Recently we discussed what information technology entails and what IT professionals do. Here, we’ll review how to become an information security analyst.
This is a fantastic job that allows you to protect an organization's computer networks and systems from cyber-attacks. You'll work to ensure that all sensitive data is kept safe and secure.
In this post, we’ll explain why you should consider becoming an information security analyst, what responsibilities you’re likely to have while working in the field, why it’s so important that you get a degree before attempting to break into the industry, and tips for breaking into this field.
If you want to launch a lucrative, lifelong career helping organizations solve complex security problems, then you should consider pursuing information technology.
After you’ve learned everything you need to know about starting a career in IT, fill out our information request form to receive additional details about our 100% online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology. If you’re ready to get started, submit your application today.
What Do Information Security Analysts Actually Do?
As an information security analyst, you’ll be responsible for protecting organizations' data and digital assets, and you may even be specifically tasked with defending against cyber-attacks. Your work will include safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring that all computer systems are able to remain up and running at all times.
Some common responsibilities you may encounter will include tasks like:
- Implementing security measures to protect the organization's network and technology infrastructure.
- Detecting any potential threats to your employer's networks or computer systems.
- Responding quickly if a threat is detected in order to minimize damage caused by the attack.
- Repairing any damage done during a cyber-attack and ensuring that it doesn't happen again.
Getting your Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology is the perfect way to prepare for these challenges, as your coursework will provide the foundation you need to understand IT challenges and ensure you’re able to deliver effective protection.
Is Becoming an Information Security Analyst a Good Career Option?
Yes, information security is a fantastic career path, and there are three compelling reasons to consider getting into the field:
- The career is growing, with the Bureau of Labor Statistics projecting that employment for this role will rise 33% between 2020 and 2030.
- Information security professionals play an important role in almost any modern business or organization, as they are responsible for designing, building, and maintaining the safety, security, and stability of computer systems.
- Information security professionals tend to earn excellent compensation packages, with competitive salaries and a high average annual income.
Knowing that the field is growing and that you'll get to make a valuable contribution to whatever organizations you end up working for, why wouldn’t you want to pursue in the industry?
Just keep in mind that the BLS reports information security analysts typically need a bachelor’s degree to be considered for this position and make sure to get yours before attempting to break into the field.
What Skills & Abilities are Needed to Become a Successful Information Security Analyst?
First, you’ll need to develop a series of hard skills—specific knowledge and techniques that you’ll acquire through education, training, and experience.
Hard skills are typically technical in nature and include things like learning programming languages or understanding how to work with different operating systems.
Some of the most important hard skills for this job include:
- Experience with common security software tools such as vulnerability scanners, intrusion detection systems, anti-malware software/anti-virus programs, and firewalls.
- Familiarity with commonly used network protocols such as TCP/IP (Transmission Control Protocol / Internet Protocol).
- Understanding different computer networks, including LANs (Local Area Networks), WANs (Wide Area Networks), VPNs (Virtual Private Networks) & Cloud Computing.
You'll also need a number of soft skills, which are personal qualities and abilities that help you succeed in your career. Soft skills include things like communication, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills.
These can be difficult to quantify or measure, but they’re essential skills for anyone who wants to be successful in any position. Some of the most important soft skills for information security analysts include:
- The ability to effectively communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical individuals.
- Critical thinking and analytical skills—you'll need these to identify potential threats and come up with solutions quickly.
- The ability to stay calm under pressure and handle stressful situations.
- A willingness to keep learning new technologies as they emerge—information security is a rapidly changing field, so you'll need to be adaptable.
The best way to develop both hard and soft skills is through experience, and you can start working on them by enrolling in an accredited degree program, but also by getting involved in extracurricular activities, volunteering for IT-related tasks, and finding opportunities to work on complex IT projects.
Do I Really Need a Degree to Become an Information Security Analyst?
Yes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you’ll likely need at least a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology or a degree-related field in order to be considered for this position.
Employers hiring for this role tend to prefer candidates who have both the technical skills and knowledge required to do this job as well as the soft skills necessary to manage people and projects.
Getting an online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology from CSU Global is the perfect way to build these skills and acquire the training and knowledge you need to pursue a career in information security.
Our program offers courses that cover everything from information systems and security to network enterprise solutions and database management, ensuring you’ll graduate as a well-rounded IT professional.
What Will I Learn When Studying Information Technology?
Information technology is a broad field that covers a range of topics, including software development, systems administration, information security, and network management.
When you study information technology, you’ll develop the skills and knowledge you need to build and manage digital systems. You’ll also start learning about how to protect these systems from cyber-attacks and other threats.
CSU Global’s B.S. in Information Technology program will provide you with everything you need to become a successful IT professional and pursue a career as an information security analyst.
Our program was designed to provide you with critical work-related skills and will include training on how to:
- Analyze problems and identify and define the computing requirements needed to solve them.
- Create, implement, and test a computer-based system, process, component, or program to meet specific requirements.
- Examine the impact of computing on individuals, organizations, and societies on a local and global scale.
- Current technical concepts and practices in human-computer interaction, information management, programming, networking, and web systems and technologies are used and applied.
- Identify and analyze user requirements in order to select, create, evaluate, and administer computer-based systems.
During this program, you’ll also complete a number of other important classes that may help prepare you for a career in information security, including classes like:
- Web Design and Development
- Human-Computer Interaction
- Basic Programming
- Information Systems and Security
- Database Management
By the time you graduate from our program, you’ll be well-suited to work as an IT professional, and ready to pursue a career in the challenging world of information security.
What Can I Do to Increase My Chances of Success?
While it’s true that some people are more naturally inclined towards achieving success in information security than others, anyone can learn the skills needed to be successful in this field.
What does it require to break into the industry? First, it’s important to have a strong foundation in information technology. This means developing a good understanding of how computers and networks work, as well as the various security risks and threats that they face.
Second, you’ll need to develop your problem-solving skills. Information security is all about solving problems—identifying them, finding solutions, and implementing them effectively. So if you want to be successful in this field, you need to be able to think critically and logically about complex issues.
Finally, it’ll be important that you stay up-to-date with the latest trends and developments in information security. The field is constantly changing, so you should plan on becoming a lifelong learner in order to keep up with industry developments like security threats and best practices..
You may also want to think about completing a relevant certification program, or even several of them, as these are designed to boost your resume by sharpening your skills and abilities.
According to Indeed.com, 10 of the best certifications for cybersecurity analysts (a similar role) include:
- CompTIA's Network+
- CompTIA's Security+
- CompTIACybersecurity Analyst
- CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner
- CompTIA Security Analytics Expert certification
- The EC-Council Certified Ethical Hacker Certification
- Certified Security Analyst Training
- The GIAC Information Security Fundamentals
- The GIAC Security Essentials Certification
- Certified Information Systems Security Professional
If you’re interested in becoming an information security analyst, these tips should help get you started.
Should I Get My Degree Online?
Regardless of which higher education path you choose to pursue, we certainly suggest getting your degree and credentials online rather than in person.
Studying online offers many benefits to in-person learning, but the most important is convenience. You can take your courses from anywhere in the world, at any time that works for you. And since our programs are 100% online, you may still be able to work full-time while studying with CSU Global.
Choosing to study online with us means you can also take advantage of several other excellent benefits offered by our fully online programs, including:
- No requirements to show up at set times or in physical locations.
- Monthly class starts.
- Accelerated courses.
If you are a busy person who must balance family and work obligations with your academic studies, then you should seriously consider earning your degree online with us.
Why Should I Choose to Study at CSU Global?
CSU Global’s online Bachelor's Degree in Information Technology degree will prepare you to meet the challenges you’ll face while developing your career as an information security analyst..
Our IT program is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and was designed to provide you with industry-relevant skills, ensuring you’re ready to provide value to any organization from day one.
Reasons to Choose our B.S. in IT Program
Our online B.S. in IT program has won several top rankings, including:
- A #1 ranking for Top Low-Cost Online Bachelor’s in Computer and IT Programs from Great Value Colleges.
- A #2 ranking for Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees in Information Technology from Cyber Degrees.
- A #3 ranking for The Best Information Technology Degree Programs of 2021 from Best Value Schools.
CSU Global itself is also regarded as an industry leader in higher education and recently won several important awards, including:
- A #10 ranking for Best Online Colleges for ROI from OnlineU.
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges & Schools in Colorado from Best Accredited Colleges.
- A #1 ranking for Best Online Colleges in Colorado from Best Colleges.
Finally, we offer competitive tuition rates and a tuition guarantee to ensure your rate won’t increase for as long as you remain enrolled with us.
To get additional details about our fully-accredited online Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology, please give us a call at (800) 462-7845, or fill out our Information Request Form.