How to Become an IT Security Professional
In 2009, President Obama said, "America's economic prosperity in the twenty-first century
will depend on cyber security." President Obama highlighted the fact that the USA depends upon
information technology for the majority of our nation's infrastructure, from the conveyance
of water, gas, and electricity, to the monitoring and facilitating of transport systems, and more.
Furthermore, on a micro-level, businesses large and small conduct trade, carry out communications,
and handle finances through computer systems. From the theft of intellectual property and ATM
funds worth millions of dollars, to leaks in classified, vital military intelligence information
and the spread of malware across thousands of military computers, the events that took place
between 2008 and 2010 alone reflect a dire, pressing need for qualified, skilled IT security professionals.
The career of an IT security professional can offer financial stability, professional
success, and intellectual fulfillment. Since every single corporation and government-affiliated
body needs to protect sensitive data, the avenues for employment can be diverse. As of 2009,
the job of an IT security professional was rated among the 10 best jobs in the world in terms
of salary and personal satisfaction.
WM Note: According to PayScale,
Information Security Analysts Salaries range from $57,669 to $114,665.
However, to attain employment in this field, you will need to have a solid educational
background, hands-on experience, and a keen interest in information technology. While a computer
science degree program at the associate's or bachelor's level is the minimum qualification
required for entry-level positions in the IT industry, you should consider a Bachelor's of
Science in Computer Science with an Information System Security Emphasis if you are interested
in becoming an IT security professional.
A Bachelor's of Science in Computer Science with Information systems Security Emphasis
can train you in networking, programming, databases, operating systems, and more, helping to
qualify you for employment as a programmer, software engineer, or network administrator, but
the program also provides instruction in computer forensics, ethical hacking, information security
management, cryptography, security concepts, and other security topics, which can equip you
for a successful career in information systems security.
The duration of the degree is usually three to four years, but some colleges will allow
you to complete it in as few as 30 months. Admission criteria generally include a high school
diploma or its equivalent GED credential.
Many IT security professionals choose to back their bachelor's degree with certifications
such as CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) in order to stay up to
date with current developments within the IT field. Certifications are not a requirement; however,
they can help you gain promotions and higher-level employment.
But in order to succeed as an IT security professional, you also need to constantly make
efforts to remain up to date with current technological advances, security threats, computer
applications, anti- spyware/malware programs, and more. Also, you must be aware of and involved
in your company's structure, departments, ventures; failing to do so could lead you to miss
potential threats to sensitive data. If you enjoy an ever-evolving field and an intellectual
challenge, this could be the profession for you.
California College San Diego (CCSD)
has trained graduates for new careers since 1978. CCSD, located in San Diego, offers associate's,
associate's of occupational studies, and bachelor's degrees in healthcare, business, and information
technology, and master's degrees in healthcare and business. CCSD also provides college degree
programs that can be completed in faster-than-traditional time with its FastFlex option.