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Meet Magnet Forensics’ Training Team: Erich Schmidt

Introducing one of our newest Magnet Forensics Trainers, Erich Schmidt.

Erich comes to us from an extensive background in law enforcement and has a passion for teaching. Check out our interview with him below!

Want to learn more about what courses are offered? Visit our Training & Certification page for more information.

MF: Tell us about your life before becoming a Trainer.

ES: Prior to Magnet, I was the probation officer assigned as a high-tech investigator on the CATCH Task Force in San Diego.  My main job was conducting digital forensic investigations as well as aiding other investigators as a technical component.

MF: What made you want to be a Trainer?

ES: Teaching is a passion that I didn’t know I had.  I began teaching some open-source investigations classes for my department, and then other agencies.  I had to take instructor-development courses to get certified to teach to law enforcement agencies, and in those courses I learned about the art of teaching/adult learning and I was hooked.

MF: What type of training have you taken part in personally? What is your favorite part of the role?

ES: I’ve taken countless forensic courses as part of my professional development on the task force.  My favorite part of training is when the students have the “Aha” moments.

MF: What excites you the most about a new class?

ES: Each student comes to training with their own set of knowledge and my favorite part about a new class is when I get to learn about other experiences and how we can all apply them to our roles.

MF: Do you ever learn anything from the students?

ES: Every time I teach a class I learn something from students.  I keep a side journal and jot down notes.

MF: Is there a particular moment that stands out the most to you in your career in the classroom?

ES: None in particular, but as stated earlier, I love seeing the Aha moments.  I’m excited for students when the lightbulb clicks and I know someone’s job will be easier or a new concept makes sense.

MF: What do students get out of training in person that they can’t get on their own?

ES: Teaching to me is a process in which a student is guided on a path of discovery.  I think there’s a certain level of motivation applied in a classroom that may not be otherwise applied on their own.

MF: How prepared do you feel students are to use Magnet Forensics products after taking the training course?

ES: Magnet has awesome trainers and great course content.  I felt very confident to do my job after taking my first Magnet courses.

MF: What is most unique about Magnet Forensics’ approach to training?

ES: In my experience, the use of scenarios in training is probably the best way for adults to learn a new concept.  Magnet has used scenarios in each of the training courses I have attended.  I also think it’s great that the MCFE is offered for free after qualifying. 

MF: Why do you think certification is important to examiners?

ES: Certification allows an examiner to feel confident and speak with authority in court.

MF: How do you manage to keep up on the latest trends in digital forensics?

ES: I frequently listen to podcasts, read blogs, and subscribe to numerous RSS feeds.

MF: What trends do you see coming down the pipeline in digital forensics?

ES: I think tools will continue to improve on automation and AI to speed up the forensic process and free up examiner time.

Thank you, Erich! Welcome to the Training team and to Magnet Forensics overall—we look forward to seeing your future contributions.

Read our previous interviews with VP Training Chuck Cobb, Director of Training Operations Jamey TubbsChris VancePatrick Beaver, Doug Estes, Lyn Goh, Larry McClain, Hoyt Harness, Chris Cone, Jerry Hewitt and Chris Blight.

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