Median Annual Wage (2018): $98,350/year or $47.28/hour
Entry-level education: Bachelor’s degree
Work experience: Less than 5 years
Job growth: 32.0 percent (much faster than average)
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
As long as the modern world relies on computers, innovates with the Internet of Things and automates with digital technologies, the need to protect data, devices and networks from cyberthreats and malicious attacks will never wane. In fact, Gartner Research forecasts that the worldwide information security industry will hit $170.4 billion by 2022.
While organizations can’t outsmart every nefarious attack, companys can arm networks and systems with the best security technology available. To achieve this mission, businesses need the pros with the skills and experience to make it happen. This is where information security analysts, who are on the front lines of cybersecurity, have the chance to shine.
Keeping the Criminals Out
Information security analysts help organizations protect computer systems and networks. Their responsibilities range from installing the software needed to safeguard information (such as firewalls and data encryption programs), to testing for vulnerabilities and developing standards to secure the organization. Information security analysts are typically part of the information technology (IT) department and work alongside other computer analysts, administrators and managers to protect the organization.
Finding a job as an information security analyst typically requires a bachelor’s degree in computer science or related field. Because the position handles complex and sensitive issues, typically those who are hired have previous experience working in an IT department in a position such as network analyst or computer systems administrator.
Information security analyst median wages are generally higher than the median annual wages of other computer occupations, which hover just above $86,320. In 2018, the median annual wage for an information security analyst was $98,350, and the highest 10 percent earned over $156,580.
Job Outlook: Bright
In the overall computer/IT industry, jobs across all disciplines are projected to increase by 12 percent by 2028, outpacing the national average for all occupation growth by 7 percent. However, the demand for information security analysts will be even greater, with a 32 percent projected growth by 2028. Currently, the states with the highest numbers of employed information security analysts are Virginia, Texas, California, New York and Florida.
The demand for information security analysts and other cybersecurity professionals continues to outpace supply in record numbers. For instance, North American companies today need to fill 500,000 IT professional roles, and that number increases to 3 million on a global scale. Expect those dramatic numbers to grow even more, particularly as more than half of enterprises plan to increase IT spending this year and hire more computer security talent.
University career centers can confidently direct students toward careers focused on cybersecurity. This career path offers strong job stability and advancement along with substantial projected wage growth.