IT Security Degrees Offer Opportunities, High Pay

The coming year will bring lucrative career opportunities to those in IT security. According to ESG Research, 58 percent of companies with 500 or more employees will increase cyber security spending in 2011. About 35 percent plan to hire IT security employees. And yet, there may not be enough skilled people available to take the jobs, suggesting a shortage of workers in the field.

However, shortage isn’t the same as free pass. Security continues to become more difficult to implement because of increasingly complex requirements, including cloud computing, wireless mobile devices, systems for global business operations, and international regulations governing IT security and data privacy.

As the field becomes more complex, employers will put a premium on job candidates who have the right computer technology degrees to handle modern security practices. That means a formal focus on information technology and security technology and practices to understand the new complexities.

GovInfoSecurity.com, working with various employment services, created a list of the top growth areas for information security in 2011. Here are some of the top paying positions from the list:

Business Continuity

Keeping companies running is an important part of information security after the public health threats, terrorism attacks, natural disasters, and power outages of the last few years. Salaries for a business continuity analyst run from $74,500 to $106,000.

Cloud Computing
This major development in computing requires knowledge of virtualization, server consolidation and configuration management. Those who understand how to secure cloud systems can bring in an average $102,000.

Application Security
Increased business use of mobile and Web-based applications that are open to the public heighten security concerns, not only for the companies, but for their customers. According to a study by the Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, 42 percent of hiring managers seek employees with information systems degrees and expertise in building security into applications and systems. The salary range for an applications developer is $85,000 to $117,000.

Wireless Security
Mobile app popularity also requires wireless security. Managed security services for wireless alone will likely see a 27 percent compound annual growth rate through 2014. The necessary skills and expertise include voice over IP (VoIP) telephony security and such network security areas as threat assessment, incident management, intrusion detection, and secure code development. Salaries run from $74,750 to $102,500.

Security Leadership
The increased importance of security also creates a need for managers who can help bring necessary change to businesses and who understand the intersection of business needs, technology, and security. Those who can provide that can command from $110,750 to $165,750 a year.

Prepare yourself properly, and one of these jobs may be yours.

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