Contemplating if you’re a good fit for a security analyst role? Here’s what you need to know from the educational and training requirements to what skills you’ll need to succeed in the role.
Job Outlook and Educational Requirements
Security Analysts have the luxury of a rapidly expanding industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 112,000 people were employed in this role in 2018. Career opportunities are anticipated to grow by 32% in the next decade, much faster than other occupations. This is likely due to the ongoing digital transformation of a wide range of businesses across the globe and the growing concern around (and investment in) digital security. The median annual wage for security analysts was just under $100k with the high end of the market earning more than $150k.
Clearly, as security threats to businesses and government agencies increase, the security analyst role is becoming increasingly important. And as such this is not an entry-level position. A bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or engineering is a minimal requirement, and many companies further require a master’s degree and many years of actual network experience.
Critical Skills Needed in Role
Threats to cybersecurity are always changing, as are the solutions. Information security analysts must continually update their knowledge of the latest data-protection news, cybersecurity legislation, practices, and techniques. A good information security analyst seeks out this information and uses it to shape his or her problem-solving strategies. Information security analysts must also have strong analytical skills. They have to be able to study computer systems, assess any potential risks, and consider possible solutions. They should be highly analytical, with experience administering information security software and controls, as well as analyzing security system logs, security tools and the data produced by those logs and tools.
Beyond the technical skills outlined above, security analysts need a wealth of soft skills to succeed in a social work environment. They often work with various members of an organization and as such must be able to communicate security measures and threats to people from a wide variety of technical and non-technical backgrounds. They must be able to educate users, explaining the importance of cybersecurity and how to protect their data.
Communication skills are critical in getting these messages across in a clear and engaging way. Creativity is also important to bring to the table because analysts must be able to anticipate cyberattacks, and always stay one step ahead of a new threat using creative problem solving and a detail-oriented approach to cybersecurity. Analysts need to be able to communicate across all levels of an organization. They need a deep understanding of risk management frameworks and be able to speak toward improving security efficiency. They are problem solvers as the very foundation of their role, at once called upon to be highly self-motivated but also strong team players who always have the best interests of their company at heart.
Looking for a Career as a Security Analyst?
If you think you have what it takes to be a security analyst, connect with the recruitment team at ESGI today.