Television serials and movies sometimes potray forensic science as a glamorous field involving the main character solving the murder mysteries very easily. It is actually far from that. The word “forensic” applies to the use of scientific methods and techniques to investigate a crime. Forensic scientists may specialize in a wide range of scientific disciplines. Based on the evidence found on the scene of a crime, forensic experts make physical and chemical analysis reports and their findings are often used in investigations in the court of law. . Thus, forensic science is vital to nail culprits or prove the innocence of suspects. The work is usually in forensic labs, medical examiners offices, hospitals, toxicology labs, police departments, independent consultants or as professors in colleges and universities..
Students can do a graduation in forensic science (i e B.Sc. Forensic Science) after 10+2 (after taking biology,physics and chemistry/math). For the entry-level, forensic scientists must have a bachelor's degree in forensic science, biology, chemistry, or physics as this work will entail a lot of analysis using math and science. After graduation they can take up diploma courses in Forensic Science & Criminology which is of 1 year duration. Most colleges and universities that offer an undergraduate degree in forensic science also offer advanced degrees in various specializations.Additionally it is important to stay apprised of new technology in this field.
Forensic scientists are generalists. One can specialize in various fields depending on personal interest. A few specialized fields are:
Criminalists analyze, compare, identify, and interpret physical evidence using natural and physical science techniques
Forensic toxicologists deal with the medico-legal aspects of toxicology eg whether the death was due to drugs/medication.
Digital and multimedia science professionals manage digital forensic labs. Digital photography is an important area of research and is useful in the documentation of crime scenes and injuries.
Forensic anthropologists specialize in human biology and use their training to identify the dead. Their work may involve recovering human remains from various locations, such as deserts or rivers.
Forensic dentistry (ondontology) involves the use of dental science to help identify unknown individuals or human remains after natural disasters, terrorist activities, etc.
Whatever may be the field of specialization, the work of the forensic scientist is very challenging yet satisfying.