Why Become an Information Security Analyst?
It’s no secret that cybercrime is a huge problem out there and it just keeps getting worse. According to the Global State of Information Security Survey in 2016, which was provided by PwC, there was a 38% increase in security incidents from 2014 to 2015. Information security professionals are needed to protect the interests of an organization as these crimes continue to rise. More and more organizations feel it is necessary to maintain an information security staff rather than outsourcing these important duties. It is a good time to look into how to become an information security analyst.
The opportunities out there for an information security analyst are endless. Well, maybe not endless, but folks in this job field should not have a problem finding a job. In fact, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics has forecasted that this field will grow around 18 percent from 2014 to 2024. That means that about 14,800 jobs will be created from information security analysts. Not too shabby. It is certainly worth your time to look into how to become an information security analyst, right?
According to PayScale, the average salary earned by an information security analyst currently is about $71,000, which does not include other perks such as bonuses, profit sharing, etc. The entry level average salary is in the neighborhood of $64,000. That’s nothing to shake a stick at. Those with more experience and have had seen some advancement can expect to pull down a salary in the $120,000 range. There is no reason to assume that these averages will decrease or remain stagnant. Considering the demand for information security professionals, expect salaries to increase.
Become an Information Security Analyst through Education
For some employers, a degree is not required to become an information security analyst. On the other hand, some organizations require or “strongly prefer” candidates with at least a bachelor’s degree in IT, computer science, or something related. The bottom line is that, generally speaking, individuals that have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher in IT are going to be better prepared than someone without it.
Another option is to find a technical college that offers a program in IT and earn a diploma. What you can expect to find in an IT program at a technical or vocational college is 100% focus on the subject matter that you are interested it. No calculus classes, no English classes; everything is focused on information technology. What you can expect to learn will include learning all about building and servicing computers, maintaining networks, information security, and much more.
Earn Certifications to become an Information Security Analyst
If you want to become an information security analyst, you really have to pursue earning professional certifications. There are plenty of people that prepare for these examinations on their own, but going to school and earning a degree or diploma will provide you with the knowledge that you need to pass the certification tests. Even with a degree or diploma, you had better study. The certifications you can pursue include:
- CompTIA Security+
- CEH: Certified Ethical Hacker
- CISP: Certified Information Systems Security Professional
- GSEC: SANS GIAC Security Essentials
- CISM: Certified Information Security Manager
In order to become an information security analyst, you have to put forth a great deal of effort. As we discussed earlier, it is a good move to earn a degree from a traditional or online college or a diploma from a vocational college. You will definitely be more marketable with that piece of paper, plus, you will be a more well-rounded candidate. Also, you’re going to have to earn some professional certifications. However, if you do make the effort, you will enjoy a good paying career in a field with a bright future.