Computer Forensic Analyst

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Computer forensic analysts use specialised methods and techniques to recover and examine data from computer systems or digital storage devices. They present their findings, which can then be used as evidence in civil or criminal prosecutions involving computer-based, or cyber crime.

They are also known as Cyber security professionals.

The Work

You would use a variety of specialist computer programmes and methods to analyse and search for data on devices such as mobile phones, tablets or laptops or desktop computers.

You could be:

You could be involved in a wide variety of investigations including; industrial or commercial espionage (spying), commercial fraud, theft of undisclosed or confidential information by company employees, possession of illegal images or even bankruptcy cases.


The figures below are only a guide. Actual salaries may vary, depending on:

Starting salaries can be in the region of £21,000 a year. With experience this can rise to between £30,000 and £45,000 a year.

Some analysts can earn up to £80,000 a year or more.


Workforce Employment Status

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Getting In

You need a degree or qualification in an IT-related discipline, or a background in IT systems.

Prospects are good in this line of work, with major employers including the police forces and law enforcement agencies, and government departments and agencies, such as the Serious Fraud Office and MI5. Private employers include IT security and specialist forensic computing companies, as well as banks and financial organisations.

You can find jobs advertised on specialist employment websites such as

Workforce Education Levels (UK)

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Job Outlook Scotland



Percentage of workforce registered as unemployed (Scotland)

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Job Outlook Scotland and UK

2.4 %
  United Kingdom
2.6 %

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What Does it Take?

You need to have:

You need to be able to:


Getting On

More Information

Cyber security is a fast developing area but there is still a current skills shortfall. Currently 58,000 people work in cyber security in the UK (up from 22,000 in 2011).

Visit Cybersecurity Challenge website to find lots of useful information about the industry and careers available.

TechFuture careers is also a good educational resource for IT careers.


The following organisations may be able to provide further information.

BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT
Tel: 01793 417424
Twitter: @bcs

Secret Intelligence Service MI6

Security Service MI5

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Career Area

Computing and ICT

Career Sectors

Computer Skills

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