dcsimg
Search our Site!

Search Schools
Subject:
Program:
Degree:
Campus Type:
Zip:

How to Become a Computer Security Specialist

Home >> Career Search Article Directory >> How to Become a Computer Security Specialist

What computer security specialists do

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), computer security specialists, also referred to as information security analysts, are responsible for safeguarding an organization’s vulnerable computer systems and networks from deliberate exploitation meant to inflict damage or disruption (sometimes called “cyber attacks”). Such attacks employ malicious code in order to compromise data, which could in turn lead to identity and information theft. These specialists employ measures to ensure this doesn’t happen by putting the proper controls in place. They may also be called on to draft a response to breaches of security and inflicted viruses. As cyberattacks increase in frequency, a computer security specialist’s duties and responsibilities continue to grow (BLS, 2012).

The job of a computer security specialist generally entails the following duties: Keeping abreast of current developments in IT security and implementing those practices that are in the best interests of their organization; vigilantly screening for infiltration and violations of a company’s computer networks and responding appropriately to such occurrences; installing the appropriate software designed to keep a company’s vulnerable information safe; and assisting users with installation of security software and measures (BLS, 2012).

How to become a computer security specialist

The BLS reports that most computer security specialists have a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming or a similar field. Work experience in the field is also usually required. A number of schools, in response to the burgeoning need for these specialists, are beginning to offer information security programs, which may end up becoming another path to entering the profession.

Steps to becoming a computer security specialist varies but typically include the following:

  • Get high-school diploma or GED
  • Enroll and complete a degree program of study in computer science, programming or a related field at a college or university
  • Apply for employment

Sometimes organizations in need of computer security specialists prefer to hire candidates who have received their Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems.

Additional training, qualifications, certification or education may be required for employment.

Career outlook for computer security specialists

Projections estimate that employment of computer security specialists could grow by up to 22 percent nationally from 2010 to 2020 (BLS, 2012). The BLS notes that demand for computer security specialists could be especially high in two industries in which strong privacy concerns exist: the federal government and health care.

In 2011, information security analysts earned a national annual wage of $77,990 median, with the lowest 10 percent earning up to $42,770 nationally and the highest 10 percent earning up to $124,860 nationally in 2011(BLS, 2012).

Quick Facts: Information Security Analysts

*All facts from BLS.gov*

2011 National Median Pay    $77,990 per year
$37.49 per hour
Entry-Level Education     Bachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related Occupation 1 to 5 years
On-the-job Training  None
Number of Jobs, 2011    272,670
Job Outlook, 2010-20    22% nationally (Faster than national average)
Employment Change, 2010-20      65,700

                

Sources:

Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2012-13 Edition, Information Security Analysts, Web Developers, and Computer Network Architects

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Information Security Analysts

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Standard  Occupational Classification, Information Security Analysts

Featured Schools

Refine School Matches
Hide filters
  • SUBJECT Clear All

  • DEGREE

    See More

  • PROGRAM TYPE

  • START TIME

    LOCATION
    Please enter valid US or Canada Zip.
            Results open in new window

            Searching Searching ...

            Matching School Ads
            Master of Science in Cybersecurity Policy
            • Bachelor’s and master’s programs in Criminal Justice available
            • Ranked among the Best Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs by U.S. News and World Report in 2017
            • Concentrations include Forensics, Homeland Security, and Cybercrime and Security
            • Students study law enforcement operations, corrections, and criminal investigation
            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Accelerated Programs
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Bachelor of Science in Cybersecurity
            • Offers associate and bachelor-level programs in Criminal Justice.
            • Program topics include criminal investigation processes and ethics, criminal law, juvenile justice and more.
            • A B.A.S. in Criminal Justice program is also available for students who already possess an A.A.S.
            • Regionally accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).
            • Online Courses
            MS in Cyber Security
            • Liberty University’s online programs ranked in the top 10 out of more than 2,100 colleges & universities for academic quality, affordability, and accessibility.*
            • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral level.**
            • Transfer up to 90 credits into an undergraduate degree program.
            • Up to 50% of your master’s degree can be transferred in to help you get the most out of your hard work and maximize the credit you previously earned.
            Show more [+]
            • Accredited
            • Online Courses
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits
            Computer Forensics
            ABCO Technology , Inglewood
            • An accredited computer training academy preparing students to enter the IT industry as Network Engineers, Software Engineers, Web Apps Developer, Website Designers, Programmers, Database Administrators since 2000.
            • Holds A+ certification from CompTIA.
            • Located in Los Angeles, approximately 10 minutes away from LAX.
            • Flexible class schedules offered during day times, evenings and weekends.
            • Helping students start a career in technology within 3 - 9 months.
            • Educates with the mission to serve the needs of the local community and graduates by matching opportunities to skills.
            • Military friendly school.
            Show more [+]
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            Master of Science in Cybersecurity
            • The M.S. in Cybersecurity provides the necessary foundations for the design and development of systems that are assured to be secure
            • Founded in 1901, the school has maintained its reputation as a leader in the field, offering a curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application with a worldwide community of over 20,000 engineering and computer science alumni
            • Syracuse University’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is designated by the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education (CAEIAE) since 2001 and as a Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Research (CAE-R) since 2009.
            • Designed and taught by Syracuse faculty, the curriculum built on theory, fundamentals, and application.
            Show more [+]
            • Online Courses
            Cybersecurity (Associate)

            50 Years of Excellence In Education

            Coleman University is a private non-profit teaching university founded in 1963 and located in San Diego, California. Its undergraduate and graduate programs prepare individuals for technology-focused careers and leadership. As San Diego’s oldest school dedicated to information technology, Coleman University has historically educated a large number of the region’s business-technology professionals.

             

            BA in Criminal Justice/Cybersecurity and Information Assurance

            Discover the Difference a Community of Support Makes in Your Educational Journey. From Application to Graduation, the Support You Need to Achieve Your Goals. 100% Online.

            New England College was founded in 1946 to educate soldiers coming home from war. The same great support system that welcomed returning GIs is still a hallmark of NEC today. From enrollment services representatives who’ll guide you through the application process to interactive tools that help you collaborate with instructors and classmates, NEC inspires you to reach the milestones of your educational journey.

            • Online Courses
            • Flexible Scheduling
            • Financial Aid
            • Transferable Credits