Information Assurance Analysts
Opportunities are available at any company or organization that needs to manage and protect information. Major employers of information assurance analysts include federal government agencies (including the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of Homeland Security, Social Security Administration, and the intelligence community); the finance, banking, insurance, and health care sectors; the defense industry; law enforcement agencies; and state and local governments. Some IAAs work for or own consulting firms that provide services to these organizations.
Some people break into the field by first working as computer security analysts, database specialists, network administrators, or in other information technology careers. Others start out as risk managers and develop expertise in a wide range of risk areas (including data management). Eventually, they may parlay their experience managing data risk into a position as an information assurance analyst.
If you’re still in college, participating in an internship, co-operative educational program, or summer program in information assurance is a good way to obtain experience and get noticed by hiring managers. Studies show that a large percentage of employers use internship and related programs as a type of “farm team” to identify future hires. Other recommended job-search strategies include:
- creating a LinkedIn profile and following information assurance–related groups and employers to learn more about the field
- working with recruiters (if you have several years of experience)
- networking at industry events and via social media
- contacting employers directly
- visiting job sites such as Dice.com
- using the resources of your college’s career services office
If you’re interested in working for the federal government, visit https://www.usajobs.gov for job listings.
After several years of experience, an information assurance analyst can advance to the position of senior analyst, and then, after a few more years on the job, to the position of information assurance manager. After a minimum of 10 years on the job, a manager could become a chief data officer, who is responsible for establish and overseeing data governance, data architecture and technology, and data analytics programs, among other duties. Some information assurance professionals launch their own consulting firms, while others become college professors.
Tips for Entry
Read the Journal of Information Assurance and Security (http://www.mirlabs.org/jias) to learn more about the field.
Participate in internships or part-time jobs that are arranged by your college’s career services office.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
Become a student member of the Association for Computing Machinery and its Special Interest Groups on Security, Audit, and Control; Management of Data; and Management Information Systems to access benefits such as a subscription to XRDS, its student magazine; a mentorship program; and continuing education opportunities.