Every day, the cyber world is evolving. As new systems of information storage and travel develop, so too do the methods by which hackers and cyber-thieves gain entry. This constant struggle could almost certainly be described as a war of sorts. On the front lines of this melee are the data sentries – information assurance professionals. Information assurance workers are the government’s defense against electronic intrusion.
Five Careers That Make a Difference
In this field, highly trained specialists work for different government clients to electronically monitor and tend their information systems. IA professionals can be called on to maintain data security by utilizing a number of critical skills including: mathematics, cryptography, intelligence analysis, system engineering, risk assessment, and more. The following five intelligence assurance careers are among the hottest government jobs out there.
IA Security Analysts are tasked with the important job of specifically judging whether or not a data system is secure. Are all of the electronic “doors and windows” secure from those without the proper key to get in? Is the key safe from those who shouldn’t have it? How could break-ins be discouraged or prevented? These are all within the focus of the IA security analyst. Requirements often include a Bachelor’s in a relevant field, IT infrastructure experience, and Windows System Administration experience. Position holders can expect pay in the range of $45,000 to $115,000.
IA System Engineers handle the more technical side of software and hardware security. They handle the development and maintenance of security programming, software, and hardware. Strong computer skills, an advanced degree in software or engineering, and CISSP certification are required to gain entry in this $50,000 to $130,000 a year position.
IA Security Officers often guard highly sensitive information areas. The officer performs a great number of functions including testing vulnerabilities, monitoring activity, and tracking clearance transactions. This career is highly adaptable and in great demand in the private sector as well. Pay range is $45,000 to $105,000 annually. A minimum two-year degree in information assurance and security is perfect to get started in this position.
An IA Certification and Accreditation Analyst carries a high level of responsibility and importance. The IACA Analyst will often travel from one facility to another acting as a security manager for systems within their control network. All facets of information assurance are exercised by this upper-level position. Position requirements include a master’s degree in a related field, top-secret security clearance, and an IAT Level 2 certification. Compensation averages between $80,000 and $215,000 for this important career.
IA specialists work closely between government management and customers to achieve a secure and smooth experience for both. Aside from personal interaction, the specialist will run and review audit trails, maintain security contract procedures, and implement security controls as necessary. This position is also highly adaptable to many others in cyber-security. IA specialists can expect an annual salary between $40,000 and $95,000. Requirements often consist of DISA contract experience, Security+, and CISSP certifications.
Careers in government information assurance are in high demand as the planet goes cyber. You can make a real difference and get paid well to do it. These IA careers are among the top five most desirable today.
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Reed Davidson is a retired government contractor who provides employment advice about careers in government. You can read more of his advice about information assurance careers at Information Assurance Masters Degrees.