Career Definition for a Web Security Specialist
With the explosion of computer networks and the Internet, the role of Web security specialists, which is a specific type of computer support specialist, has become increasingly important. Web security specialists are employed by private companies, non-profits, schools, governments and many other types of organizations to implement policies and systems that help protect computer networks from malware, spyware, hackers and other security risks. Common duties of Web security specialists include auditing computers, formulating security policies, meeting with stakeholders, installing computer software and analyzing network traffic.
|Education||Bachelor's degree in computer science or information technology|
|Job Skills||Problem solving, analytical skills, communication|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$50,980 for computer user support specialists|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||11% for computer support specialists|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
While the education requirements for a career as a Web security specialist vary by position and place of employment, most employers look for candidates with at least a bachelor's degree in a field like computer science or information technology. Common courses in a 4-year bachelor's degree program that will prepare you for a career in Web security include networks, distributed computing, network security, database administration, operating systems, network protocols and computer ethics. Many employers also look for certifications in specific types of hardware or software, such as Cisco products or Windows or Linux operating systems.
Web security specialists must have very strong analytical and problem-solving skills. They must also have excellent communication skills because a major part of their jobs is communicating policy and procedure to computer users.
Employment and Economic Outlook
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates computer user support specialist job growth of 11% for 2016-2026. The BLS reported in May 2018 that computer user support specialists (including Web security specialists) made a median annual salary of $50,980.
Alternate Career Options
Take a look at these other computer support positions as potential careers:
Information Security Analyst
By earning a bachelor's degree and gaining some experience in computer-related fields, these analysts seek this employment where they'll plan and execute measures aimed at protecting companies' computer systems and networks. Much faster than average employment growth of 28% was predicted for these positions from 2016-2026, and the BLS notes that their job duties continue to expand with the increased frequency of cybercrime. In 2017, the BLS reported their annual median wage as $95,510.
Computer Systems Analyst
Normally having a bachelor's degree in information or computer science, these analysts design systems based on analyses of current computer systems, to increase efficiency and effectiveness. Average increases in employment were expected during the 2016-2026 decade, with 9% growth anticipated by the BLS. Computer systems analysts earned an annual median salary of $88,270 in 2017, per the BLS.