Amy Baldwin is a Forensic DNA Analyst who works as an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and runs a forensics consulting firm, Baldwin Forensics. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Fordham University and a Master’s of Science Degree from Pace University, and is certified as a Fellow in General Criminalistics by the American Board of Criminalistics (ABC). She is in demand throughout the country, and has clients in California, Washington and New York.
What is the importance of education in your field?
“All Forensic DNA Analysts must have a minimum of a Bachelor’s Degree in order to work in an accredited laboratory. Some positions, such as Technical Leader, are reserved for those with Master’s Degrees or higher. Many director positions are held by Ph.D’s.”
Is there any form of continuing education required or available?
“All accredited laboratories have continuing education requirements. This can be fulfilled by reading journal articles or attending conferences – both are generally provided by the employer. Everyone must have eight hours of CE credit each year. Attending a one-day conference can satisfy that requirement.”
What is your advice to those seeking a career in this field?
“My advice to anyone seeking a career in forensics is to look past what you know from TV (I know you all watch CSI!) and read. Forensic Magazine is a free email that sums up everything that’s going on in the field – and it’s not very technical. It’s a great current events resource for analysts, technicians, law enforcement and attorneys. Because of the “CSI effect,” the field is very saturated – my advice would also be to stress that internships and advanced degrees are definitely necessary to break into the field at this point.”
Megan Bowyer is a freelance writer in search of the best food and drinks that Sacramento has to offer. You can find her at any number of dive bars or trendy restaurants; just look for the short blonde feeding the jukebox. Her work can be found at “Examiner.com“