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Discovering Job Possibilities That Fit Your College Degree



    You've found the ideal major, but do you know all the future job possibilities? (Published Friday, Oct. 2, 2015)

    You've found the ideal major, but do you know all the future job possibilities? Experts suggest tapping into the free advice from professors and advisers about your career options because you likely don't know many jobs that are a perfect fit with your degree.

    Just ask the photography majors at Barry University. Some are specializing in forensics, getting jobs with top law enforcement agencies nationwide.

    Students like Dana Al-Musallam said she's discovering a whole new world of career opportunities. She's completing an internship at the medical examiner's department.

    "In a way, you're kind of like a silent crusader behind the camera lens," Al-Musallam said.

    Al-Musallam is training under Senior Forensic Photographer Heidi Nichols at the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Department. Their work looks like a scene from CSI Miami. They said the job is actually just as exciting as Hollywood portrays it.

    "Each case has a different component to it that is always fascinating. 15 years later, I am always fascinated by what I see across the hall," Nichols said.

    Across that hall is Miami-Dade's morgue. Each week on average, these photographers take the pictures of the five people murdered in the county, as well as the evidence their bodies might hold.

    While photography students already have an eye for taking a great photo, not all will be able to stomach this specialization.

    "Students who come through this program, we make sure they're of the right the build. That they can handle the harsh reality of this work but understand it is a necessary thing to have these people trained to do this work, especially from law enforcement. They rely on these people," said Scott Weber, associate professor of photography at Barry.

    Precision is critical on this job because the images are evidence. Their goal is clear: Figure out the cause and manner of death.

    But capturing the clues isn't always easy. Photographers use special lighting to capture bodily fluids and have to replicate the firing of murder weapons.

    A high speed gun range at the medical examiner's department allows photographers to capture the image of a bullet in flight. An image that can free someone wrongly accused or convict a murderer.

    "It's a cheesy tagline that you hear on TV: 'They're the medical examiners and they're here to talk for the dead,' but it's true," Nichols said. "They can't tell us what happened but in some ways they can tell us what happened. They can let us know what their last moments were like."

    Al-Musallam said she's excited to take what she's learned back to her country of Kuwait, especially now that she's discovered her photographs don't only look good, they can tell the truth about an injustice.

    The Barry photography graduates are working all over the country working for agencies like the FBI, DEA and Smithsonian.

    Photographers at the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner's Department also provide training to other law enforcement agencies across the country.

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