skip to content
Primary navigation

I is for Information Security Analyst

by Vermul Pewee
July 2016

Vermul Pewee, a student at the University of Minnesota, was an intern in the Labor Market Information Office this past summer as part of her participation in the Urban Scholars Program.

The labor market is constantly expanding, and new jobs are literally being created and innovated daily. Until the 1990s not one child had dreams of growing up to be an Information Security Analyst. As we continue to develop as a technologically advanced nation, an Information Security Analyst will be one of the jobs needed to maintain peace in a world where security is no longer a matter of physical contact. Conscious of the forever expanding technology sector, the Bureau of Labor Statistics projects an 18 percent increase in employment from 2014 to 2024, while the average growth rate for all occupations is only 7 percent. U.S. News ranks Information Security Analyst as #5 in the best Technology jobs.

Duties

  • Monitor their organization’s networks for security breaches and investigate any violations when they occur
  • Install and use software such as firewalls and data encryption programs to protect sensitive information
  • Prepare reports that document security breaches and the extent of the damage caused by the breaches
  • Conduct penetration testing which simulates attacks to look for vulnerabilities in the systems before they can be exploited

Information Security Analyst is a high pressure job requiring its employees to be constantly on top of any new hacking methods and devices. All Information Security Analysts are responsible for researching new technologies that will best protect their specific organization from any foreseeable threats. This may involve attending cybersecurity conferences to hear the firsthand accounts of other professionals who have experienced new types of attacks. Information Security Analysts don’t necessarily work in teams, but they work closely with members of an information technology department such as network administrators or computer systems analysts. They are all responsible for developing the best attack response for their organization.

Options

From Private to Public, from East Coast to West Coast, the job market for information security analysts is endless and has ample ladder career ladder opportunities for employees in this market. The chart below identifies the Seven County Metro area as having the most Information Security Analyst employees, 86% of the Minnesota total. The median wage for this region of Minnesota is only $1.29 short of the nation’s average.

Credentials

Information Security Analyst is developing as a career field. Requirements are stricter, and entering this field is not as easy as it once was. While many positions in this field are available to those with at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or related fields, employers of Information Security Analysts sometimes prefer applicants who have a Master’s of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems. Programs offering an MBA in information systems generally require two years of study beyond the undergraduate level and include both business and computer-related courses.

Increasing Demand

Currently 88,800 information security analysts are employed, and the demand continues to rise as we experience more and more cyber attacks, more especially at a governmental level. In addition, as the healthcare industry expands its use of electronic medical records, ensuring patients’ privacy and protecting personal data are becoming more important. As a member of the online shopping community I value the role of information security analysts in protecting my financial identity. Recent hacking of political data bases shows the importance of the occupation to another level of database users.

The field also has room for career ladder progressions. Entry level positions have an impressive salary and have a great job outlook. Furthermore, it’s reassuring to know that after five years of working at an entry level, the progression to managerial positions can bring a 68% percent wage increase.

 

Geography

Employment

Median wage

Seven County Metro

1,630

$43.90/hr.

Minnesota

1,900

$44.10/hr.

U. S.

88,880

$45.19/hr.

Source: BLS industry profile

 

Information Security Analysts

2015 Median Pay

$90,120 per year,
$43.33 per hour

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Less than 5 years

Job Outlook, 2014-24

18% increase

Source: BLS industry profile

 

Computer and Information Systems Managers

2015 Median Pay

$131,600 per year,
$63.27 per hour

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

5 years or more

Job Outlook, 2014-24

15% increase

Source: BLS industry profile

back to top