Application Security Architect: Career and Salary Facts

Explore the career requirements for application security architects. Get the facts about education requirements, job outlook, and salary to determine if this is the right career for you. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does an Application Security Architect Do?

Application security architects monitor and repair security problems in computer applications. Issues can range from analyzing existing applications for flaws and finding new solutions to creating new programs or patches for existing ones. It is typically their responsibility to perform regular checks on the security of their applications to ensure no vulnerabilities emerge. These professionals must have excellent communication skills, be able to work under tight deadlines, and feel comfortable working in a team environment. Management skills and the ability to build relationships with clients are also important. The table below outlines the general requirements for a career as an application security architect.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree is typical; master's degree preferred by some employers
Education Field of Study Computer science, management information systems, information assurance, engineering
Other Requirements Several years of work experience preferred; certification may be required or preferred by some employers
Key Responsibilities Analyze and fix errors, design new programs, provide support to existing computer applications
Job Growth (2014-2024) 18% (for all information security analysts)*
Median Salary (2017) $118,832 (for all IT security architects)**

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com

What Is an Application Security Architect?

As an application security architect, you manage the security of information technology (IT) systems. This may involve analyzing and fixing errors, designing new programs, and providing support to existing computer applications. You may check applications, also known as computer programs, for security risks, as well as design patches and help maintain the integrity of a system.

You may lead the implementation of new programs and help design support for security applications. Following your recommendations, changes may be made to systems to ensure stronger security and reduce vulnerable aspects. Through conducting regular security audits, you stay on top of security risks and be able to implement measures to maintain a secure system.

What Training or Education Do I Need?

Application security architect employers often require a minimum of a bachelor's degree, with some preferring applicants to have a master's degree. You may earn a degree in computer science, management information systems, information assurance, engineering, or a related technical field. Employers also look for extensive experience in various specialties within the IT field. Requirements mentioned on the job boards included experience ranging from 3-12 years in consulting, insurance, healthcare, information security, risk assessment, or programming.

Your knowledge and skills are also important to employers. You may be expected to be an expert in troubleshooting, problem resolution, information security, application implementation, and project management. Some jobs may prefer you to have connections within the IT industry so you can stay current with trends, new technology, and changes. Some employers may expect knowledge of programs, applications or programming languages, including InfoSec, Tivoli, FISMA, ISO 27001/2, and Kerberos.

Some employers may require certifications. Certification options include the Certified Secure Software Lifecycle Professional credential from the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. Another certification which may be helpful is the Certified Information Security Manager certification from the ISACA, formally known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. Both certifications can also be used to prove your experience and knowledge to employers.

How Much Can I Earn?

PayScale.com reported earnings for the 10th-90th percentiles of security architects as of January 2017. The total pay was reported as $85,349 to $163,097. This number included salary, bonuses, and profit sharing.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Computer systems analysts evaluate the computer systems in use by an organization to find flaws in management strategies, usage, and equipment, suggesting ways to improve performance and efficiency. Database administrators store and catalog digital information for a company, securing it to prevent tampering and unauthorized access. Computer network support specialists troubleshoot issues concerning a company's computer networks, using their knowledge of different computer systems and usage to find solutions. Computer systems analysts and database administrators must have a bachelor's degree to find employment. Computer network support specialists, especially those for larger companies, typically must have a bachelor's, as well, though some may be hired with only an associate's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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