If you are looking for Glamour, Gadgets and Grissom you won't find them here. Forget what you think you know about 'Forensics', these are the tales of one man and his brush. Of course these views do not represent the views of any Police Force or indeed reflect any Force Policies ya da ya.
Thursday, 7 June 2007
So you wanna be CSI?
Nowadays it not so easy to get into, what with it suddenly being a popular job and that some Universities and colleges now run degrees/courses. So for all those wannabe CSIs, here are some tips that I genuinely believe will help.
1.Do a college or degree course if you can, but don't think for a moment this will allow you to waltz into any job. Most Senior SOCOs/CSI's are likely not to have these qualifications and may even frown on them or indeed feel threatened. Prepare to be open minded and not full of stuff you learned in a classroom.
2. A background in the Forensic Field is not always necessary, nor is a degree or even A levels (in some forces). Previous work in the Public sector or dealing empathetically with the public will help. All the training will be provided if you get a job.
3. Be patient and be prepared to aim low. Some forces employ Volume Crime Scene Examiners or Vehicle Examiners, this is possibly the best way to get into the job as you will learn the fundamental skills required to become a CSI. If this fails apply for any job within your local police force (in any field) and work you way from the inside. A lot of CSI/SOCO jobs are advertised as Internal Only initially and there is always a lot of competition for these posts.
4.Do some Research. If you don't have a Forensic Qualification or previous background, then you'll need to research the job well, and no, having boxsets of CSI does not class as research, in fact don't even mention it in jest at a interview. Best way to research is to speak to people who do the job, try and get a Half an hour to talk with a CSI at your local station, or if you are at school or college try getting some work experience there. The internet is also full of lots of info. (try and stick to UK based sites as it is done differently everywhere)
5. Keep applying. A lot of vacancies get filled by established SOCO/CSIs looking to move forces or areas, when this happens they invariably vacate a post that will be advertised, chase the gaps and sooner or later you could get lucky.
Boy am I glad I got in when I did! To be honest it isn't the most difficult job in the world to do, most people with an ounce of common sense and intellect would have no problems, it's just the getting in is the hard part. Good Luck!