If someone is passionate about two fields that seem to have no touching points, such as animation and criminal justice, they could fall victim to choosing a career that they are not as enthusiastic about. For instance, if the said individual decides to become an animator, they will not get a chance to do any criminal justice work. Conversely, going into criminal justice will leave very little room for them to work on any type of multimedia art.
Not Entirely True
Fortunately, everything that was said above is a mere generalization that is not based on facts. While it is true that animation and criminal justice are a lot different from each other, saying that they are mutually exclusive is a stereotypical assumption.
Even though this used to be the case, the evolution of technology has made it possible to combine fields that have very little similarities. Hence why athletes can also be businessmen, businessmen can be musicians, and musicians can be computer developers. Courtesy of advanced education that includes things like online degrees and distant learning, professionals from practically all backgrounds can transfer to any industry.
Animation and Criminal Justice
Animation and criminal justice go even further. Someone who wants to do both does not necessarily have to transfer from one field to the other. Instead, they can simply pursue a major where they get to study both topics. Enter forensic animators. As one of the relatively new positions in the world of law enforcement, forensic animators recreate crime scenes and evidence.
The responsibility of a forensic animator is to make a presentation of the events that transpired as accurately as possible. To do so, however, they must understand how the investigation process operates, what type of evidence the detectives are looking for, the crime timelines, and much more. Nonetheless, it is indeed possible for someone to combine their passions for animation and criminal justice.
High Salary to Offset the Educational Cost
Since the Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, has no tangible data on forensic animators’ job outlook, the easiest way to get insight is to analyze both fields separately. The BLS reports the current median income for animators is $72,520.
Those who work as detectives and criminal investigators, however, earn considerably more as BLS quantifies their mean salary at more than $85,000. While it is an assumption, it would be fair to expect someone who technically works in both of those areas to earn between $70,000 to $90,000.
This is important as the cost to attend a program of forensic animation is quite high. For example, attending more reputable schools, such as the California Institute of the Arts, will cost anywhere from $40,000 to $60,000 to cover the annual tuition and fees.
Absent financial aid and scholarships, students could face a lot of expenditures that can lead to a ton of debt. The fact that they will be able to earn great income as forensic animators, however, helps alleviate some of the concerns.
Typical Offering in a Forensic Animation Program
Because a forensic animator generally starts in the sphere of criminal justice, the Journal of Information Science and Technology states that their coursework will primarily focus on computer forensics, crime scene investigations, criminal affairs, and psychology.
Once they decide to specialize as computer forensics, they veer off to more narrow degree plans that include courses such as animation, modeling, composition, evidence recreation, cybercrime, and database implementation. The vast majority of candidates spend approximately four years going through the coursework. If they decide to complete internships, their graduation may get delayed a bit, however.
Software Covered in Criminal Justice Programs
One of the main purposes of this degree is to help the student learn how to maneuver the computer forensics that can help resolve crimes. Due to this, most schools do not offer many options for getting trained on specific software; on-the-job training tends to cover such topics, after all. Some of the very limited software alternatives that might be introduced are Adobe Animate, Anark Core, and AutoCAD. As said, though, these types of skills are generally acquired after the person starts working and begins going through their job-related, mandatory training.
Anyone who wants to pursue multimedia art while also working in law enforcement should not get discouraged. Thanks to the rapidly evolving technology, jobs like these now have many connections. Before starting the endeavor, candidates must consider their future salaries, type of courses that they must complete, as well as programs that they will need to learn to use. Doing so will help motivate and prepare them for the criminal justice degree that uses animation.