Have you mastered a science, more specifically forensic science? I, myself, have not, although I believe I have a good grasp on the subject matter area I work in. I find myself asking this question more and more lately: If I were to study and obtain my master’s of science in forensic science, would I become more qualified than somebody without one? We are going to navigate through my thoughts and see if we can shed any light on the situation.
Coming out of my bachelor’s program at Penn State with a concentration in biology, looking back, my knowledge of Forensic DNA and Serology was solid and felt comfortable entering an intro position in a laboratory. The scientific knowledge behind what I would be doing was already in place, it was just a matter of becoming familiar with how they did things; that was the largest learning curve for me. Right around the time I started working in my first laboratory, a now close friend of mine began in the same group; for all intensive purposes, he is about seven years older than me and has his master’s in forensic science. After we both went through training, we reflected on our experiences in the training program and both thought we were equally prepared and exhibited similar knowledge thresholds. Granted, some parts of analysis were troubling to me, we each had our strong points and excelled in different areas. Did this mean either one of us were more qualified?
In short, no, I don’t think either one of us was more qualified; some people will have more strengths than weaknesses, vice versa, or overall, just be a more well rounded analyst. Both of our trainers were great teachers and utilizing the current training program, helped us get up to speed with the way their laboratory functioned; it should be noted that during our training, our trainers only had their bachelor’s degrees but at least two years worth of experience. My last sentence really summarizes how I feel about this entire article; you can have two analysts, each with the same amount of experience, one with a bachelor’s degree and the other with a master’s, and the only difference in their qualifications are their inherit qualities and respective training programs’ they have gone through. Along the same line, it’s troubling when people believe you’re more qualified simply because you have a master’s in this field; I’ve encountered people with an advanced degree and personally thought some of my coworkers with bachelor’s degrees were more competent analysts. I understand people need a way to filter out possible candidates for a job, as an example, but I would recommend testing of their knowledge rather than their educational background.
What are you opinions? Use the comment section below to tell me your thoughts on it. Until next time, take care.