Iain Macleod is an MComp (Hons) Computer Forensics graduate who now works for Newport-based digital forensic company, Sytech. He reveals how he ‘worked backwards’ to achieve his new role as a Digital Forensic Analyst.
"I was in my late thirties when I decided that I needed a change of career. Due to new family commitments I also needed to be able to study alongside being a house husband. At the time, I worked as a bank care support worker, so my first plan was to pursue nursing.
"However, my wife suggested I explore something to do with computers or forensics, as I was very interested in computers and had an obsession for forensics on TV and in books. I researched both potential careers and came across the role of Digital Forensic Analyst. I then worked backwards to get the qualifications that would allow me to get that career.
"I phoned the University of South Wales and spoke to the Associate Head of Computing and Mathematics, who sounded so excited and passionate about the computer forensic course, that by the time he had finished telling me what it entailed, I really wanted to give it a go.
"The best thing about becoming a student was that after years of thinking I couldn’t do any better with my education and career, the realisation that with a little bit of direction, training, and belief from my peers and lecturers, I could achieve anything.
"My current role at Sytech (Systems Technology Consultants) is to analyse and investigate forensically extracted data, using a range of digital forensic software and techniques. My role also involves reading through case paperwork provided by the police force, in order to gain a full understanding of the alleged and potential criminal offences involved in the investigation I’m working on.
"I find the whole job interesting, and at times it can be extremely exciting and rewarding. My career choice came before the degree choice, so to achieve the position of Digital Forensic Analyst straight out of university is a dream come true. This is especially the case with a company such as Sytech, who have an advanced digital forensic laboratory and specifically employ graduates with relevant degrees.
"I’m looking forward to gaining further training in report writing and courtroom training, as well as potentially completing my EnCase Certification (EnCE) with an external trainer and becoming an expert witness within this field of digital forensics.
"My advice to anyone considering the MComp (Hons) Computer Forensics course is study hard, listen and research, and you will succeed on this course and get the career you want."