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Data & network

Forensic computer analyst

Forensic computer analysts investigate computer-based crime, often called cyber crime.

Annual Salary

£25,000 to £60,000

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 a week

You could work: evenings; occasionally

Future employment

There will be 2.4% more Forensic computer analyst jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

Your tasks will depend on where you work. You could:

  • investigate hacking, fraud and theft
  • research political, industrial and commercial espionage
  • track terrorist communications and other illegal activities
  • secure IT systems and hardware to protect them from security threats
  • recover and secure data
  • analyse mobile phone records to track location
  • follow electronic data trails
  • document each stage of the investigation
  • present technical findings and evidence

Working environment

You could work in a court, in an office or at a client's business.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
  • an apprenticeship
  • working towards this role
  • training with a professional body

You can do a degree or postgraduate qualification in:

  • forensic computing and security
  • computer science
  • cyber security
  • digital forensics
  • financial technology

Courses with industry placements will help you develop your skills.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 to 3 A levels, or equivalent, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information

You could do:

  • a Cyber Security Technologist Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • a Digital Forensic Technician Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship
  • a Cyber Security Technical Professional Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 4 or 5 GCSEs at grades 9 to 4 (A* to C) and A levels, or equivalent, for a higher or degree apprenticeship
For more information

You could start work as an IT support technician, network engineer or developer after doing A levels. You would then work your way up by taking further training on the job.

Other routes

You could do certified industry training with a professional body like the Chartered Institute of Information Security or The Chartered Institute for IT.

You'll need to be working in IT security or have a lot of experience to do this.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Further information

You can find out more about careers in digital security from the:National Cyber Security Centre; Chartered Institute for IT; UK Cyber Security Council

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With experience, you could progress to senior analyst, head of security or security consultant.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • analytical thinking skills
  • the ability to use your initiative
  • the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure
  • broadcasting and telecommunications knowledge
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • persistence and determination
  • complex problem-solving skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • knowledge of teaching and the ability to design courses
  • to have a thorough understanding of computer systems and applications
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