In a world where everyone has information that is important to protect, safeguarding that info has become a BIG business. The information security (infosec) field is incredibly important and in dire need of qualified professionals to join its ranks.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re in the defense industry, manufacturing, research and development, or even online or brick-and-mortar sales – you almost certainly have an information footprint,” says infosec expert Philip Hagen, evangelist for Red Canary, a threat detection company.
FACT: Infosec jobs are projected to increase by 18% through 2024.
The fact that information security is so critical to nearly all other industries means it’s growing rapidly. Don’t believe us? Information security jobs are projected to increase by 18 percent through 2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). That is more than twice the average growth among all occupations, suggesting a bright future for those pursuing this profession.
Now that we have your attention, you’re probably wondering what types of infosec jobs are out there? Keep reading to learn about five promising prospects in the world of information security.
5 infosec jobs for aspiring IT security pros
Now that you know the industry is both important and in-demand, it’s time to check out your career options. Learn about the job duties, requirements and earning potential for five infosec careers to see which interests you most.*
1. Data security analyst
What do they do? An information or data security analyst helps to develop and implement security measures to safeguard an organizations computer networks and systems. These professionals are constantly on the lookout for cyber threats. Common duties include: performing security audits and risk assessments, researching attempted security breaches and enhancing the security currently in place.
Who fits the bill? If you’re motivated by working under pressure and enjoy multi-tasking and variety of work, then this could be a great fit for you!
Requirements: A bachelor’s degree and some previous experience are usually preferred. A security license or certificate such as the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is also desirable.
Salary range (2015): $106,250 - $149,000 annually
2. Systems security administrator
What do they do? These individuals work diligently behind the scenes to keep systems secure. Typical duties include: responding to security incidents, prevention and detection of said incidents, security testing and protecting user accounts.
Who fits the bill? If you like working as a team to complete predetermined tasks and can work efficiently to meet deadlines, this may be the career path for you.
Requirements: Typically a bachelor’s degree and some computer systems and security-related experience are preferred.
Salary range (2015): $100,000 - $140,250 annually
3. Network security administrator
What do they do? These individuals do the dirty work of keeping a network secure and up-to-par. Typical duties include: implementing security policies, maintaining firewalls and ensuring all security updates proceed as planned.
Who fits the bill? If you enjoy trouble-shooting and communication comes naturally, then you may aim to pursue this position after gaining some knowledge and experience in the IT industry.
Requirements: A bachelor’s degree and three to six years of IT experience is usually preferred.
Salary range (2015): $99,250 - $138,500 annually
4. Network security engineer
What do they do? Network security engineers are the architects behind network security. They work to ensure that security policies and procedures are met on the technical side. Typical duties include: creating/maintaining documentation of network configurations and processes, analyzing performance and identifying areas that need improvement and testing/executing security upgrades.
Who fits the bill? If you’re super organized and can translate technical jargon into understandable information, then this career is worth considering.
Requirements: A bachelor’s degree and sufficient experience installing/monitoring/maintaining network security solutions is ideal. Employers may also require security-related certifications.
Salary range (2015): $105,000 - $141,500 annually
5. Information systems security manager
What do they do? As the title implies, this individual manages a team of information security staff members, helping train new employees and guide existing ones. Other duties include: reviewing/updating security policies and procedures, ensuring all legal regulations regarding information security are met, managing security audits and directing responses to security threats as they arise.
Who fits the bill? If you have natural interpersonal communication skills and enjoy the challenge of leading a team, problem-solving and making well-informed decisions, then this might be the career you work towards in your infosec career.
Requirements: A bachelor’s degree or higher coupled with five or more years of network security experience. Management experience is also usually a preference.
Salary range (2015): $122,250 - $171,250 annually
The future is bright in infosec
The information security industry is on the rise and all signs suggest it will remain that way for the foreseeable future, according to Hagen. There is no better time than now to capitalize on the exciting career opportunity.
“This means good pay, many career opportunities and a wide variety of industries to get involved and have a positive impact on business operations,” Hagen adds.
So what are you waiting for? All that is standing in between you and these in-demand infosec jobs is the education and training. If you’re looking for more validation of the value of a formal education in this field, head over to this article: Is a Cyber Security Degree Worth it?
*Job descriptions and salary info came from the 2015 Robert Half Technology Salary Guide. Salary data represents national, averaged earnings for the occupations listed and includes workers at all levels of education and experience. This data does not represent starting salaries and employment conditions in your area may vary.