What Is Computer Security Management?

Have you ever wanted to thwart a hacker from entering a computer network? Computer security specialists and managers do just that and more. Read on to learn more about what this field involves, including educational requirements and economic outlook information. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Overview

Computer security management, also known as information technology (IT) security, is a growing field used in numerous governmental agencies and private enterprises. As a computer security specialist, you analyze, maintain and protect computer network systems to preserve important data and information from viruses or hacking. Your job may include encrypting networks, monitoring data, performing risk assessment and erecting firewalls. Oftentimes, computer security managers provide training and communications to co-workers on security issues.

Important Facts About Computer Security Management

Key Skills Ingenuity, analytical, decision-making, organizational, and problem-solving skills
Professional Certification The Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) credential is offered by (ISC)²
Work Environment Usually at business/financial companies, consulting firms, or computer companies; typically full-time and sometimes over 40 hours a week
Similar Occupations IT Auditor, Security Engineer, IT Director, IT/Computing/Networking Consultant, Computer Network Architect, Database Administrator
Median Salary (2018)* $111,385 (information systems managers); $71,136 (information security analysts)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 12% (computer and information systems managers); 28% (information security analysts)

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

Requirements

To gain a position as an information security analyst or IT security manager, holding a bachelor's degree is advisable. However, a master's degree might be necessary, and experience in IT is generally required. While less than five years of experience may suffice for an information security analyst position, IT security managers will need five years of experience or more. Some employers may prefer that you possess a security certification, like the CISSP credential.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Numerous bachelor's degree programs exist in computer security. These programs are commonly labeled information assurance and security engineering; information security and compliance; or computer, information, and network security. Bachelor's programs in this discipline introduce you to risk assessment, network analysis, troubleshooting, network security laws, regulations, and policies. You are also instructed in computer programming and telecommunications systems. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) notes that information security analysts may major in a more general field, such as programming or computer science, while computer managers might major in management information systems.

Master's Degree Programs

Information security analysts and computer security managers might earn a master's degree in business with an information systems concentration or pursue a master's degree in an IT security field. Much like a bachelor's program, you explore analysis and risk assessment, but the master's program oftentimes includes management or leadership coursework. Additional courses that you might encounter in a graduate program can include disaster recovery, cryptography, and policy development. Typically, master's degree programs will also include graduate research and a thesis paper or project.

Career Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS reported a projected 28% increase in information security analyst employment and a 12% increase in computer and information systems manager employment between 2016 and 2026 (www.bls.gov). This means that information security analysts will experience growth that is much faster than average, while computer security managers will have faster-than-average growth. You can improve your job prospects by having experience in an IT area like networking or databases.

PayScale.com reported in June 2019 that information security analysts and information security managers earned median wages of $71,136 and $111,385, respectively.

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