The Top Five Coolest Geek Detective Degrees

The image of geeks has changed over the years. In the last century, geeks were looked at as unfashionable weaklings, who spent most of their time forking over lunch money and getting sand kicked in their faces. They were the antithesis of everything cool and happening.

In the 21st century, geeks are empowered as never before. Not only do they enjoy an image of sophisticated hipness, they represent the technological elite with the power to spawn fortunes, invent weird contraptions, and yes, even bust criminals.  That's right. Geek detectives represent the newest addition to the rich, proud heritage of geek-dom. In that spirit, let's check out the top five degrees for geek detectives.

1. Cybersecurity Geeks are the cyber-cops of the information age. Rather than patrolling seedy hideouts, they monitor computer networks for identity thieves and information pirates. The ever-rising tide of computer-based crimes has given rise to a lucrative market in network security, and that's what makes cyber security such a valuable commodity in the modern marketplace.

2. Economic Crime Investigation and Financial Crime and Compliance Management. These two related fields target white collar criminals and their often complicated financial crimes. Because the world banking system spans the globe electronically, cyber-crooks can now transact their crimes with a few simple keystrokes.  Economic Crime Investigation is usually a bachelor-level program that combines technological instruction with investigative methods.  Financial Crime and Compliance Management, on the other hand, is most often a Master's-level program aimed primarily at business executives.  The goal of the program is not merely solving crimes, but developing new methods and partnerships to prevent economic crime altogether.

3. Fraud Management. Over-billing schemes, fictitious vendors, and ghost employees.  These are just a few of the many fraud schemes experienced by large companies.  Geek detectives help bring perpetrators to justice by looking for the telltale signatures of economic fraud.  Fraud Management is an MBA program for serious, career-minded geeks, intent on climbing the corporate ladder.

4. Forensic Accountant. Over the last decade, a wave of accounting scandals has rocked businesses and investors alike.  Complicated accounting schemes designed to hide losses, disguise embezzlement, or create a false image of financial health plagued markets around the world.  That Wild West mentality is giving way before an onslaught of Forensic Accounting.  Forensic Accountants analyze economic data to detect suspicious or illegal financial practices.

5. Computer Forensics. Criminals are constantly trying to hide their tracks. Unfortunately for them, computer systems are notorious for collecting personal data. By analyzing file libraries, network traffic, and a host of other parameters, Computer Forensics Experts can recover and reconstruct incriminating data.

After years of getting leaned on by bullies and tough guys, geeks are exacting a little sweet revenge.  In the electronic age, they've assumed a new level of power and importance. So the next time you see a geek walking down the street, you might let him keep his lunch money. Because if you mess with a geek in this day and age, the only one getting sand in the face might just be you.