Both types of analyst are in the business of preventing crime. Crime analysts work with law enforcement professionals to help predict and prevent crimes. They study criminal patterns in an effort to predict the time, place, and day that a crime might occur. They use algorithms in computer databases that they design in order to gather and analyze criminal data. Crime analysts use the information they glean to identify criminals and to determine possible targeted suspects, as well.
Fraud analysts, also called fraud investigators, perform a variety of tasks for criminal and civil investigations. For example, they are involved in the investigation of insurance and credit card fraud. This includes interviewing and working with postal officials when criminal activity occurred through the postal service. Investigators interview individuals who are affected by fraudulent activity, including complainants, employers, and witnesses.
The job descriptions do not benefit one over the other. They both require an aptitude for analytics and computer literacy. Both mandate that you are an efficient problem solver. Analysts are problem-solvers. They take a problem, analyze every detail of it, and ultimately arrive at a solution.
There are a select number of degrees in crime analysis and fraud analysis. You can earn a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Intelligence Analysis. The program focuses on the analysis of crime patterns and statistics to come up with solutions. The big picture is to lower the rate of violent crimes.
Similarly, you can earn a Bachelor of Science in Fraud and Financial Crime Investigation. This program prepares you for a career in the growing field of economic and financial crime investigation by teaching skills and techniques for procuring information, analyzing it, and preserving evidence belonging to financial misdeeds.
Does the type of degree favor make a difference? Can you start your career with an associate’s degree instead of a bachelor’s degree? If so, this would be a benefit, as it would save time and money earning your degree.
Sokanu is a career-matching platform that uses psychometrics and machine learning to perform career tests. Their data show that 80% of fraud analysts have a bachelor’s degree and 16% have a master’s degree. Only 4% have an associate’s degree.
It is arguable that the crime analyst degree is more advantageous. You could begin with an associate’s degree in criminal justice, for example. While gaining experience in law enforcement, you do online training through The International Association of Crime Analysts (IACA). A ten-week course titled–Exploring Crime Analysis costs $395. The IACA also offers the Certified Law Enforcement Analyst Program.
Which Degree is beneficial to you?
As mentioned above, a degree in criminal justice may be at the top of the list for the crime analyst. You would study the legal system, people’s rights in society, laws, the Constitution, and related topics. The fraud analyst may benefit those this with an aptitude for math and accounting. The profession leans towards business, finance, and statistics. There will be more mathematics involved in fraud risk analysis. Your appetite for numbers may influence your degree preference.
Which degree benefits you financially? According to the employment site, Payscale, the median income for a crime analyst is $47,490. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov) does not report the occupation of a crime analyst. The category of Detectives and Criminal Investigators has their median salary at $71,340 for local government positions.
There are many employment opportunities in the private sector in crime analysis. Intelligence Analyst is the term many companies use for this work. The typical degrees are criminal justice, business administration, or mathematics. These analysts research, integrate, analyze, and evaluate data in the preparation of concise analytical reports.
Payscale reports the median salary for a fraud analyst at $46,559. The BLS does not have this occupation listed. Another prominent employment data site is Glassdoor. They report the median income for the profession at $41,972. However, Glassdoor has a job posting for a Senior Fraud Data Analyst in California. The applicants must have 5+ years experience and professional designations. The posted pay range is $77-$101k. Therefore, there is the potential to exceed the median salary as a fraud analyst.