Career Spotlight: Cybercrime Investigator

Could an Exciting and Challenging Career as a Cybercrime Investigator Be for You?

It is not hard to find news of a data breach or cybercrime these days. These attacks can seriously damage large organizations, companies, and even individuals. Do you find yourself interested in investigative stories and TV shows, but you are not sure you want to be front and center with the physical action? A cybercrime investigator position might be for you. Combine your passion for investigations and your education in computer science or cybersecurity to start your dream career.

What Is Cybercrime?

Cybercrime is any criminal activity that involves a computer, device, or network. There are several reasons why someone commits a cybercrime. A few include:

  • To generate a profit for the cybercriminal
  • To damage or disable a computer, device, or network
  • To spread malware
  • To share any illegal information, images, or other materials
  • Some cybercriminals combine crimes to create even more damage. An example of this is someone targeting a specific computer with a virus that will spread the virus to the entire network.

    Effects of cybercrimes can include financial problems, ransomware attacks, email and internet fraud, and identity fraud. While all these effects are serious, any financial-related attack can be detrimental to the individual or corporation.

    Cybercrime Career Opportunities

    As great as technological advances are, this progress opens additional doors for cybercriminals. Because of this, corporations and organizations are hiring more cybersecurity professionals to monitor and ensure the safety of their network. And, if a cybercrime happens to their company, they have the people and resources to handle it.

    Some cybercrime career opportunities include:

  • Digital forensic examiner: They analyze computers and digital devices to discover how unauthorized people accessed that particular system.
  • IT auditor: They assess an organization’s technology for potential security issues.
  • Cybercrime specialists: They work directly with cybercrime investigators to protect a company’s network and devices.
  • Penetration tester: They help a business identify security weaknesses before malicious hackers can do the same. Often times, penetration testers do this by attempting to breach computer networks with the company’s permission.
  • Security engineer: They design systems to keep a company’s computers, networks, and data safe. This includes cyber attacks, natural disasters, and anything else that can disrupt a system.
  • While all these positions are extremely important to a cybersecurity team, they work primarily to prevent crimes from occurring. Cybercrime investigators work with cybersecurity teams once a crime has been committed to collect data and evidence to help solve these crimes.

    What Is a Cybercrime Investigator?

    Cybercrime investigators take the lead role in all investigations involving cybercrimes. Whether the cybercrime investigator works for the state or federal government, or private organization, job responsibilities typically include the following:

  • Analyze computer systems and networks after a cyber attack occurred
  • Recover data that was destroyed or damaged
  • Gather evidence and computer network information
  • Prepare reports for leadership and the general public
  • Train law enforcement on cyber-related issues
  • Assess software applications and networks for security flaws
  • Cybercrime investigators are also responsible for identifying and recommending methods to prevent a similar cybercrime from occurring again. According to, cybercrime investigators in the United States make $56,000 a year. Experience, education, and the organization employed by for play a huge role in determining the salary.

    How to Become a CyberCrime Investigator

    A cybercrime investigator is a highly skilled and specially trained investigator who works with cybersecurity and police teams. Check out the steps to becoming a cybercrime investigator below:

      Step 1: Earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, or cybersecurity. A bachelor’s degree is required for almost all entry-level cybersecurity positions.
      Step 2: Join a cybersecurity or computer science team to gain valuable experience in the field. Experience will allow you to understand how cybercriminals work and grow your knowledge of investigation principles and practices, as well as to increase your potential for leadership positions.
      Step 3: Earn your master’s degree in cybersecurity from Excelsior University. A graduate degree combined with work experience will prepare you for a successful career as a cybercrime investigator.