Are you interested in working to keep an organization’s data and information secure? Do topics like programming and firewalls pique your interest? If so, a career as an information security analyst could be the right fit for you.
Here are 6 suggested steps to help you land a job in this role:
Information security analysts are responsible for keeping the networks and systems of an organization, and the information on them, safe and secure. They will install, maintain, monitor, and update any security tools and measures in place. They help create the system security plan and must remain up-to-date on the latest cybersecurity risks and threats and tools used to counteract these threats.
When there is a breach in security, information security analysts are there to investigate the attack, fix any issues caused by the breach, and also prevent the attacks from happening again. In order to keep information secure, these analysts must keep access to data and information on an organization’s network and system up to date with the most accurate list of users and their level of access. Notably, analysts should be skilled to find and identify any weaknesses in systems and networks.
This job requires a variety of skills that include both software and hardware capabilities as well as knowledge of security tools and strategies. The list below includes some of the most imperative skills needed in this position:
In general, potential employers require information security analysts to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, at a minimum. Practical, hands-on experience through internships and entry-level positions will help prove your abilities as will certifications in related information systems and cybersecurity areas.
Because a bachelor’s degree generally requires four years to complete, it will take approximately four to six years to enter this specific role. One way to add skills to your resume that focus on those needed for this role is to attend a bootcamp. Bootcamps last eight to 36 weeks and are offered online, in-person, and via hybrid options so that you can find a schedule that works for you.
A list of bootcamps, including cybersecurity bootcamps, is provided below. You can compare those listed to find the one that fits your needs whether it be for a specific skill set, a certain schedule, or preparation for a desired certification.
Since most information security analyst positions are not entry-level, it is common for employers to require a bachelor’s degree in one of these fields. A degree with one of the mentioned focuses will show potential employers that you have a background in most, if not all, of the skills needed for the position.
Python is a scripting language that is utilized in the cybersecurity world for automation. While you may not need this skill for entry-level positions, coding with Python will make you more marketable and knowledgeable in this field.
In order to be responsible for an organization’s entire network and system security, you must gain experience by working with more veteran analysts. Organizations have different security needs and practical experience will add to your toolbox and teach you how to choose the perfect security tools for the company you work with. Internships and entry-level positions allow you to become proficient in the skills needed for this role. You will learn how to utilize security measures, work with others on security plans, maintain software and hardware, monitor networks and systems, and more. Most importantly, if you work with an organization that experiences a breach in security, mentors will be able to help you navigate through the process of identifying the breach and the steps that follow so that you are prepared when you are the analyst in charge.
Bootcamps can provide you with the skills and strategies needed to begin this career. Cybersecurity bootcamps offer coursework that allows you to become familiar with security tools and practices such as data encryption, firewalls, penetration testing, ethical hacking, and more. Many are also geared towards achieving specific information systems or cybersecurity certifications.
Certifications related to the information security profession prove that you are knowledgeable in this area and more than fit for a position as an information security analyst for a company. Popular certifications for this role include:
A Master’s Degree in Information Systems, IT Security, or a related field will show employers that you have a larger knowledge base in this area. It will also allow you to understand the latest threats and tools to combat them as well as make you more marketable for higher-level jobs in the field.
The job outlook for information security analysts is extremely encouraging and exciting. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that this profession will grow a whopping 33% from 2020 to 2030. This is remarkably faster than the 8% overall average job growth.
As companies of all sizes rely on technology more and more, the need for information security analysts will continue to grow. This job is in demand across all industries including government agencies, healthcare, energy, technology, telecommunication, banking, finance, education, e-commerce, and more. You truly can find a job in any industry with this career.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for Information Security Analysts is $83,252. Since salaries can vary greatly by both experience and geographical location, a list of the average salaries for this position is listed below for some of the top U.S. tech hubs.
|New York City||$94,821|
|Silicon Valley, CA||$116,007|