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Corporate Security: Employment Info & Career Requirements

Corporate security is a term used to refer to the practice of protecting a business' employees, physical property and information systems, a task often carried out by corporate security managers. Education requirements and salary info for these professionals are outlined below.

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Career Definition for Corporate Security

Professionals responsible for ensuring corporate security are often employed as managers or directors who oversee measures designed to protect an organization's information systems and physical property. Job duties might require corporate security managers to assess security risks and develop internal controls that ensure employee safety and protect against the theft of inventory or proprietary information.

Corporate security managers could also be tasked with conducting investigations into security breaches, assessing security staff performance and selecting security or surveillance technologies. Should a security breach or emergency occur, managers will also need to ensure crisis management strategies or incident response plans are in place.

Required Education Typically, a bachelor's degree in criminal justice, business administration or other related subject
Job Duties Include assessing security risks; developing internal controls that ensure employee safety
Median Salary (2019)* $65,146 (all security managers)
Job Outlook (2016-2026)** 7% growth (all protective service occupations)

Source: *PayScale.com and **U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Required Education

According to a March 2014 search of available job postings, corporate security manager positions typically require a bachelor's degree. Acceptable fields of study include criminal justice, business administration, human resources, finance and management.

There are also a handful of schools offering bachelor's degrees in homeland and corporate security management. These programs develop students' organizational and emergency management skills through internships and coursework on such topics as asset protection, information security, protection technology, crisis management and physical property security. Similar instruction is also available through professional development and graduate certificate programs in corporate security.

Skills Required

In addition to strong administrative abilities, corporate security managers should have the analytical skills necessary to assess risk and the ability to stay calm in stressful situations. They must also possess the communication and interpersonal skills needed to work with other departments and motivate employees under their supervision. Knowledge of local and federal government regulations as they pertain to safety and homeland security is required as well. Many employers may also look for job applicants with six or more years of security or security management experience.

Career and Economic Outlook

According to PayScale.com, security managers in general earned a median salary of $65,146 as of April 2019, though professionals with IT security skills might be able to command higher salaries. Most security managers earned between $40,425 and $116,084 during this period. Job opportunities for all protective service occupations were due to rise by 7% between 2016 and 2026 according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Alternate Career Options

Here are some examples of alternative career options:

Emergency Management Director

Individuals interested in creating emergency response plans for government agencies or other organizations might find employment as an emergency management director more to their liking. A bachelor's degree and experience in firefighting, law enforcement or a related area are typically required for employment in this field. An 8% job growth was projected for emergency management directors between 2016 and 2026, according to the BLS. As of 2018, these professionals earned a median salary of $74,420.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analyst positions could be of interest to individuals who'd like to focus on the security of an organization's information systems. These professionals typically need IT-related work experience and a bachelor's degree in a field like programming or computer science. The BLS projected a 28% increase in job opportunities for this field over the 2016-2026 decade. Information security analysts' median annual salary was $98,350 in 2018, per the BLS.

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