CSI: The Real Deal? – Fact vs. Fiction

AI Editor   By AI Editor

CSI: The Real Deal? Fact vs. Fiction

The popular TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation has sparked great interest in the science of forensics. Suddenly, many people are considering becoming forensics specialists. If you are a CSI fan, then you should be familiar with the concept of forensic science including computer forensics. But are all the action and the technologies you see on the show the real deal?

While it is good that CSI and similar shows have gotten more people interested in studying forensic science, academics and industry people would like to point out that the show is not an entirely accurate depiction of what really happens in the field of forensics but a rather elevated or embellished version.

For one thing, it is just not possible to solve a case as quickly as the characters in the show do. Also, most of the amazing technologies featured in CSI do not really exist. For instance, there are no devices that can analyze data and swiftly produce complete and highly specific results. This process normally takes several weeks and even months in reality. As you can expect, real-life cases do not always get resolved as they do on the shows.

In CSI, you will always see the main characters spending a lot of time gathering forensic data at the crime scenes, which they will then test in their high-tech laboratories. They also review the evidence they have collected at police stations as well as question the suspects. In real-life investigations, each of the tasks mentioned above is performed by different specialists and not just by one or a handful of people.

Of course, it is the intention of the show's producers and writers to make the investigators in CSI fascinating and exciting to watch. The audience should be impressed with their acuity, speed and their range of abilities, which is why they are not only detectives but skilled lab scientists as well. Such a position is no
n-existent in the actual field of forensics.

So, is there anything on CSI that is not just fiction? Certainly and, in fact, there are several technologies and methods used on the show that are also used in actual forensic investigations such as face recognition software and sophisticated video analysis system that can be used to examine a video footage to identify criminals. Systems that can compare and match fingerprints and palm prints also exist.

If you are like many other CSI fans who are thinking about pursuing a career in crime scene investigation or other forms of forensic science like computer forensics, you need to realize that this is a highly specialized field so be prepared to complete all the necessary education and training.

First of all, to become a forensics specialist you need to get a science degree. Majoring in physical science, biology or computer science (if you want to be a computer forensics specialist) is recommended. You can also look at specialized programs in forensics now offered by big colleges and universities. If you are still in high school, take your science and math classes very seriously so you will have a strong foundation for college-level science.

For those who already have their Bachelor's Degrees, advance your career by enrolling in a Masters or Doctorate program. Getting certified by professional board associations such as the American Board of Forensic Entomology will look good on your resume and will certainly give you a competitive edge during your job hunt, although it is not a requirement to gain employment in the field.

A career in forensic science seems to be one filled with a lot of action and excitement, especially if your perception is based on the CSI show but as pointed out in this article, it is important that you distinguish the facts from the fiction so you will have realistic expectations of what you are getting into. Understand what it really takes to venture in this field and you will be prepared towards a successful career.

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