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Library Building, Room 429 & 430
222-05 56th Avenue
Bayside, NY 11364
Phone: (718) 631-6297

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Occupation Info


Computer Security Specialist

Overview: Computer security specialists plan and implement safeguard measures to protect computer information systems. Their goal is to control access to information and prevent unauthorized tampering or disclosure of information. This field is rapidly expanding with emerging needs related to increased use of the Internet by businesses and new concerns regarding information terrorism.
Duties: Computer security specialists plan, coordinate and implement security measures for information systems. To do this they work with company or government personnel to understand the current security system and the security needs that need to be addressed. They test data processing systems to ensure proper functioning and security and modify computer security files to incorporate new software to correct errors or change access status to information. They develop plans to safeguard computer files from accidental or unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information. They also develop plans to meet emergency data processing needs.

Computer security specialists install protective software or make changes to existing software. They may coordinate implementation of the computer system security plan with personnel and outside vendors. They provide consultation and expert advice to establishment personnel to discuss implementation of security measures for computer systems and may be involved in employee security awareness and training programs. They may build firewalls to keep unauthorized people from accessing information. They write rules and procedures for employees to follow. Written reports are made to document the findings of tests and the changes they implement. Computer security specialists monitor data logs that report all the activity on the system and look for any unusual activity.

Computer security specialists may focus on such security issues as fraud, eavesdropping, hacking, viruses, cryptography, intrusion detection, wireless and biometrics security and Internet protocol security.

Degree(s): A.A.S. Computer Information Systems: Computer Programming Track 
A.S. Mathematics and Science 
A.A.S. Computer Information Systems: Microcomputer Applications Software Track 
Job Outlook: Employment of computer security specialists is expected to grow much faster than average through 2018. Increasing concern for the growing number of cyber attacks and security breaches will drive demand.
Salary Range (National Average): $49,000 to $56,000
Education Level: Typically, a Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college (some are 5 years) is required to be considered for this occupation.
Additional Training/Education: Employers prefer to hire computer security specialists with a bachelor's or a master's degree in computer science plus several years of related experience. Some employers prefer specialists who are certified. Experience working with specific types of computers or computer languages is also very important. Employers often hire the candidate who knows the technology the company is using. Employers look for specialists who can work both independently and on a team. New technology and security stategies are constantly evolving requiring computer security specialists to keep their skills and knowledge up to date by reading, attending seminars and training programs. Voluntary certification can be obtained from hardware and software manufacturers who offer certification on their products.
Recommended Skills:
  • Writing computer programs to perform specific information handling operations.
  • Weighing out the options in a situation or a problem and logically choosing the best course of action.
  • Paying attention to what other people are saying, and taking time to understand the points being made.
  • Allocating and budgeting your time for different tasks so that things get done when needed.
  • Ability to identify a problem, review related information, develop and evaluate options, and implement a solution.
  • Inspecting and testing products or services to assure they meet the desired specifications.
  • The ability to understand complex written paragraphs, instructions, or reports.
  • Using logic to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Composing and communicating your ideas in written form.
Recommended Values:
  • Having a routine job where the duties are very predictable and not likely to change over a long period of time.
 

* National data collected by the Department of Labor between 2008-2012.
* For New York salary data information please click here
* For New York green job information please click here.

Understanding acquiring positions in this field may be enhanced through continuing academic study (i.e. earning a baccalaureate or a master's degree) and/or work experience in the field, Queensborough Community College has established transfer agreements with other institutions for students who wish to further pursue their educational goals. Students are highly encouraged to meet with one of our Career Services to fully understand the opportunities available through study in their degree program.