IT professionals seeking further career advancement, or students looking to earn certificates in growing areas, should consider pursuing coursework in the field of cyber information assurance. Not only is the field growing, but the work is vital to company data security, client confidentiality, and overall profitability making educated professionals a commodity in today’s global job market. Take a look at the following industry-specific information to see if this specialty is a good match for you.
1. Job Outlook
Government data projects job prospects for IT professionals who specialize in cyber security to remain strong in the coming decades. Certified professionals with relevant work experience can have a competitive edge in this growing sector. Governmental agencies at home and overseas, as well as private corporations and non-profits all report an increase in demand for cyber assurance analysts to assist in a wide variety of information security-related needs. Additionally, for professionals seeking a career direction that could afford them the benefit of travel, there are many opportunities to apply their expertise in overseas markets.
2. Work Profile
Most cyber assurance analysts work traditional hours with additional overtime hours based on intermittent projects. An increasing number of job openings allow for online work from home, though in-office expectations are typical. The versatility of the career does allow for the option to work in settings where travel is possible, but most jobs require little to no out of state travel. There is a wide range of job descriptions and directions a cyber assurance analyst can pursue. From monitoring data flow, to improving security-related communication procedures, to training other employees, and documenting and reporting inconsistencies in data transmission that could have legal importance are all among the usual everyday tasks of the cyber assurance analyst. Many cyber security professionals work in consulting fields or with larger companies that help businesses tailor precise cybersecurity methods to address specific corporate vulnerabilities through an in depth and ongoing risk assessment process.
An interesting and exciting part of becoming a cyber assurance analyst is that professionals can enter the field with a variety of opportunities, allowing them to apply their professional interests to the field. Every industry uses cyber assurance analysts, but those with certification from regionally accredited programs, coupled with practical job skills, can experience the fastest career growth. Many enter the field by moving up through a series of jobs and then pursue certification as they grow into a new in-house opportunity. Others start with a certificate and join a company in an entry level position and proceed through rigorous on-site training to achieve additional knowledge related to corporate culture and data management. Impeccable communication skills, critical thinking, and organizational skills are highly regarded in this field, in addition to a strong knowledge base.
Once a cyber assurance analyst has reached a certain professional level, he or she may seek to move into management, training, or another supervisory position which may require additional education. Those interested in the most technical aspects of the field generally hold bachelor degrees in computer science or IT in addition to a certificate from a cyber assurance related program. Those interested in the legal aspects of this profession may hold a law degree or police-related training. Professionals interested in this field are also generally expected to pass a series of background checks commensurate with level of responsibility. For top government jobs, the background check can be quite exhaustive and may take several months to complete.
Competition is intense for the top cyber information assurance jobs, but professionals who devote the time and energy into securing appropriate work experience and credentials can see a great return on their investments for many years to come. When comparing programs, be sure the one you chose is highly ranked and regionally accredited. For instance, The National Information Assurance Certification and Accreditation Process (NIACAP), establishes the minimum national standards for certifying and accrediting national security systems affiliated with all governmental entities and any company that provides services to governmental agencies. Therefore, professionals engaging in an online program need to be sure the cyber assurance analyst program is fully accredited so that s/he covers all industry-wide standards currently necessary for success in this field and can work across all industries, including governmental agencies.
Cyber assurance analysts are in demand like never before across all industry sectors. For professionals interested in this field, a wide array of working environments and career opportunities exist. Because there are many applications for this knowledgebase, professionals can enter the field in a number of ways. In order to secure upward mobility in the profession, one should consider certification from a fully accredited program. As global competition intensifies, the need for highly skilled cyber assurance analysts should continue to grow not just in the U.S., but worldwide, making the field of cyber information assurance a truly global opportunity.