Information Systems Security Manager: Salary and Career Facts

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

What is an Information Systems Security Manager?

Information systems security managers are IT professionals who establish policies and procedures to protect computer systems and networks. This includes selecting, installing and using security software, such as data encryption programs and firewalls. They also monitor, document, and research any security breaches to improve system security, and set up emergency plans for lockdown and/or recovery of sensitive information. The following chart gives you an overview of entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree required, master's degree required by some employers
Education Field of Study Computer science, programming, information security
Certification Certification is optional
Key Responsibilities Ensuring computer system security, analyzing and creating security policies, overseeing a team of IT professionals
Job Outlook (2014-2024) 18% (for all information security analysts)*
Median Salary (2015) $90,120 (for all information security analysts)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Are the Job Duties of an Information Systems Security Manager?

As an information systems security manager, you'll be responsible for ensuring the security of computer systems in a business or corporation. You might oversee a team of IT professionals who set up, secure and maintain computer networks. Some information systems managers are in charge of analyzing and setting information security policies for an entire organization.

Many professional organizations offer voluntary certification for IT professionals; in some cases, earning certification in a particular skill may lead to increased employment opportunities. For example, you're eligible to sit for a certification exam offered by the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) once you have at least five years of professional experience as an information systems security manager. Successful completion of the exam leads to the designation of Certified Information Security Manager (CISM).

Where Can I Find Work?

Information systems security managers work for computer manufacturers, financial companies, educational institutions and medical facilities. Most companies that have information worthy of securing and protecting have information systems managers on staff. You might find additional employment opportunities through insurance firms or government agencies.

Will I Need a Degree?

In addition to having some professional experience in an IT-related field, you'll need a bachelor's degree to qualify for a job as an information systems security manager. Any bachelor's degree in a computer-related field is acceptable, like information security or computer science. A bachelor's program might explore topics like data storage, network security, organizational behavior and systems administration.

Some employers are looking to hire information systems managers who have a master's degree in the IT field. Some 2-year master's programs may provide you with the skills necessary to manage a crew of IT professionals, such as a Master of Science (M.S.) in Information Security Management or an M.S. in Management Information Systems.

What Salary Could I Expect to Earn?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, information security analysts held about 88,880 jobs in 2015. These professionals earned a median annual salary of $90,120 as of 2015 (www.bls.gov). Some of the top-paying industries in the field included audio and video equipment manufacturing as well as securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage.

What Are Some Alternative Related Careers?

A degree in computer and information science can be helpful in other IT positions. IT managers coordinate all computer-related activities within an organization and may work with information systems security personnel. Computer network architects build data communication networks within and between workspaces, such as intranets, LANs, and cloud infrastructures. These communication networks must pass an organization's security protocol as laid out by the information security manager.

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