Network Security Manager: Job Duties, Employment Outlook, and Educational Requirements

Research what it takes to become a network security manager. Learn about education requirements, employment outlook and salary to find out if this is the career for you. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Network Security Manager Do?

A network security manager protects a computer network by troubleshooting issues, monitoring potential threats, and providing secure passwords to users. As a manager, you may be required to direct the actions of other IT professionals working as a team to promote the digital security of the company. In order to stay relevant, you will need to be constantly up to date on the latest computing trends and security programs to maximize your ability to protect the network.

The following chart provides an overview of what you need to know about entering this field.

Degree Required Bachelor's degree at minimum, but many employers will require a master's degree
Key Responsibilities Maintain network IT security; analyze networks for security threats; develop virus protection
Job Growth (2014-2024) 15% (computer and information systems managers)*
Median Salary (2016) $105,399**

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

What Education Do I Need to Be a Network Security Manager?

Most employers want you to have at least a bachelor's degree in an area like information technology (IT) or network security. Master's degree and advanced certificate programs are also available and require a baccalaureate degree for entry.

At the bachelor's degree level, you might learn about operating systems, routers, servers, and project management. A master's degree program or graduate certificate can offer in-depth study on:

  • Security software and assessment tools
  • Computer forensics
  • Virtual private networks
  • Firewalls
  • Detection and prevention systems
  • Security architecture

Master of Business Administration (MBA) degrees in information security tend to focus on network and systems management, disaster recovery and strategic planning. MBA programs in network security can be found at many colleges and universities.

Associate's degree programs in network security are available at community and technical colleges, but most management positions are gained by those who have a bachelor degree or higher. Network security certifications are available, and are generally offered by the manufacturer of the product for which the certification is gained.

What Would My Job Duties Be?

As a network security manager, your responsibility would be to maintain the security of an organization's IT network. This could include selecting and installing security hardware and software, analyzing networks for potential security threats, and developing Internet protocols to deal with viruses. You might also help to protect the company's information and privacy by developing and data encryption methods and programs.

What Is the Career Outlook?

Job growth for computer information systems managers is excellent and could see an increase of 15% during 2014-2024, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (www.bls.gov). If you have an advanced degree with experience in network security, you should have the most opportunities for work.

In 2016, PayScale.com indicated that IT security managers typically earn higher income based on experience. An entry-level IT security manager might earn an annual median salary of $86,482, while a late-career IT security manager can receive a median salary of $117,495 per year.

What Are Some Related Careers?

There are many careers that involve computer security and require a similar education. Computer hardware engineers are responsible for creating and testing computer systems and parts to make sure they work properly, including features having to do with encryption and security. Computer systems analysts observe a company's computer and network systems and usage in order to maximize the efficiency of their work. Database administrators are in charge of securing a company's databases with encryption software to protect it from unauthorized access.

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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