Online degrees in crime scene investigation equip students with essential skills in processing crime scenes, often within the framework of a broader criminal justice degree. Some of those skills include dusting for fingerprints, photographing the scene of the crime, computer forensics, and ballistics and firearm identification. Other skills include the proper collection, handling, and storage of physical and biological evidence, such as bodily fluids and clothing fibers.
While the broader criminal justice education is applicable to a wide variety of careers in law enforcement and corrections, an emphasis or major in crime scene investigation primes students with skills that are most applicable to careers working crime scenes. After all, crime scene investigators must be knowledgeable about the tools and techniques necessary to process and document evidence, not just how to enforce the law and protect lives and property.
While undergraduate programs can prepare people for careers as crime scene technicians, graduate training in crime scene investigation will emphasize more advanced skills, such as estimating the time of death and cause of death, including determining whether a death was a suicide, homicide, or accidental. This educational background may be helpful for advancement in the field. While much of this course work can be taught online, courses that require lab or field work will likely require your presence on site.
Job titles in crime scene investigation might include police officers and detectives, crime analysts, fingerprint/latent print technicians and examiners, police evidence technicians, police services technicians, and crime scene project managers and supervisors. Keep in mind that forensic science technician jobs at crime labs jobs may require a degree in forensic science or another natural science.