Climbing the Information Security Career Ladder
...

Eshna

Published on February 12, 2015


  • 778 Views
  • InfoSec professionals are in high demand in the banking sector, telecommunication, government and professional sector, to name a few. Other industry sectors have also started hiring more InfoSec professionals as the cybercrime rate is on a continuous rise.  

    The Information Security career is a very satisfying and rewarding career with the right education and certifications. The career of Information Security is growing by leaps and bounds and trying to find one’s way into the field can be a daunting task. This write up will help professionals grow in their information security career by seeking the correct certification and education.

    If professionals possess these skills before embarking on their career, it would bode well for them:

     
    1. Knowledge of network systems and different protocols
    2. Basic knowledge of security systems like firewalls and  anti-virus tools
    3. Knowledge of security policies
    4. Basic knowledge of implementing security policies ((ISC) Career Guide

    Significance of Relevant Certifications

    Information Security is probably one of those fields where a degree alone does not give ample recognition. The degree must be bolstered with an appropriate certification such as CISSP. Let us see the various certifications and job roles that are possible in different stages of an Info Sec professional.
     
    1. A fresh graduate is eligible to be an Information Security administrator and is eligible to be part of the Associate of (ISC)2 program
    2. A graduate with 1+ years of work experience is eligible to work as an Information Security administrator and is eligible for the SSCP certification
    3. An individual with 4+ years of work experience is eligible to work as Information Security Analyst or Engineer and is eligible for the coveted CISSP certification
    4. An individual with 7+ years of work experience can be a Information Security manager
    5. An individual with 9+ years of work experience can be a CSO (Chief Security Officer) or CISO (Chief Information Security Officer)

    A certification boosts an individual’s salary. It is important to pass the appropriate certification once a person gains enough experience and has the required skill sets.

    Wide Array of Career Paths

    A person climbing the Information Security ladder might follow this career path:   
     
    1. IT administrator
    2. Information Security administrator
    3. Security Analyst/Engineer
    4. Manager, Information Security
    5. CSO (Chief Security Officer), CISO (Chief Information Security Officer)

    Pay Scales for Various Roles

    Now let us see the pay scales for the different career roles. An IT administrator can earn anywhere between $45,000 and $55,000, an Information Security administrator can earn somewhere around $75,000, a Security Analyst/Engineer makes $80,000, a Manager, Information Securitymakes $100,000 and the CSO/CISO makes around $150,000 or sometimes more.

    Prominent Certification Providers to Consider

    In addition to this, individuals seeking a degree in Information Assurance can apply to one of these educational institutions. A degree in Information Assurance will provide individuals with more knowledge of Information Security workspace through hands on activities and exercises. Here is a partial list of educational institutions that offer various programs:

    1. Auburn University
    Auburn, AL
    www.eng.auburn.edu/users/hamilton/security

    2. California State University at Pomona
    Pomona, CA
    www.bus.csupomona.edu/cfia.asp


    3. Naval Postgraduate School
    Center for Information Systems
    Security Studies and Research
    Monterey, CA
    cisr.nps.navy.mil


    4. Stanford University
    Computer Science Department
    Stanford, CA
    www.cs.stanford.edu


    5. Walsh College
    Information Assurance Center
    Troy, MI
    www.walshcollege.edu
     
    Equipping oneself with the certification and a degree combined with experience will help you reach greater heights in the Information Security domain.

     

    Bibliography

    (ISC) Career Guide. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.isc2.org/uploadedFiles/Industry_Resources/careerguide06.pdf

About the Author

Eshna is a writer at Simplilearn. She has done Masters in Journalism and Mass Communication and is a Gold Medalist in the same. A voracious reader, she has penned several articles in leading national newspapers like TOI, HT and The Telegraph. She loves traveling and photography.


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