Forensic Science – Changing the Indian career landscape

Forensic Science – Changing the Indian career landscape

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Thinking of which career to choose? How about Forensic Science?

High school is that phase in each of our lives which witnesses a major evolution. A transformation from a lackadaisical teenager to an adult all poised to step out into the real world. It is the stepping stone to building a successful career path.

It is that time of our lives when one decision that we take can make or break our impending future. Every student at the brink of completing high school mulls over the same old questions. Which course to choose? Which colleges to target? Which career would open the doors to a lucrative future? And much more.

India stares at a job-deprived future

High school students in India are currently faced with two scenarios. First, peer and family pressure which unfortunately has always played a major role here in influencing a student’s career choices. Second, the lull that the job market bears presently.

The engineering sector especially has hit a new low with the recent layoffs that the sector has witnessed. Earlier this year, IT majors Tech Mahindra, Wipro and Cognizant found themselves in a flurry of headlines with their mass layoffs. This restructuring and shift to automation by many Indian industries can indeed put the career aspirations of millions of engineers at stake.

Emerging technologies such as 3D printing and Internet of Things (IoT) are affecting the prospects of engineers belonging to all branches. Reports have brought to light an alarming picture that India generates about 1.5 million engineering graduates each year, of which only 500,000 managed to get a suitable job while the rest are either unemployed or under-employed.

Some hard-hitting facts and figures that spell mayhem

The recent times have seen a sharp decline in the number of investment proposals for industries. In fact, an RBI report has revealed the plummeting of the growth rate of manufacturing contracted from 12.9% in 2009-10 to -3.7% in 2015-16. The estimates of the International Labour Organization (ILO) have shown that India’s employment elasticity (a measure of how employment growth responds to GDP growth) which was already quite low (0.3) between 1991 and 2007, now stands at only 0.15. This means that 1% of overall economic growth produces only 0.15% of employment growth! Scary isn’t it?

Indian companies are increasingly avoiding fresh investments due to concerns over uncertain markets and low capacity utilization. But, even the ones who did invest were not able to create a major breakthrough in the job market. Take the example of the $25 billion investment by telecom major, Reliance Industries Ltd., in its ground-breaking product, Jio. This ambitious venture hasn’t added much to the famished job market in India as they were compelled to restructure their operations owing to cost-cutting.

In fact, even start-ups which have been the buzzword for the aspiring millennials have also failed to pick up. They too are in the doldrums now due to the unaffordable overheads resulting from the gap between supply and demand. An analysis by Techcircle has revealed how 10,000 people employed with start-ups lost their jobs since August 2015.

Although the fad of choosing engineering and medical courses is gradually diminishing, Indian students are still unaware of the career prospects of many “not so popular” courses. And, Forensic Science is one of them.

So what exactly is Forensic Science?

Forensic Science is all about the application of scientific knowledge and methodology to legal problems and criminal investigations. It is actually a vast and diverse subject which comprises various fields of science such as chemistry, biology, physics, engineering, social science, geology, psychology, etc. Forensic Scientists use their forensic acumen in the collection, preservation, and examination of physical evidence during an investigation.

Such forensic science experts thus have a crucial role to play in the modern day judiciary system. They analyze evidence using scientific procedures and principles to deduce facts that are legally valid in the Court of Law. They play a key role in ensuring that the original form of an evidence is retained during gathering and transfer. This is because even a slight tampering of an evidence can alter the results of the forensic analyses significantly.

Which institutes in India offer Forensic Science courses?

Since not many are fully aware of the prospects of Forensic Science in India, one may wonder if there are good colleges here that cater to this field of study. The fact is, if you do plan to pursue a forensic science course, India has a number of good colleges. Some of them are listed below.

A graduate in microbiology, biochemistry, zoology, chemistry, physics, applied science, botany or medicine can pursue a Master’s degree in Forensic Science. Even law students can pursue a career in forensic science by completing a suitable certificate or diploma course. Students have the option to choose between different specializations – forensic physics, forensic medicine, forensic biology, forensic pathology, forensic chemistry, and much more according to what interests them.

Prospects of a Forensic Career in India

“Child rapes rose by 82% in 2016.”

“2016 saw 106 rapes a day.”

“The overall crime incidents in India rose by 2.6% in 2016. And, out of 19 metropolitan cities analyzed, Delhi accounted for the highest number of crimes (38.8%) followed by Bengaluru (8.9%) and Mumbai (7.7%).”

These figures forecast out loud the increasing demand for forensic science professionals in the near future. Thus indicating a parallel increase in forensic science jobs in India.

A forensic science degree in India is yet to receive its due reverence as it is often overshadowed by the more popular and trending options such as engineering, fashion designing, advertising, MBA and the like. However, with 2.8 crore cases pending in various courts across India, our country definitely needs more private forensic labs for expediting the investigation processes. This would further help various institutions and individuals in resolving their internal, family or business disputes. With many private forensic labs having come up, forensic science jobs are definitely up for grabs.

Also, a survey conducted by PwC has determined cyber crime to be the second most reported economic crime in 2016. With the technology wave having disrupted our lives and the way businesses are conducted, both for the good and the bad, the need for digital forensic experts has increased all the more. Thus it is evident that the requirement for digital and cyber forensic experts is on an upward growth trajectory!

Are you game for a career in Forensic Science?

Have puzzles always thrilled you? Has unraveling mysteries always been your thing? Then a career in forensic science is sure to satiate your quest.

A forensic science degree along with a relevant specialization can open the doors to a multitude of forensic roles. Here are some of the functions that may be of interest to you as a forensic professional.

  • Forensic Pathologist
  • Forensic Psychologist
  • Forensic Anthropologist
  • Forensic Serology Expert
  • Forensic Chemist
  • Clinical Forensic Medicine Expert
  • Toxicologist
  • Forensic Linguist

What’s more? You get to actually live those ‘cool’ characters from all of the popular crime drama television series that you grew up watching! Also, a qualified forensic professional can also choose careers such as teaching and that of a crime reporter.

But remember, being a forensic expert is not as simple as it looks in those television series. It is much more than just donning a pair of aviators or clacking into a crime scene in ankle-length boots! It requires an undying passion, patience, and commitment. So much so, that duty can call anytime and it may require you to report at a crime scene in your pajamas or in a tuxedo!!

IFF Lab – A premier private forensic lab in India

With the dearth of sufficient government and reputed private forensic labs in India, Incognito Forensic Foundation (IFF Lab) aims to relieve the existing forensic system and address the requirements of law enforcement agencies, the government, corporates and individuals in a fast and efficient manner.

IFF Lab located in Chennai and Bangalore has carved a niche for itself in criminal, digital and cyber crime investigations. Although, a newcomer in the forensic investigation domain, it is replete with forensic experts from premier institutes and has been a part of the forensic investigation of high-profile cases.

IFF Lab is committed to its responsibility as a forensic laboratory and investigation agency. It is thus a lucrative workplace for go-getters sharing a similar commitment and vision. IFF Lab has tied up with the topmost forensic institutes in India for recruitment of aspiring forensic experts. Additionally, if you are a qualified forensic professional, either a fresher or an experience holder, who wants to make it big in the forensic science domain, do get it touch with IFF Lab.

Do you have it in you to pursue a career in Forensic Science?