How Long Does Information Security Analyst School Take?

Information security analysts are responsible for implementing the security measures of an organization. They are the experts when it comes to protecting the company’s critical digital information. As the incidents of hacking increase, the expertise of information security analysts is needed now more than ever.

If the world of computers and IT security fascinate you then a career as an information security analyst is going to be very fulfilling. However, you need to prepare yourself for this career by getting the necessary education. Mere knowledge of computers gained through self-study is not going to be enough. Employers prefer jobseekers that have obtained the necessary computer education and have a degree to prove it.

Many information security analysts hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, computer programming or related courses. These undergraduate degrees typically take four years to complete for students who enroll fulltime. Now, there are also some schools that are offering programs specifically for IT security analysts. For example, Gateway Technical College, which is a member college of the Wisconsin Technical College System, offers the associate of applied science in IT network specialist security analyst degree program. Their program covers topics on network concepts, security laws and policies, network administration for Microsoft and Linux/Unix, CCNA security, scripting and network security design, among others. Students can finish their 70-credit program in four semesters.

DeVry University also offers the Computer Information Systems degree with a career track in Information Systems Security. The program takes eight fulltime semesters to complete this 124-credit hour program. A fulltime student typically takes 15 to 16 credit hours a semester, taking two semesters a year, to be able to finish the program in four years. The Information Systems Security track at DeVry will prepare graduates to handle cyber attacks and get businesses back online after an attack. It also covers the legal, ethical and security issues about information and data, among others.

Applicants who have a master’s of business administration (MBA) degree in information systems also gain an edge over those who only have a bachelor’s degree. This is especially true for higher-level supervisory positions. This program usually takes two years to finish after obtaining a bachelor’s degree.

In addition to education, aspiring information security analysts should also have related work experience before they are hired to this post. They can work as database administrators, network administrators or as computer systems analysts. Job prospects are also vastly improved for those who hold certificates in the area of information security. For example, the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) is the certification that is given by the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. Before certification can be given, information security analysts must meet work experience requirements, pass the tests and get endorsement, among others. As far as the work experience is concerned, candidates for CISSP must have at least five years of paid work experience in two of the ten domains that include access control, telecommunications and network security, information security governance and risk management, software development security, cryptography, security architecture and design, operations security, business continuity and disaster recovery planning, legal, regulations, investigations and compliance and physical (environmental) security.

Career Spotlight: Information Security Analyst

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