As persistently as computer hackers work to infiltrate secure networks, information security analysts work that much harder to keep prying eyes out. Information security analysts design and implement security measures to protect an organization’s computer networks and systems. Their creativity and innovation continually expand as the number and complexity of cyberattacks increases. In this field, it’s essential to keep up with new technology and preventive methods. Information security analysts install and operate firewalls, data encryption programs, and other software, monitor their organization for security breaches, and even simulate attacks to look for vulnerabilities in their system. Their work is the opposite of hacking— and security analysts need to know how to break a system’s defenses… just as well as they know how to build them. Information security analysts work for computer companies, consulting firms, or business and financial companies. Most work standard full-time hours but may need to be on call in case of an emergency. Information security analysts typically need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field, though some employers prefer applicants with a Master’s of Business Administration in Information Systems. As the field of information security quickly evolves, new specialized education and training programs are emerging, but having an ingenious streak will continue to be a vital quality for these professionals.
Related Careers: Computer User Support Specialists, Document Management Specialists, Informatics Nurse Specialists & Web Administrators
Sources: Minnesota CAREERwise & CareerOneStop
Typical Work Tasks
People who work in this career often:
- Implement security measures for computer or information systems.
- Troubleshoot issues with computer applications or systems.
- Update knowledge about emerging industry or technology trends.
- Document operational procedures.
- Collaborate with others to resolve information technology issues.
- Monitor the security of digital information.
- Develop computer or information security policies or procedures.
- Train others in computer interface or software use.
- Test computer system operations to ensure proper functioning.
- Coordinate project activities with other personnel or departments.
Typical Working Conditions
- Using e-mail.
- Working indoors in environmentally controlled conditions.
- Working with a group or team.
- The freedom to determine tasks, priorities, and goals.
- Freedom to make decisions without supervision.
- Meeting strict deadlines.
Tools & Technology used by Cyber Security Technicians
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise
Most Important Skills for Cyber Security Technicians
- Reading—Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
- Thinking Critically—Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
- Learning New Things—Understanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
- Listening—Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
- Monitoring Performance—Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
- Speaking—Talking to others to convey information effectively.
- Writing—Communicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
- Making Decisions—Considering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
- Solving Complex Problems—Identifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
- Evaluating a System or Organization—Identifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Most Important Knowledge Areas for Cyber Security Technicians
- Computers and Electronics—Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
- Education and Training—Knowledge of principles and methods for curriculum and training design, teaching and instruction for individuals and groups, and the measurement of training effects.
- English Language—Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
- Customer and Personal Service—Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
- Telecommunications—Knowledge of transmission, broadcasting, switching, control, and operation of telecommunications systems.
- Engineering and Technology—Knowledge of the practical application of engineering science and technology. This includes applying principles, techniques, procedures, and equipment to the design and production of various goods and services.
- Administration and Management—Knowledge of business and management principles involved in strategic planning, resource allocation, human resources modeling, leadership technique, production methods, and coordination of people and resources.
- Mathematics—Knowledge of arithmetic, algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, and their applications.
- Public Safety and Security—Knowledge of relevant equipment, policies, procedures, and strategies to promote effective local, state, or national security operations for the protection of people, data, property, and institutions.
- Clerical—Knowledge of administrative and clerical procedures and systems such as word processing, managing files and records, stenography and transcription, designing forms, and other office procedures and terminology.
Different careers may be a good fit for your personality or interests. This career is:
- Investigative—Investigative occupations frequently involve working with ideas, and require an extensive amount of thinking. These occupations can involve searching for facts and figuring out problems mentally.
- Conventional—Conventional occupations frequently involve following set procedures and routines. These occupations can include working with data and details more than with ideas. Usually there is a clear line of authority to follow.
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise
|Wages Per Hour For Cyber Security (MN)|
Low indicates 25% of workers earn less and 75% earn more. Median indicates 50% of workers earn less and 50% earn more. High indicates 75% of workers earn less and 25% earn more.
Source: Minnesota DEED Occupational Employment Statistics Tool, Northwest Region
This career is seeing high growth compared to other careers. There will be a 8.3% growth new for Cyber Security Technicians to meet market demand between 2018-2028. This includes the demand due to replacement (workers leaving the occupation or retiring) as well as growth.
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise
This career is best for those with at least a Bachelor’s degree, and many professionals earn a Master’s degree. This career does not require a license, but industry certifications can help you move ahead.
View the local post-secondary education options for this career from Central Lakes College.
Spotlight on Central Lakes College
- Why consider CLC?
- Virtual Campus Tours: Brainerd Campus, Staples Campus
- Learn more about the CLC Honors Program.
- Attend CLC, and you may never need to buy a textbook.
If you have a physical, mental, developmental, or cognitive condition that requires educational support, learn about support options at CLC.
Helpful High School Courses
Examples of helpful classes that help you prepare for this career:
- Algebra I and II
- Analytic Geometry
- Graphic Arts
- Network Systems
- Technical Writing
- Web Page Design
Source: Minnesota CAREERwise
Try your chance at a few games at the Cyber Security Circus developed by the Texas A&M Division of Information Technology.
Visit the Minnesota State IT Center of Excellence for more information about this career, as well as links to education and training programs in Minnesota.
Information Security Analyst (Career One Stop)
Cyber Security (Careerwatch)
Intro to Cyber Security (InfoSec)
Nova Labs videos
Cyber Security Career Pathways
CyberCorps – Scholarship For Service (SFS)
CompTIA YouTube Channel
Introducing Microsoft 365 Apps and Office 2019 Certification Exams
The Value of Microsoft Certifications
IT Career Questions Channel