How to Become an Information Security Analyst
Information Security Analyst Careers & Degrees

Information Security Analysts play an important part in the modern company’s structure.

The need for these professionals has increased dramatically due to the surge in cyber-attacks and threats from outside entities.

Their work is extremely important in protecting not only a company’s finances and data, but also the information of consumers and even the general public.

Individuals who want to become an Information Security Analyst must have a strong understanding of not only computers, but also a strong understanding of computer networks and systems.

Information Security Analysts are more likely to be hired by financial institutions such as banks, as well as government agencies.

Education Requirements to Become Information Security Analyst

Because this profession is in charge of managing a company’s network and protecting it from cyber-attacks, individuals who want to become an Information Security Analyst need advanced education and experience to prepare themselves for this career.

Individuals must first secure a bachelor’s degree, then pursue a graduate degree at the Master’s level.

Finally, individuals who would like to become an Information Security Analyst will need several years of job experience to qualify for job opportunities in this profession.

Individuals who want to become an Information Security Analyst must seek an undergraduate degree in computer programming, computer science or a closely related field.

Because this field and profession continues to evolve, higher education institutions are still working towards creating a curriculum and coursework.

Many institutions are creating Information Security programs.

Individuals pursuing an advanced degree should apply for a program that focuses on a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems.

These programs typically take a minimum of two years and prepare individuals by requiring classes in Business and computer related curriculum.

Although not a specific requirement, individuals can seek an Information Security certificate to become more appealing to potential employers.

Please visit ISC2 for more information on certification requirements and testing.

Information Security Analyst Job Description

Modern technology has made the lives of many Americans easier.

However, the advancements in technology has also made it easier for hackers privy to all the new methods.

This has also made it possible for them access vital information secured in a company’s network or computer system.

Even from across the world, savvy hackers can pose a threat to our information and this is why the job of an Information Security Analyst is of utmost importance.

Because of the surge in cyber-attacks, the duties assigned to an Information Security Analyst continually change.

However, an Information Security Analyst’s main job is to design and implement advanced security measures to protect a company’s computer network and security.

An Information Security Analyst continually monitors their company’s networks to watch for any security breaches and immediately investigate a breach if one occurs.

These professionals will also install programs, such as firewalls and data encryption software to guard important and confidential information.

To test whether the protection, firewalls and encryptions are dependable, Information Security Analysts will fake attacks to determine whether there are any weaknesses or vulnerabilities in their systems and will look for solutions to fix them before information can be exploited.

To stay current with any technological advancements, Information Security Analysts will also research the latest developments in information technology to learn about the latest security measures.

These professionals will also meet with management and other Information Technology professionals at the company to discuss and advocate for the best security enhancements available.

Information Security Analyst Salary and Career Path

The median annual income for Information Security Analysts was approximately $86,170 in 2012.

Exact wages will depend on the amount of experience an individual has as well as the industry a professional works in.

For example, individuals who work in the Finance and Insurance industry earned a median income of $92,080 in 2012.

This high income can be related to the financial information banks and insurance companies keep on file on behalf of their consumers.

The projected job growth for Information Analysts is expected to increase by 37 percent through the year 2012.

This growth is attributed to the increase in cyber-attacks, especially for the collection of private and critical individual information or to attack an organization’s networks.

Cyber-attacks have recently become more common, especially for financial and government institutions.

The more hackers and cyber criminals advance their technologies and methods, the higher the need is for individuals who want to become Information Security Analysts.

The below information is based on the 2019 BLS national averages.
  • Annually
  • Monthly
  • Hourly

National Average Salary

$104,210
$57K
$75K
$104K
$128K
$158K
10%
25%
50%
75%
90%

Average Salary by State

StateAvg. Annual Salary
Alabama$88,750
Alaska$97,000
Arizona$97,470
Arkansas$83,930
California$114,620
Colorado$104,510
Connecticut$101,530
Delaware$113,000
District of Columbia$119,160
Florida$91,580
Georgia$99,420
Hawaii$104,910
Idaho$90,610
Illinois$102,780
Indiana$82,350
Iowa$87,080
Kansas$87,290
Kentucky$83,390
Louisiana$75,250
Maine$87,590
Maryland$108,300
Massachusetts$106,550
Michigan$91,750
Minnesota$102,190
Mississippi$75,980
Missouri$86,360
Montana$74,250
Nebraska$91,150
Nevada$102,770
New Hampshire$102,770
New Jersey$121,570
New Mexico$109,550
New York$121,750
North Carolina$101,130
North Dakota$87,090
Ohio$96,550
Oklahoma$81,900
Oregon$98,550
Pennsylvania$101,390
Rhode Island$95,450
South Carolina$82,180
South Dakota$91,130
Tennessee$86,190
Texas$108,810
Utah$88,480
Vermont$83,490
Virginia$114,760
Washington$112,540
West Virginia$91,010
Wisconsin$82,950
Wyoming$79,010
Puerto Rico$49,420

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $121,750.

These are the top 5 earning states in the field:

New York - $121,750
New Jersey - $121,570
District of Columbia - $119,160
Virginia - $114,760
California - $114,620
* Salary information based on the May 2019 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Information Security Analysts, OCC Code 15-1212, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionWhat is an information security analyst?

Information Security Analysts plan and implement security measures designed to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems.

Their work consists of monitoring the organization’s network and watching for security breaches, installing software to protect sensitive information, and writing documents and reports about security breaches.

As an information security analyst, you will have to keep up with the latest IT security trends, you will develop security standards for the organization and recommend additional security measures to senior IT staff.

If you’re a detail-oriented person who’s passionate about computers and you have good analytical skills, ingenuity, and problem-solving skills, a career as an information security analyst may be the right path for you.

QuestionHow much does an information security analyst make?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for information security analysts was $98,350, as of May 2018.

Salaries in this field vary based on a wide range of factors and, as an information security analyst, you can make anywhere between less than $60,000 and more than $155,000 a year.

QuestionHow much does it cost to become an information security analyst?

Information security analysts typically hold a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field and some positions may also require candidates to hold a master’s degree.

Tuition costs vary widely depending on the school you choose and the program itself.

A bachelor’s degree program in computer science will cost you, on average, around $170,000 in total.

Graduate programs in computer-related fields can cost anywhere between $30,000 and more than $120,000, depending on the school you choose and the program itself.

Earning a credential as a Certified Information Systems Security Professional can help prove your skills to potential employers.

Certification can typically be earned after passing an exam.

QuestionWhat is the demand for information security analysts?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the demand for information security analysts is expected to grow 32 percent from 2018 to 2028.

As cyberattacks have grown in frequency, more analysts will be needed to design innovative solutions to prevent these attacks.

Job prospects are expected to be good, especially for those who have experience in the field.

QuestionHow long does it take to become an information security analyst?

As an information security analyst, you will need to complete at least a 4-year bachelor’s degree program in computer science or a related field and you may also need a few years of work experience as a database administrator or in a related position.

Completing a 2-year master’s degree program in a computer-related field may also improve your job prospects.

Professional certification is not a requirement but can help prove your skills to potential employers.

You can choose to become certified as an information systems security professional or in penetration testing, systems auditing or a related field.

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