Keeping information safe offers a secure career

From shopping to working to banking, Americans are doing it all online. Consumers need their private information to be safe, but at the same time, they want the speed and convenience of instant transactions, all without giving it a second thought.

Online safekeeping doesn’t just happen. Information security specialists are in the shadows, ensuring consumer and business data security worldwide, and providing the skills needed to track down information in criminal investigations.

Because nearly everyone is at risk from a cyber security threat, professionals in information systems security are bucking unemployment trends. Students interested in information security careers can study at DeVry University, which offers a specialized track providing the skills to help design security system procedures, standards, protocols and policies.

“I have been in the IT industry for about eight years, working on information security-related projects for most of my career,” says Najmus Qazi, a DeVry University alumnus from Chicago working in the telecommunications industry. “Most recently, companies have been paying more attention to their information security due to the simple fact that there are a lot of bad guys with ingenious ways of stealing data. The constant change and evolution of my role has made it incredibly exciting.”

With new methods of “capturing” volumes of personal information online, it is no wonder that the security of personal and corporate information has become a hot button issue … and a true career opportunity. There is a real and practical need for specialists who develop and deploy systems to make sure proprietary or private information is protected.

“Despite the recession, IT specialists holding certifications in information security have actually been in demand,” says John Giancola, dean of Devry University’s College of Engineering and Information Sciences. “Because we have become so mobile and unwired, our personal data is accessible in so many ways – from cell phones to laptop computers – so we need to make sure our personal information is not compromised. Information security behind the scenes keeps us safe.”

The field of information security is the first line of defense in preventing unauthorized access, use, disclosure and destruction of data for both businesses and individuals. But for individuals, the extra prevention helps protect them against identity theft.

The importance of this field came into sharp focus earlier in 2009 when President Obama created a cyber security cabinet-level position. This “Cyber Czar” will be responsible for integrating and coordinating all government protections of cyberspace and will lead the U.S response to any hacker attack on U.S. networks.

Five careers under the information security umbrella are helping keep the virtual world safe from would-be hackers and viruses:

* Network systems and data communications analysts are projected to be the fastest growing occupation, with projections of more than 50 percent growth through 2016. They analyze, test and evaluate network systems.

* Information systems security specialists help organizations prepare for, react to and recover from security threats. These experts develop and implement security procedures, protocol and policies.

* Disaster recovery agents work to ensure a company’s data systems and networks are recoverable. They often perform and analyze disaster simulations to ensure prompt restoration of services.

* IT managers play an important role in implementing technology in their organizations. They oversee network security and direct Internet operations.

* Computer forensics specialists perform the vital task of investigating suspected fraud and criminal cases. They recover deleted, encrypted or damaged digital files and often provide expert testimony in criminal court cases.

“After spending years as an automotive service advisor, I went back to school to find a new career that offered solid potential for the future,” says Marc Brown, a computer information systems student with a specialization in computer forensics at the North Brunswick, N.J. campus of DeVry University. “Studying computer forensics has exceeded all my expectations. Every day, I look forward to all my classes and instructors. It’s fun when friends recognize the value of what I do from the nightly news or crimes shows.”

DeVry University offers associate, bachelor and graduate degree programs in the information security field at campuses across the nation as well as through online classes. By enrolling in an accelerated program and attending classes year round, undergraduate students are able to earn a bachelor’s degree in as few as three years. Learn more at

By ARAcontent


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