Opportunity for forensic science graduates in the state of Massachusetts is growing at a modest but steady clip, and a number of different schools offer programs to help prepare students for possible careers in law enforcement and forensics. Most of those who are employed in the field in Massachusetts are working in the larger cities including Boston, Springfield, and Worcester.
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Even though Massachusetts has a relatively small population of professionals who are working in the field of forensic science, those who do work in the state enjoy a healthy average salary of about $69,360 annually. Data from 2012 from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that approximately 60 individuals are working in forensic science in the state currently. This number is higher than what it was a few years ago in 2009, when there were only about 40 professionals in the state.
Many graduates of forensic science programs in Massachusetts work at the State Police Crime Labs. Forensic science techs in the state seem to find the most work in densely populated areas like Boston, which experience the highest incidence of crime.
Students who are considering programs will find numerous forensic science schools in Massachusetts that have accreditation and that offer one or more forensics program.
Bunker Hill Community College is a college geared specifically to providing affordable, career-oriented education for state residents. The school provides an associate degree in digital and computer forensics investigations. This program is intended to help students learn to analyze digital evidence found through the seizure of mobile devices, cell phones, and other handheld devices.
Becker College in Worcester offers a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a Forensic Science/Crime Scene Processing concentration. Students should gain skills related to evidence collection, picture taking and data recording.
Located right in the heart of Boston is Boston University. The school has a number of options when it comes to forensics including a Master’s of Science degree in Forensic Anthropology and degrees in biomedical forensics. The university provides certificates in digital forensics as well.
With some schools, it is possible to find online and hybrid options for at least some of the classes. For example, those who are going to be heading to Boston University will find that the school offers certain digital forensics courses online. Additionally, Bunker Hill has an online component for many classes, while Kaplan University offers a crime scene technician certificate via through distance learning.
Accreditation for forensic science colleges in Massachusetts is not a given, and is as important as ever. Accredited programs meet rigorous academic criteria, and generally prepare students to work in the field. Boston University, for example, has accreditation from the foremost forensics group in the country, the AAFS as well as the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Bunker Hill Community College and Becker College both have accreditation through the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. Schools may have both regional and professional accreditation.
|School Name||City||Website||Degrees Awarded||Certificates Awarded||Total Forensics Grads|
|Bay Path University||Longmeadow||www.baypath.edu||21||0||21|
|William James College (Formerly Massachusetts School of Professional Psychology)||Newton||www.williamjames.edu||12||0||12|
|Mount Ida College||Newton||www.mountida.edu||11||0||11|
|American International College||Springfield||www.aic.edu||11||0||11|
|Salem State University||Salem||www.salemstate.edu||10||0||10|
|Northern Essex Community College||Haverhill||www.necc.mass.edu||0||8||8|
|Middlesex Community College||Bedford||www.middlesex.mass.edu||5||1||6|
|Bunker Hill Community College||Boston||www.bhcc.mass.edu||0||3||3|
|Holyoke Community College||Holyoke||www.hcc.edu||0||1||1|
School data provided by IPEDS (2013), and includes all certificates and degrees awarded for the following programs: Arson Investigation, Computer Forensics, Forensic Accounting, Forensic Chemistry, Forensic Psychology, Forensic Science and Technology, and Law Enforcement Investigation