How to Become an Information Security Analyst,
Web Developer, or Computer Network Architect
Most information security analysts, web developers, and computer network architects have a bachelor’s degree in a computer-related field. Information security analysts and computer network architects usually need experience in a related occupation, and additional knowledge of web programming languages can help web developers. (Source: US Dept. of Labor, including below.)
Information security analysts usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field. As information security continues to develop as a career field, many schools are responding with information security programs to prepare students for the job. These programs may become a common path for entry into the occupation.
Employers of information security analysts sometimes prefer applicants who have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems. Programs offering the MBA in information systems generally require 2 years of study beyond the undergraduate level and include both business and computer-related courses.
Computer network architects usually need at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information systems, engineering, or a related field. Employers of network architects sometimes prefer applicants to have a Master of Business Administration (MBA) in information systems. These programs generally require 2 years of study beyond the undergraduate level and include both business and computer-related courses.
Educational requirements for web developers vary with the setting they work in and the type of work they do. Requirements range from a high school diploma to a bachelor’s degree. An associate’s degree may be sufficient for webmasters who do not do a lot of programming.
However, for web architect or other, more technical, developer positions, some employers prefer workers who have at least a bachelor’s degree in computer science, programming, or a related field.
Some employers prefer web developers who have both a computer degree and have taken classes in graphic design, especially when hiring developers who will be heavily involved in the website’s visual appearance.
Information security analysts generally need to have previous experience in a related occupation. Many employers look for people who have already worked in fields related to the one in which they are hiring. For example, if the job opening is in database security, they may look for a database administrator. If they are hiring in systems security, a computer systems analyst may be an ideal candidate.
Network architects generally need to have previous experience in a related occupation. They usually have at least 5 to 10 years of experience working in network administration or with other information technology (IT) systems.
Analytical skills. Information security analysts must carefully examine computer systems and networks to determine if they have been compromised. Computer network architects have to examine data networks and decide how to best connect the networks based on the needs and resources of the organization.
Concentration. Web developers must sit at a computer and write detailed code for long periods.
Creativity. Web developers are often involved in designing the appearance of a website and must make sure that it looks innovative and up to date.
Customer-service skills. Webmasters have to respond politely and correctly to user questions and requests.
Detail oriented. Because cyberattacks can be difficult to detect, information security analysts pay careful attention to their computer systems and watch for minor changes in performance. Computer network architects create comprehensive plans of the networks they are creating with precise information describing how the network parts will work together. When web developers write in HTML, a minor error could cause an entire webpage to stop working.
Ingenuity. Information security analysts try to outthink cybercriminals and invent new ways to protect their organization’s computer systems and networks.
Leadership skills. Many computer network architects direct teams of engineers who build the networks they have designed.
Organization skills. Computer network architects who work for large firms must coordinate many different types of communication networks and make sure they work well together.
Problem-solving skills. Information security analysts uncover and fix flaws in computer systems and networks.
Teamwork. Workers in all three of these occupations must be able to work with different types of employees to accomplish their goals.