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Does a PhD in a biological science other than forensics help in getting a job in forensic science?

by tom44 on August 10, 2013

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Question by Ian: Does a PhD in a biological science other than forensics help in getting a job in forensic science?
If you’re already in a non-forensics biological science PhD program and think a career in forensics is for you, should you stick out the program or quit and join a forensics trainee program?
Does a job candidate with a PhD appear overqualified?

Best answer:

Answer by Merlin’s Feline
Ian..sure you stay in the area you are in,. many Ph.D.s have technical abilities in areas of great importance to forensic science, areas such as PCR, western blotting, GC , HPLC and other chromatographic methods, ELISAs and RIAs, wet chemical methods for bioanalytes, biostatistics, etc. Just like in Med schools where many physicians have no formal research training, the Ph.D.s do the day-to-day laboratory assays and designs of experiments . In my laboratory for example , I and my students do PCR, protein isolation/ purification, HPLC, ELISAs, tox screens, and many, more techniques useful to forensic science .

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One thought on “Does a PhD in a biological science other than forensics help in getting a job in forensic science?

  1. K-Dawg says:

    I’d probably suggest sticking with your current course of study. However, you need to look deeper into “forensic science” and establish exactly what area of forensic science you want to go into.

    There are many many different areas within the field, each of which require slightly different training and education.

    You may find that even with you’re PhD in biological science you’ll easily qualify for a job in forensics, just depends on what area you want to get into.

    If I were you I’d be doing some research into the different areas of forensics. Once you have that information you can make an informed decision about the area you want to get into. Then you can go for it.

    It might also be an idea to speak to people who are doing the job in your area. Ask them what education they needed, what the recruitment process was for their position and what your chances are of being successful in finding employment in the field.

    Good luck and I hope you reach your goal!

    ADDITIONAL: Re your question as to whether someone with a PhD would appear over qualified, it all depends on what area of forensics you want to get into and if you’re interested in becoming an expert in any of the particular fields. In some of the fields a PhD would be considered an advantage.

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