The main route into a career involving forensic statistics is essentially as an academic, either as a university lecturer or specifically as a researcher. You would probably need to gain a lecturing or research post in a mathematics or statistics university department, and then pursue a research or consultancy path as part of your day-to-day work there.
Continuing professional development
Forensic statisticians need to continue their personal and professional development. This can be done in several ways.
Most universities offer staff development programmes in which you may take short courses on almost anything, including computing software, presentational skills, management development and teaching skills. If you do not work in a university, there are likely to be courses of a similar nature available.
The statistical methods on which your work is based are also, of course, used in other application areas. You will probably find that there are conferences where the latest developments in these methods are explored; you might be able to submit papers or abstracts about your statistical work and attend these conferences, when you could have the opportunity to present your own papers as well as attend other presentations. Many conferences also have workshops in which you could participate.
These conferences could be in statistical, legal or forensic scientific areas. There is one specialist forensic statistics conference (the International Conference on Forensic Inference and Statistics) which is held every three years. In 2011 it was held in Seattle and in 2014 it will be held in the Hague.
You are also likely to be encouraged to write up the statistical aspects of your work as formal papers for academic journals. It’s important to develop your communication skills so that you can report your findings effectively to members of the police and legal professions, particularly if you actually appear in court as an expert witness. It will also be important to gain some understanding of the legal system.
Your professional work as a statistician might well make it appropriate for you to seek the professional qualification of Chartered Statistician (CStat), which would give you a professional affiliation with the Royal Statistical Society.