The National Centers of Digital Forensics Academic Excellence (CDFAE) is a partnership between academia, standards bodies, and the US Government to establish best practices for digital forensics education. Education providers are held to digital forensics education standards based upon knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSA) used in the field. This approach advances the discipline of digital forensics and increases the number of qualified professionals to meet the needs of law enforcement, counterintelligence, national defense, and legal communities.
The CDFAE program offers designations to accredited, non-profit, academic programs that confer a digital forensics-related degree. To receive CDFAE designation, an institution's accredited academic program must map courses against a common core curriculum.
The United States is in a cybersecurity workforce deficit. More than ever, organizations need to plan for the future as significant shifts in cyber operations accelerate globally. Digital forensics skill sets provide crosscutting application to multiple fields. In its strictest connotation, digital forensics is the application of computer science and investigative procedures involving the examination of digital evidence, including proper search authority, chain of custody, validation with mathematics, use of validated tools, repeatability, reporting, and expert testimony. Beyond traditional legal purposes, the same techniques, scientific rigor, and procedural precision now support the range of military operations and course of action (examples: computer network operations and counterintelligence objectives).
CDFAE serves as a prime avenue for cultivating leaders to meet evolving objectives across the digital forensics and cyber communities, as it is vital to protect, investigate, and serve public, private, and national goals.
Military Students: Earn college credits for completed DCITA courses
Civilian Students: Earn DoD certifications after graduation and hired within DoD and Federal government
Students who complete the program will:
Education providers will:
Federal employers and/or federal contractors will be able to:
As an employer who may be considering hiring an individual with one or two CDFAE Certificates of Completion, this individual can begin employment on day one with basic to intermediate level abilities. You will not have to send the individual through the required courses at DCITA for him/her to obtain the required certifications.
Your employees can trade in their CDFAE Certificates of Completion for DCITA's corresponding certifications.
After a college or university completes the rigorous application process and becomes a CDFAE Designated School, their courses are aligned to DCITA courses that offer DoD certifications. Upon successful graduation from a CDFAE designated school, students will receive a certificate of completion. This certificate can be exchanged for its corresponding DoD certification when the student is employed with a federal employer or federal contractor.
If more than six months have passed since graduation, certain other requirements must be met to participate in the Trade-in Program.