Network and Internet Security Specialist: Education and Job Training Requirements

Published Nov 07, 2009

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Network and Internet security specialists are computer science professionals that ensure the security of data. Professionals in this field can find work as employees for educational institutions, businesses, government offices, law enforcement agencies, non-profit organizations and the military. Common job titles for network and Internet security specialists include information security analyst, computer security specialist, network security manager and data security administrator.

Network and Internet Security Specialist Career Summary

Network and Internet security specialists are responsible for the security of data transmitted over networks and the Internet. Duties involved with this responsibility for protecting data may include monitoring network users and activity, developing firewalls and encryption systems, training network users to engage in safe Internet use and keeping track of the latest Internet and network security tools. According to Payscale.com, annual salary for network and Internet security specialists varies by experience, with entry-level workers averaging $50,000 a year and those with at least 20 years of experience averaging about $100,000 a year.

Education Required to Become a Network and Internet Security Specialist

According to O*Net, half of network and Internet security professionals in the U.S. have earned a bachelor's degree, master's degree or doctoral degree (www.onetcenter.org). Only about eight percent of those in the network and Internet security field have no college education at all. These statistics indicate that while it may not always be necessary for network and Internet security specialists to earn a degree, a degree is likely to make job applicants appear better qualified. Interested students may enroll in a bachelor's program in information systems or a master's in computer science with a computer network and security concentration among other options.

Job Training and Certifications Required to Become a Network and Internet Security Specialist

Because network and Internet security jobs require a large amount of specialized knowledge, job training for these positions tends to come with experience. Depending on the needs of the employer and the specific position applied for, applicants to network and Internet security specialist jobs may need training in computer programming, network security techniques and other related topics specific to their employment. Though some professional organizations may exist for network and Internet security specialists, it is not a legal requirement for these professionals to be licensed or certified while working. Certifications that specialist may be interested in obtaining include certified information system security professional administered by (ISC)2, various Cisco certifications, Microsoft certified systems engineer or CompTIA certifications.

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