Information Systems Security Engineer: Training & Degrees

Find out what it takes to become an information systems security engineer. Read on to discover the training and education required, along with important skills and qualities needed in this role. Schools offering Computer Forensics degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Career Information At A Glance

Information systems security engineers require a background in information technology (IT). The focus of an information systems security engineer is to assess, investigate, and develop their company's IT security systems, which involves a high level of knowledge and skill. See the chart below for further details about becoming an information systems security engineer.

Education Required Bachelor's; master's may be preferred by some employers
Education Field of Study Computer science, information systems, programming or a related field
Optional Certification Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Information Systems Security Engineering Professional (ISSEP)
Skills Required Analytical, detail-oriented, ingenuity, problem-solving
Job Growth (2016-2026) 28% (for all information security analysts)*
Median Salary (2019) $92,611**

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

What Is An Information Systems Security Engineer?

Information systems security engineers work within an enterprise to secure their data. They are expected to identify the security requirements of a system and implement appropriate security structures for the organization. They may assess the security measures which are already in place and make changes as needed. They also build and break security systems in order to determine how successful they are. In the event of a security breach, the engineer leads a response team and investigation.

What Education Do I Need?

Those in this role are usually expected to hold at least a bachelor's degree in a relevant field such as computer science or information systems. Some employers prefer candidates to hold a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Information Systems, which gives candidates a deeper understanding of computer science in relation to business. Graduate-level certificates in information systems security engineering are also available. Required technical knowledge for this career includes expertise of security software, network design, malicious code, and security testing tools.

What Training Is Required?

Although no formal training is required beyond a bachelor's or master's degree, there are several widely recognized qualifications available. It is not uncommon for employers to expect candidates to hold CISSP, ISSAP, or another professional certification when applying for the role. The CISSP qualification is suitable for information systems security engineers as it focuses on cybersecurity. The ISSAP focuses on network security and the fundamentals of systems security engineering.

What Level Of Experience Is Expected?

Most employers will expect candidates applying for this role to have several years of experience in a related field. This may be in an area such as software engineering or network administration. You may be expected to demonstrate acumen in network security, software design, system administration, and working with different platforms. Your previous experience is also an opportunity to showcase essential soft skills, such as the ability to analyze and problem solve.

What Skills Are Necessary?

Given that a key part of being an information systems security engineer involves detecting and fixing flaws within a security system, you should have strong problem-solving skills to do this job. This part of the role also requires attention to detail; flaws may not be easy to find but can be catastrophic. Studying the security networks of an enterprise and thinking of ways in which they can be improved requires a high level of analytical skill along with ingenuity as you find new ways for the system to remain secure.

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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