Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and Profiles » Computers, IT & Telecommunications

Computer Security Specialist Job Description, Career as a Computer Security Specialist, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

specialists systems access network

Education and Training: College

Salary: Varies—see profile

Employment Outlook: Very good

Definition and Nature of the Work

As computer networks grow and more sensitive data is stored on computer files, the need for trained, skilled computer security specialists will also grow. Computer security specialists help businesses, educational institutions, and government organizations to control access to their computer networks and protect important data stored there. This is accomplished through a variety of means.

Computer security specialists, who are also known as information security specialists, design and implement network control mechanisms that serve to control users' access to a computer network through such processes as firewalls. Computer security specialists also implement application access controls, such as password authentication, that keep unauthorized users from accessing a particular computer or network or program. Computer security specialists take steps to deny hackers access to a system and set up programs that detect hackers who do intrude onto a system. Computer security specialists also may be responsible for controlling site-specific physical access to computers.

Computer security specialists work with employees at all levels of an organization. Managers communicate the organization's needs to computer security specialists. Management and security specialists then work together to balance the organization's security needs with the security system's ease of use. Computer security specialists also communicate procedures and passwords to users of the systems. This entails keeping up-to-date lists of users and passwords as well as helping workers who have forgotten passwords or accidentally violated security procedures. Computer security specialists monitor who is using a computer network. They also send reports of use to various members of the organization for verification. Finally, computer security specialists are responsible for keeping accurate and up-to-date backup files of all important data shared on a computer network.

Computer security specialists help control access to computer systems. They design and implement mechanisms and programs that deny access to hackers and other unauthorized users. (Photograph by Kelly A. Quin. Thomson Gale. Reproduced by permission.)

Education and Training Requirements

People interested in work as computer security specialists need some training beyond high school. A bachelor's degree in computer science is highly recommended. Computer security specialists must be familiar with a variety of networking technologies, such as TCP/IP, Windows NT, and Unix. They must have a thorough understanding of computer programming, and they should be trained in risk management. Computer security specialists must also be able to communicate technical information clearly and concisely.

The International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, a nonprofit corporation, awards a Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) accreditation to individuals who pass an exam on computer security procedures. Such accreditations improve a potential employee's prospects greatly.

Getting the Job

Trained computer security specialists are hired by corporations and institutions needing their services and by independent consulting firms. Jobs are posted on the Internet by groups such as the Computer Security Institute (CSI) and the Information Systems Auditing and Control Association (ISACA). Positions also are advertised in trade publications.

Advancement Possibilities and Employment Outlook

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of computer security specialists was expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2014. Although most organizations using computer networks have security needs, the number of individuals trained to meet those needs, in each case, is relatively small. Reliable, highly skilled, and well-trained individuals will be in great demand to meet those needs.

Working Conditions

Computer security specialists work in pleasant, well-maintained offices and they usually work a forty-hour week or more. They may work unpredictable hours and be on constant call to handle emergencies. Because of the high level of responsibility, the job can be very stressful. Computer security specialists face the same risks as other computer workers, including eyestrain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and backache.

Earnings and Benefits

The Bureau of Labor Statistics regards computer security specialists as a type of network and computer systems administrator. In their 2006–07 Occupational Outlook Handbook, the Bureau reported that the median annual wage for all network and computer systems administrators in 2004 was $58,190. According to the "Computerworld Salary Survey 2005" (Computerworld, October 24, 2005), the median yearly wage for an information security specialist in 2005 was $81,035.

Where to Go for More Information

Computing Technology Industry Association
1815 S. Meyers Rd., Ste. 300
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
(630) 678-8300
http://www.comptia.com

IEEE Computer Society
1730 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 371-0101
http://www.computer.org

Because they are in such demand, computer security specialists can expect attractive benefits packages from corporations and consulting firms, although the nature of the work makes it difficult for computer specialists to take advantage of vacations and time off.

Computer Software Documentation Writer Job Description, Career as a Computer Software Documentation Writer, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job [next] [back] Computer Programmer Job Description, Career as a Computer Programmer, Salary, Employment - Definition and Nature of the Work, Education and Training Requirements, Getting the Job

User Comments

Your email address will be altered so spam harvesting bots can't read it easily.
Hide my email completely instead?

Cancel or

Vote down Vote up

about 5 years ago

how much does training cost

Vote down Vote up

about 9 years ago

what would be a goood place to go to if u want to get a bachelor's degree in computer science. in california

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

Very good information! Thank you very much. I'm in college right now for system security! And I really like the class. I needed this information for an assignment of mine so thank you very much!

Vote down Vote up

over 6 years ago

Good info. I'm starting school in the next month at Westerns Governors University. You can take the classes online and the tuition is a good price. You pay for you time not the classes. Each term is 6 months and you can take as meny clases you can fit in and not have to pay any more. For a 6 month turm its $2,890.

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

Hi ! this is my first visit on your web site and I found it pretty interesting. right now my goal is to be a cyber security specialist and I am on my first year in college. please I will need your advise to achieve my goal

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

asafasasdffghhjasdfdsdfasdasd FUCKA U NIGGAS!!!! FUCKA U!!

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

I am a full time student at Evereset College. I will be finished in June of this year. I will also continue my education after I finsih this School. I will be enrolling in a IT computer school as soon as I finish this school to work in the field of Computer Enginering Engineer.

Vote down Vote up

over 5 years ago

asafasasdffghhjasdfdsdfasdasd FUCKA U NIGGAS!!!! FUCKA U!!

Vote down Vote up

over 8 years ago

i suggest reasearching IT colleges designed for students looking for jobs in the security field.

Vote down Vote up

almost 6 years ago

Thanks for the info, I am in college now and am looking at going into computer security

Vote down Vote up

about 8 years ago

if we take computer programming in the high school do we need it in the college? I know a college that offers Computer Science but does not have Computer Programming.

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

May I know whether this job is like KPO?

Vote down Vote up

about 6 years ago

May I know whether this job is like KPO?

Vote down Vote up

over 2 years ago

Thank you for this information it is very helpful PS someone wrote something mean on the bottom of this page. Thanks again this was very helpful.

Vote down Vote up

about 3 years ago

Clear for IC bids, clearance cor commercial, residential, government work

Vote down Vote up

over 3 years ago

http://prekastx.com
http://www.tabela-art.com
http://derinet.com.tr
http://www.egazete.com
http://kursistem.com
http://lpg.com.tr
http://bogenpanel.com