As careers in crime solving move increasingly online, so BCIT’s Bachelor of Technology (BTech) and Advanced Certificate programs in Forensic Investigation: Crime and Intelligence Analysis (CIA) have followed.
“We’ve had students from across Canada in our courses, so we know they appreciate the offering,” explains Ken Schulz, Interim Program Coordinator, and faculty member since the programs’ inception.
Both part-time programs are now offered fully online to better meet the needs of this wide audience.
“We know our students appreciate the depth we offer, and they like that our instructors come from industry and are working in the field,” explains Ken, who currently works in strategic intelligence analysis. He brings a wealth of experience, through work as a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) analyst, as well as tactical analyst roles in both the provincial and federal spheres. “Over the years we’ve built a unique offering through our extensive topic coverage and use of leading software programs.”
Our grads enjoy a high-intensity learning experience that matches what their careers will be like. Every day they hone their problem-solving, analysis, and inferential skills with hands-on exercises. – Ken Schulz, Crime & Intelligence Analysis Interim Program Coordinator
Crime has changed over the years, and so must analysts as they work to build actionable intelligence that helps disrupt criminal activities. “Individual criminal actors and their networks utilize increasingly complicated methods of operation,” reports Ken. “Our students learn to combine critical thinking with tools and techniques, so they are able to make robust inferences about these criminal activities.” Ken further explains that students must be able to develop defensible analytical assessments that can hold up in court.
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The courses will continue to be offered in an online, synchronous format, with instructors engaged in real time. “Our course-by-course enrollment and the BC time zone works fairly well for learners across Canada,” says Ken.
Students have the flexibility to begin studies in January or September, and courses are offered throughout the year over three academic terms.
“Students coming to us with a degree find the Advanced Certificate appealing, to layer onto what they’ve already earned, like an undergraduate degree in criminology or psychology,” according to Ken. “And the BTech works well for students who have not yet finished a degree, but already know they want to specialize in crime and intelligence. It is a great option for those who have already completed sixty credits of post-secondary education.”
Both the students and their future employers appreciate the capstone graduation project opportunity in the BTech. Students can develop an area of expertise by applying the range of skills learned in the program to a defined industry problem or question – and leverage it when seeking employment.
“It lets the student delve into something more deeply, and show what they can do,” says Ken. “Even as we move online, we are keeping these appealing elements. We will still have the capstone project, but the project presentation does not have to run in person.”
If it’s a fit you know
It takes a certain aptitude and curiosity to thrive in crime analysis. “Our grads enjoy a high-intensity learning experience that matches what their careers will be like,” emphasizes Ken. “Every day they hone their problem-solving, analysis, and inferential skills with hands-on exercises, from visual investigative analysis to crime mapping to statistical analysis to strategic intelligence analysis.”
Graduates end up working in the military, law enforcement and government agencies at all levels, and in private organizations. “The career opportunities are growing, particularly as the analyst tool box becomes more complex, and the vulnerability across organizations evolves in an online world,” says Ken.
“Our grads come into the program wanting to make a difference. We, as instructors, find it rewarding when passing on to them what we have learned so that they can make a difference for good.”
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