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CAREER GUIDE M.S. Cybersecurity and Info Assurance

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Career guide: information security and assurance.

Planning, implementing, and managing security at the enterprise level has become critical to the protection of the computer networks and communication and data channels of our nation and its allies. The National Security Agency (NSA) addressed the challenge of preventing foreign adversaries from gaining access to sensitive or classified national security information by developing strict guidelines that led to the development of the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP®).

Pursuing a career in Information Security and Assurance requires a serious commitment to mastering a set of core competencies in both technology and business as it relates to planning, implementing, and managing enterprise-level security. If you are an intelligent, imaginative critical thinker intrigued by the opportunity to help solve some of today's most difficult challenges, maybe it's time consider a future career managing the security threats faced by today's society.

Career opportunities abound for motivated, dedicated IS professionals with the knowledge, credentials, and up-to-date certifications necessary to tackle challenging issues. These positions have demanding sets of responsibilities requiring advanced training and years of experience in computer hardware and software. It's rarely an entry-level job, but it can be extremely rewarding for those who choose to pursue it.

Job listing growth 2016–2026.

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Career opportunities.

Senior-level IS and Assurance leaders are in demand in every industry, and with the right credentials and certifications, you should be able to drive your career in a number of interesting directions. Information security is a fairly new field, and many schools now offer career-focused master's degrees to help meet the demand for tomorrow's professionals:

Positions in the field.

  • Computer security specialists
  • Database administrators
  • Computer user support specialists
  • Computer network architects
  • Computer systems administrators
  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Network security administrators
  • Network maintenance specialists
  • Computer systems analysts
  • Computer and information systems managers
  • Computer network architects
  • Computer support specialists
  • Database administrators
  • Information security analysts
“Because of WGU's competency-based model I was able to leverage my experience and progress through the courses at my rate. My degrees have opened many doors for me and prepared me with the skills and knowledge I need to succeed.” Jason Franklin,
MS Cybersecurity & Info. Assurance

Job market forecast.

If you're a qualified IS manager you've probably already discovered that your knowledge and skills are in high demand. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 28% from 2016 to 2026, significantly faster than the average for all occupations. Furthermore, Information Week cites Society for Information Management (SIM) data suggesting "increased spending on salaries, training, and budgets puts IT in a 'sweet spot' for employment and investment."

Job growth 2016–2026.

Work environment.

Information security and assurance managers most often work in teams with other members of an IT department, such as network administrators and computer systems analysts. A sizable percentage of them work within the computer, finance, and insurance industries, but most large companies have managers in place to ensure the security of their computer networks. On occasions when security has been breached or emergencies arise, IS managers will be expected to be on call beyond normal business hours.

Professional organizations.

If you are an experienced IT professional focused on a management position in information security and assurance, the right education and credentials can help get you there. The following organizations can also provide a wealth of information about this growing field and the best way to secure your future:

Job search resources.

Information security and assurance jobs are in great demand in IT departments around the world. Get your credentials in-line to take advantage of this dynamic growth industry. These links can start you on the path to a rewarding career.


Salary stats.

It pays to be at the forefront of an information security career. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for information security analysts was $95,510 in May 2017. U.S. News & World Report also states that "information security analysts are among the best-paid of our technology jobs" and that "those who are compensated the best, work in the securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage industry."

 

Average salary of jobs with related titles.


Summary.

Information Security and Assurance is an important and growing career field. We live in a data-centric world, and every change in technology requires advancements in the systems we create to ensure our information remains safe and secure. Cyber-attacks have grown in frequency and sophistication over the last few years, and many organizations are behind in their ability to detect these threats. This has created a situation where demand for IS professionals is outpacing the supply of qualified candidates with the necessary credentials to fill important positions.

Increasingly, employers are seeking IS managers who have earned a master's degree that provides knowledge above and beyond a general computer background. Some schools are focusing on specialized curriculums with courses in information security, along with certificates that verify a student's mastery of our nation's comprehensive information assurance management system. If you have a background in computer science and are ready to turn your qualifications up a degree, a master's in information security and assurance from an accredited institution can be a great place to start.

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Jan 1

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Your career’s next step: Earn a degree.

Ready to jump-start your career in information security? The next step could be earning your M.S. Cybersecurity & Information Assurance. Accredited, competency-based WGU offers this degree online for at a surprisingly affordable flat-rate tuition. Flexible enough for a working adult’s schedule with the option to accelerate, your degree may be closer than you think!