With the increasing number of consumers and business owners conducting commerce over the Internet, maintaining bank security and information assurance continues to be an important factor in client confidence and trusted business partnerships. For professionals with the proper training and education, a job in bank security and information assurance offers a wide range of opportunities in a variety of settings.

A Variety of Opportunities at Many Educational Levels

Depending upon one’s level of education, professional experiences and personal ambition, work in corporate, private, and governmental settings will vary. For students interested in bank security and information assurance, a variety of internships and practical experience opportunities exist through college partnerships in banking and finance settings.

With a two-year associate of arts degree or a four-year bachelor of arts degree, a career changer or recent graduate can expect an entry level position with low levels of responsibility and security clearance dependent on experience. As technical skills increase and specialized areas of professional growth develop, one can expect an increased level of responsibility and professional opportunity. There are many points of entry to this career path depending on whether the bachelor’s degree is in criminal justice, computer science, or another related discipline.

Some professionals who have been working in this field, as it has greatly evolved over the past decade, might have significant practical knowledge that can possibly increase income potential. In such cases, seeking formal education is often a way to complete a skill set, and it shows an employer that an applicant is willing to do what it takes to stay current in the field and seek ongoing professional growth.

Once a bank security and information assurance officer has worked in a specialized area for a number of years, he or she might seek increased security clearances and a master’s degree to be eligible for top positions. It typically takes two years to complete a master’s degree after meeting the four year bachelor degree requirements. Because many employers offer tuition assistance to continue degrees online while one is working in the field, it is not uncommon for someone seeking an advanced degree or certificate to do so while maintaining a current job.

Often the skill set needed at a particular company or agency is extremely specific to that entity, so detailed training is needed and offered once the professional is willing to commit to the organization and has demonstrated reliability, integrity, and a willingness to engage in ongoing professional development.

A Wide Range of Settings and Job Descriptions Available

Entry level positions in bank security and information assurance might include assisting with database management, generating and preparing reports, creating pamphlets and other related material for client awareness of security information, and attending to desk related tasks regarding security functions or features of a particular company.

With a more highly developed skill set and higher level security, professionals are engaged in monitoring database communication, generating more detailed reports, leading security teams and participating in software and hardware design. Additionally, they may assist in training other staff members, working as a liaison between educational, corporate, and larger security agencies, such as the FBI among other interdisciplinary problem-solving and investigative task force work to address a variety of long term security and information assurance goals.

At the highest level of education and security clearance, professionals engage in creating training simulations, conducting applied research to find bugs in the current security features, and teaching and researching a a college or univeristy. They may also work as corporate heads, own independent consultant firms, engage in teaching and research at a college or university, and work as a leader to creating policies or providing input on laws that govern the industry. For career changers and current students looking for more information regarding employment opportunities and general information about information assurance and cyber security, a variety of information is available on government websites such as: the Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Creating a Plan

If you are interested in the field of bank security and information assurance, it is important to build practical skills while seeking an education with a highly ranked and regionally accredited program. Many high quality online programs exist, taught by leaders in the field who provide current knowledge and practical skills to help students stay ahead of the competition. Many employers offer room for professional development to their most valued employees, so achieving a quality education can help you create the type of profile these employers are seeking. In addition, by researching potential employers and seeking internship information, you can begin to identify an area of specialty and seek professional development in that direction. There are a number of security-related websites where you can peruse current topics, view job descriptions, and learn from webinars on a variety of topics. A few websites worth visiting are: the Committee on National Security Systems, the National White Collar Crime Center, and the National Cyber Security Alliance.

If you are interested in a job in bank security and information assurance, then it is important to investigate opportunities and devise a detailed plan to obtain the necessary education and professional experience needed to secure the best opportunities which allow for increased long term growth. Governmental organizations, private companies, and international corporations all rely on a growing number of highly trained security professionals to keep Internet commerce and sensitive client information safe. Rewards can be great for those with the most desirable skills and most respected education so it is imperative to create a strong professional development plan as you embark on this essential and respected career path.

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