Information Security Analysts are considered Conventional careers, according to the Strong Interest Inventory®. This Inventory helps individuals choose a career in which they will be comfortable by assessing how much they enjoy a broad range of subjects, jobs, and activities. An individual’s answers are then compared to those given by successful professionals, and they are provided a list of careers held by people who gave similar responses. These careers are broadly categorized into six Theme Codes, each of which have different representative characteristics. Conventional careers involve activities that involve data processing, attention to detail, and precision. People with a proclivity for Conventional careers are highly organized, and thrive in structured environments with specific tasks and well-defined goals.
Information Security Analysts job duties include the protection of computer networks and the storage and transmission of digitized information. They may write programs to encrypt data transmissions or erect firewalls to protect classified or confidential information during transfer. They monitor stored digital files against modification, destruction, and disclosure, while still maintaining secure access, particularly in emergency situations. If there is a security breach or employees are violating best practices, they may review procedures with employees and report issues. Ongoing testing and risk assessments are vital to ensuring that information security systems remain cutting-edge, and that they are updated periodically. Some people in this career also train users and work to improve security effectiveness and network efficiency. When new programs are being implemented, Information Security Analysts may have to coordinate with stakeholders, vendors, and other personnel at various levels to ensure a seamless implementation, and reduce any vulnerability. Throughout this process, they communicate their status and needs to those who work above and below them in the organization.
Information Security Analysts are experts in information technology, including computers, tablets, smartphones, computer servers, mainframe computers, and more. Their understanding and familiarity with software applications is more sophisticated, including access software (IBM Tivoli Access Management), analytical software (SAS), authentication server software (Akoura SmartToken; Diameter), business intelligence software (Tableau), graphics software (Adobe Flash), medical software (Epic Systems), network security and VPN management software (Fireball; Intrusion detection software) and others. Successful Information Security Analysts are comfortable interacting with computers, and using them to gather information and analyze data. Because of the highly secure and high-stakes nature of their field, they must be excellent communicators and critical thinkers. The ability to solve complex problems quickly and efficiently is important as is the ability to communicate those solutions to other team members or stakeholders within and beyond their organization.
Typically, this in-depth understanding of technology is developed in college, and some 65% of Information Security Analysts hold a Bachelor’s Degree, while 19% hold a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate. This foundation helps Information Security Analysts perform their daily responsibilities, including monitoring digital security, collaborating with other analysts, and implementing new security measures. In some cases, they may compile resource books or other information about best practices for the general public.
The rate of employment of Information Security Analysts is rapidly growing around the U.S., with projected growth over 14% nationwide before 2024. The fastest growing states by percentile, with projected changes over 50%, are Colorado and Maryland, projected to add over 2,000 jobs combined. Over 2,200 jobs are predicted to be added in Texas alone, with California close behind at 2,100 and Virginia at 1,800. Their salary range is high, with the national median Information Security Analyst salary at $92,600, and the best-paid earning well over $150,000, particularly in states like California, where the highest salaries near $160,000 per year. However, in Montana, the median salary is just $55,000.
Below are some employment trends for Information Security Analyst:
- Median Information Security Analyst Salary: $44.52 hourly; $92,600 annually
- Employment: 83,000 employees
- Projected growth (2014-2024): Much faster than average (14% or higher)
- Projected job openings (2014-2024): 25,500
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- Bureau of Labor Statistics wage data and 2014-2022 employment projections Onetonline.org