Best Computer Forensics Certifications for 2014

Best Computer Forensics Certifications for 2014

Computer forensics is one of the more challenging IT disciplines, and certified professionals remain in high demand. Yet computer forensic certifications remain something of a "wild" frontier. From two dozen available credentials, we list the five best options for 2014.

Today, there are a number of high-quality certification programs that focus on digital investigations and computer forensics. However, there are also certifications and programs in this area that are far less transparent, well-documented and widely known.

What's creating this demand for new programs in computer forensics? Consider the following:

  • Computer crime continues to be a major growth area. As more cyber crimes get reported, more investigations and qualified investigators are needed. This is good news for law enforcement and private investigators who specialize in computer forensics.
  • There's a high demand for qualified computer forensics professionals as nearly every police department is in need of a trained candidate with suitable credentials.
  • IT professionals interested in working for the federal government (either as full-time employees or private contractors) must meet certain minimum training standards in information security. Computer forensics qualifies as part of the mix needed to meet such requirements, which further adds to the demand for certified computer forensics professionals.
About the Author

Ed Tittel is a 30-year-plus IT veteran who's worked as a programmer, technical manager, instructor, network consultant and technical evangelist for companies including Burroughs, Schlumberger, Novell, IBM/Tivoli and NetQoS. He has written for numerous publications and is the author of over 140 books with a special emphasis on information security, Web markup languages and development tools, and Windows operating systems.

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Best IT Certifications for 2014

As a result, there is a continuing rise of companies that offer computer forensic training and certifications, many of which are "private label" credentials that are not well recognized. Making sense of all the options and finding the certification that's right for you might be more difficult than it seems.

A recent survey we conducted for (June 2013) on available information security certifications turned up just under two dozen computer forensics and anti-hacking credentials. And these are all somewhat well-known, and on the up-and-up. But in pulling those materials together, we deliberately ignored programs that didn't publish the sizes of their certified populations or that are associated with mandatory high-dollar training. (A small certified population usually means the program is just getting started or not doing very well. We generally look for programs with no fewer than 5,000 certified professionals, by contrast. Expensive training sometimes indicates there's a strong profit or financial motive in signing people up for certification.)

After a closer analysis of all of the available programs out there, we've identified the five best computer forensics certifications for 2014.

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