Information security jobs: In-demand, high salaries
Data suggests careers in tech show plenty of promise for growth, which means job opportunities for those interested in the field. One encouraging area to branch into is information security jobs.
Information security entails securing data — such as biometrics to mobile phone data — from unauthorised access. The job is highly in demand and can also be a lucrative gig.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the employment of information security analysts is projected to grow 31% from 2019 to 2029, much faster than the average for all occupations.
They add that demand for information security analysts is expected to be very high, as these analysts are needed to create innovative solutions to prevent hackers from stealing critical information or causing problems for computer networks.
While demand for the profession is growing, previous data also suggests a shortage of professionals in the field.
Back in 2019, CIO reported that information security ranked as the primary IT security hiring priority for the next 12 to 18 months among decision-makers, according to Mondo’s IT Security Guide.
The BLS notes that the median annual wage for information security analysts was 103,590 US dollars in May 2020.
Understanding information security jobs
There are overlaps between cybersecurity and information security, which warrants confusion for some.
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) describes cybersecurity as “the art of protecting networks, devices, and data from unauthorised access or criminal use and the practice of ensuring confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information.”
It is essentially related to malicious attacks, both from the inside or outside of a company.
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) describes information security as: “The protection of information and information systems from unauthorised access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction in order to provide confidentiality, integrity, and availability.”
CSO Online notes that cybersecurity is the broader practice of defending IT assets from attack, and information security is a specific discipline under the cybersecurity umbrella.
Information security aims to cover the CIA triad: confidentiality (protecting passwords, encryption, authentication, and defense against penetration attacks); integrity (maintaining data in its correct state and preventing it from being improperly modified); and availability (ensuring that data can be accessed by those who have the proper permissions).
It’s worth noting that there can be a variety of different job titles in the information security world, such as analysts, engineers and managers.
Having an undergraduate degree in computer science could help you get a job in information security. Advanced credentials — such as a master’s in computer science — could also come in handy as employers are willing to pay more for candidates with advanced skill sets.