. Our certifications include Certified Master Forensic Social Worker, Certified Criminal Investigator, Certified Forensic Physician, Certified Forensic Nurse, and Certified Medical Investigator among others. When looking for a job it is very important to set yourself apart from other candidates. Our certifications will help you do that. Enter the workforce prepared and certified. Check out our website at www.acfei.com for more information on our certifications. If you have any questions, please contact Shellie at 800-423-9737. I look forward to hearing from you.
Some of my students got job offers through their internships because the Agencies liked them and had vacancies. Other places will sometimes try to connect you to their colleagues who do have spots. Internships can be helpful that way for some. Joining a forensic society and attending some of their conferences to network is also a strategy if you can afford to go.
The American Academy of Forensic Sciences www.aafs.org
Another is your State Division of the International Society for Identification
You can google to find other forensic associations or conferences or workshops
On linked in there is a group called Association of Women in Forensic Science
They also have their own website there at the at least you can converse with like minded people
Sometimes it takes awhile and some strategizing but I have seen students get jobs in the forensic field every year
My problem is my age. I'm 55 yrs old and want to go into civilian crime scene investigations. My internship already told me that they won't give references. I feel when agencies do see my age they don't take me seriously. I wouldn't of gone back to college to do what I've always wanted to do if I wasn't serious. It took me this long because people I talked to in law enforcement discouraged me when I was younger. I never gave up. Now I'm still getting the same response. They don't take me seriously. I will take an entry position just to get the experience. I am determined to pursue this line of work and I just wish agencies would take me seriously and work with me instead of discouraging me.
Getting hired into a field CSI position is very difficult, but not personal. A degree is a good start; add an internship, even better, but experience is hard to come by. Things to consider:
1) Where your forensic degree comes from matters. Degrees are best from an accredited school. Accredited schools meet an academic standard. Non accredited don't have to meet that same standard. A non accredited degree wont necessarily wash you out, but remember your competition may have a degree from an accredited school. That brings me to competition.
2) Things schools pumping out Forensic Degrees don't tell you...Jobs are few and far between. There are loads of people coming out of school trying to get hired as a civilian CSI. The reality is CSI is a very small field. CSI is a career, the small pool of jobs don't turn over very often. When there are only a few people doing the job (my agency there are 2) and an agency needs to hire, they are going to look for experience first. Training takes time so your work force is significantly depleted for an extended amount of time if you hire a trainee (my agency + trainee =50% less CSI in the workforce. That one experienced CSI is doing the majority of the work and all the training and therefore is completely overworked. Evidence not getting processed + cases getting back logged = crime going unsolved). All new CSI need training. Training is different than education.
3) Training someone just out of school is expensive. Budget is everything and extra funds not plentiful. Agencies want to keep the work flow moving and spend as little time and money as possible to do so. This is why you are seeing agencies pursuing candidates with work experience first.
There is hope! Keep your eyes peeled for jobs looking for trainees, they do happen. Be willing to relocate. Apply for everything you see. Sit for as many interviews as you can because you will learn something every time you do and more importantly, it happens that an agency looking for experience wont get a suitable candidate. They will switch gears and hire a trainee and now you're getting a second look! ( My agency was looking for someone with experience...after three hiring rounds I finally got a partner with a degree from an accredited school, who had an internship, but no experience-a TRAINEE).
Honestly, the best thing going right now with someone with a B.S. in a CJ field is......believe it or not.......THE ARMY. The Army is hurting so bad on CID special agents, they are allowing a you to come off the street to be a direct ascension Special Agent. Believe me, I am not a recruiter, I teach there. Be warned though, investigations is NOT the sexy job you see on TV! A vast majority of my callouts, are at the most horrible times. For some reason, bad things don't happen/reported until I'm ready to go home or at 2AM.
If you are:
1. over 21 years old
2. Bacc degree in a CJ field, (don't remember GPA req)
3. can get top secret clearance (credit/crim record are important)
The CID course is filled with direct ascensions, and when you graduate, you will get time to learn under experienced agents, and you will be getting the experience you want and need, and even opportunities you may NEVER have a chance at anywhere else; like Forensic Science Officer/Tech, Personal Security Detail, Digital Forensic Expert, FBI Academy, Advanced Crime Scenes, Special Victim's Capability Course (SVU).
The last thing CID Command wants to do is 'non-conduct' a class, and they are recruiting A LOT more creatively then they used to.