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Secondary education

Finding work experience - forensic science

8 replies

Brillenbar · 03/09/2017 11:23

Hi dd1 who is nearly 15 needs to arrange work experience and has been keen for the last 2 years in forensic science. Does anyone have any ideas about how to go about finding work experience which is relevant? Do police or labs take 15 year old? TIA

OP posts:
lacebell10 · 03/09/2017 12:49

Check your local hospital policy. Some do some don't. Another easier one would be a funeral directors ... forensics would I imagine need to deal with dead bodies and gore so might be worth him experiencing it to see.if he can handle it.

MyBrilliantDisguise · 03/09/2017 12:53

I think she needs to have a good look at the chance of a career in forensic science before deciding on this direction, OP. I taught in a sixth form and heard it was relatively easy to get on the course, but almost impossible to get a job.

FadedRed · 03/09/2017 12:59

I would think it highly unlikely that Police or Healthcare or similar would be able to take on a 15 year old, but you can only ask.
As your DC is interested in Forensic Science, then experience in working in some area where there is 'unpleasantness' in the form of excreta/body fluids and similar icky stuff, then what about helping out at an animal shelter/kennels/cattery/stables to demonstrate his ability to deal with this? And that he has empathy to work with living beings dependant on good care and attention to detail?

FadedRed · 03/09/2017 13:00

Oops. Sorry, should be 'she and her'.

reallyanotherone · 03/09/2017 13:01

What is his perception of "forensics"

Is he after scenes of crime "csi" type stuff or laboratory? The profession is very very different to tv. "Forensics" as a science is pretty exclusively lab based, csi is the out and about taking fingerprints.

First stop may be to contact your local police force. See if the csi dept or labs can offer anything. Even the police in general, you can learn an awful lot about procedures and the job in an office.

What about a law office, criminal law again will give an understanding of investigating crimes.

If not any lab would do. University, hospital, it's all the same. Or pathology dept. Morgues, funeral homes.

Just as an out there thought, there are companies that specialise in cleaning up crime scenes. Also worth a try.

Gun ranges? Fireams and ballistics are a good specialty.

Photography is also good for csi as much of it is photography.

Basically he may need to think outside the box a bit. But he needs to think whether he's looking at the lab side or the csi side. Totally different.

Brillenbar · 03/09/2017 16:26

Thank you all for your ideas. What she mainly seems interested in is pathology ie performing autopsies but of course has come across this only in a tv csi type contexts so far. I had a chat with her about a funeral parlour and she sees the logic in that and seemed pretty keen - although as with other things it might well be tat a 15 year old is just not allowed to work in that context. She has never been squeamish and recognises both the science and the people skills / human side of anything involving possible traumatic events

OP posts:
Haffdonga · 03/09/2017 16:42

Forensic science sounds very interesting but virtually impossible to get a job in. Most forensic services have been cut as the police budget for forensics has been slashed. Of all those forensic science uni graduates virtually none end up working in forensics.Those forensic scientists who have kept their jobs usually start their career with a strong science degree (e.g. chemistry or biomedical science. Pathologists are qualified doctors.

For a work experience placement for a 15 year old it would be exceptionally unusual to get a placement with a police forensics team, funeral parlour or in a hospital path lab? Absolutely not appropriate for a child.

For school age work experience the most interesting careers can often make the most boring WE placements (law - not allowed to sit in on any of the client meetings; hospitals - not allowed to see or hear any of the patient details; even supermarkets - not allowed to stand on a ladder to stack a shelf, not allowed to serve customers or touch food due to health and safety etc ). I'd advise her getting a placement somewhere where she could be much more involved doing active things.

reallyanotherone · 03/09/2017 20:45

If she is interested in the post mortem side of things she needs to be a medical dr. It's long and gruelling training, as you have to learn it all, surgery, diagnosis, all body areas, on the living before they let you specialise on the dead.

Csi will collect evidence from bodies, attend post mortems and take photo's etc, but the post mortem itself is done by the medical pathologist.

If she wants to be a pathologist she needs to focus on getting into medicine.

Csi or forensics i'd go for a good biological science/chemistry degree rather than a "forensics" course. Even physics or maths if ballistics is of interest. The trick is getting in to a police force- there are ways, for example many police staff get in via 999 call handling-there are always jobs as the turnover is very high, and once you're an internal candidate you're in a position of strength.

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