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What Does It Take To Become a Computer Security Specialist

Every day new businesses and organizations that use systems to store important information are formed. This information is vulnerable to hacks and attacks from outside users. The attacks happen in all types of industries, such as financial, military, healthcare, retailers, education, and even in small businesses that keep secure information such as employee or client’s confidential information. So how can these attacks be prevented? This is where the computer security specialist comes in.

What Does a Computer Security Specialist Do?

A computer security specialist helps these businesses by performing security tests on data processing systems, adds software to security files, and keeps virus protection up to date. The specialist will implement computer applications or programs to combat unauthorized users from accessing the system. They also do a lot of investigation when it comes to violations, incidents, and potential security gaps. Furthermore, a computer security specialist needs to keep up with the latest information in technology and learn about the latest risks to keep their company safe.


An Associate’s degree may be obtained but it is not required. During this level of education, it centers on security procedures, information security, computer forensics, operating system security, encryption, and fundamentals of information security.

A Bachelor’s degree from a four year college or university is necessary to become a computer security specialist. While studying at this level, more advanced techniques are taught to build upon the foundation of previous education. In the upper degree program, subjects such as computer science, computer engineering, computer programming, and information science may be learned.

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A certification is another option when it comes to being a computer security specialist, although not all employers accept this. Yet, if it is combined with ample work experience, there may be a better chance of the certification being accepted. There are a few organizations that offer certified credentials. The goal is to show a person understands the different areas of expertise a computer security specialist is expected to know.

What to Expect in Your New Career

Once the Bachelor’s degree or certification is completed and a career is established, the computer security specialist will create and implement security applications that will ensure the network is safe and secure. Firewalls can be setup to prevent virus attacks and password protocols may be installed to control user access. Some jobs titles a computer security specialist may acquire include Information Technology Specialist, Information Security Analyst, Data Security Administrator, Computer Specialist, or Information Security Manager. Additional training can be done during the career you move into supervisory or management positions.

What are the Earnings?

The average earnings of a computer security specialist in 2014 were $88,890. Yet, salaries ranged anywhere from $39,437 to $102, 470, so there is wide opportunity for growth in this career.

A computer security specialist is on the frontlines against hackers and other attackers who try to gain access to confidential information in various industries. A Bachelor’s degree is normally required, however; some may be able to get away with a certificate and ample work experience.

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Ken Wilson is a Tech Guru and Security Specialist at ThePCDoctor – Australia’s Number 1 Computer Support company.
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