Site Security Specialists
Site security specialists work to secure data and computer networks from cyber attacks. Because of the high importance placed on information security in business and government organizations, site security specialists commonly report to high-level management positions.
Career Skills & Info
Site security specialists must be analytical and detail-oriented and have strong problem-solving skills. A knowledge of programming languages is important. They should also have the ingenuity needed to anticipate and get ahead of risks and devise new ways to protect websites. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), information security analysts in general can expect an 18%, or much-faster-than-average, growth in jobs from 2014 to 2024. As of May 2015, they earned a median annual salary of $90,120. Beginning with the educational requirements, let's go over the steps involved in becoming a site security specialist.
Step 1: Bachelor's Degree
Students interested in the field of site security may pursue a bachelor's degree program in computer science to gain a foundation in the field of computing. Required coursework typically includes the study of programming languages and mathematics, along with computer system theory, hardware, and architecture.
Step 2: Master's Degree
Some companies prefer applicants who've earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a specialization in management information systems. As an alternative, some schools also offer Master of Information Systems (MIS) programs that may focus directly on information security. These programs may offer a mix of computer and management classes, while allowing students to focus on specific platforms.
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Step 3: Experience
Site security specialists are usually not hired directly out of their degree programs. As these are considered extremely important positions because of the possible impacts of cyber attacks, experience in related roles is often helpful, if not always necessary, when applying for these jobs. Time spent as a computer systems analyst or similar position in the computer field may provide needed experience.
Step 4: Trends
Perhaps more than professionals working in other growing computer fields, site security specialists must keep abreast of the most recent trends in information security. As cyber attacks grow in frequency and as more information is kept online, site security specialists will need to find innovative solutions to new attacks as they occur, especially in government, medical, and financial fields that rely heavily on proprietary data.
Step 5: Advance
With enough experience, a site security specialist could advance to a supervisory or managerial role. Just keep in mind that you'll first need to complete a bachelor's degree program in computer science before you can enter a field that the BLS has projected to grow by a much-faster-than-average rate through 2024.