Network Security Career and Salary Facts

Research what it takes to become a network security specialist. Learn about the duties of this job, the educational requirements and salary range to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Is a Network Security Specialist?

Network security specialists need to be the cyber-police for a company, corporation or financial institution. It is their job to be on top of all security issues dealing with the computers, the network servers and internet access. It is also their job to train all personnel in how to protect their machine from cyber attacks. They keep all systems up to date with the latest protection software and employees informed of the latest trends concerning outside attacks.

Network security specialists are charged with developing, operating and maintaining security for companies' computer systems and networks. The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree; Master's degree recommended
Education Field of Study Network security, computer science and information security
Certification Network security
Key Responsibilities Design, analyze and troubleshoot computer security systems' software and hardware
Job Growth (2014-2024) 18%* (information security analysts)
Median Salary (2015) $90,120* (information security analysts)

Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Education Do I Need?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most companies prefer that you have a bachelor's degree in a computer-related area to work in the industry, but you may get hired with an associate's degree and relevant work experience (www.bls.gov). Many colleges and universities offer these bachelor's degree programs in information systems security or network security through online or on-campus programs. You may learn how to troubleshoot hardware and software problems and how to protect data through cyber security measures. Some schools may also offer hands-on computer labs. This is an opportunity for you to learn how individuals hack into computer systems in a controlled environment.

If you want to further your education in network security, you may opt to earn a graduate certificate in network security or master's degree in information security. Certificate programs may be completed within a shorter time frame and allow you to stay current on any technological advancements in the field. Master's degree programs offer you the opportunity to hone your skills in advanced security techniques, including computer security, information systems security or network security.

What Will I Do as a Network Security Specialist?

As a network security specialist, your main job is to develop, coordinate and implement your company's security systems and networks. The Occupational Information Network states that you must know how to identify complex computer problems (www.online.onetcenter.org). You need to be an organized person, pay strong attention to detail and work independently, according to 2011 job postings on Monster.com.

What Salary Could I Expect?

The BLS reports that employment for information security analysts is expected to increase by 18 percent between 2014 and 2024. The popularity of the job is due in part to the increase in sophistication of cyber attacks and identity theft, as well as the need for companies to secure computer systems. The median annual salary for information security analysts was $90,120 according to the BLS as of May 2015. The annual salary range for a security administrator for computer networks was $44,718 to $94,437 as of January 2017 according to PayScale.com (www.payscale.com).

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

The following related positions require you to graduate from college with at least a bachelor's degree. Related network security careers could bring you employment in computer programming. Programmers keep busy coding video and computer games or rendering computer animation. Another field of employment is as a computer system analyst. Here your skills are put to the test designing efficient solutions to complex technology issues. Another related field could bring you work as a computer network architect. These experts plan, create and build local area networks or wide area networks. An even more interesting job choice might be database administration. This position requires securing data and keeping it safe for financial companies or higher education institutes.

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:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Popular Schools

  • Strayer University

    Strayer University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Strayer University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Capella University

    Capella University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Capella University:

    • Doctoral
    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Saint Leo University

    Saint Leo University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Saint Leo University:

    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Purdue University Global

    Purdue University Global responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Purdue University Global:

    Online Programs Available

  • Grand Canyon University

    Grand Canyon University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Grand Canyon University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Southern New Hampshire University

    Southern New Hampshire University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Southern New Hampshire University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Colorado Christian University

    Colorado Christian University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Colorado Christian University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees
    • Associate Programs

    Online Programs Available

  • Independence University

    Independence University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Independence University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Online Programs Available

  • Ashford University

    Ashford University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Ashford University:

    Online Programs Available

  • Full Sail University

    Full Sail University responds quickly to information requests through this website.

    Popular programs at Full Sail University:

    • Master
    • Bachelor Degrees

    Campus Locations:

    • Florida: Winter Park
  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 3
  4. Next »