In an aggressive effort to neutralize the frequency of sophisticated cyber attacks against corporations and governmental entities, employment prospects for astute information security analysts are projected to grow by 37 percent in coming years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an army of cyberspace soldiers is needed to devise ingenious solutions to prevent hackers from stealing classified information and creating chaos on computer networks. These specialists earn an average annual salary of more than $86,000, which makes this occupation an ideal one to pursue.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Joseph Otto)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Joseph Otto)

“Because of the business hub located in downtown Los Angeles and the surrounding area, a collective discipline of information security, protection and integrity is crucial for all organizations,” said Dr. Joseph Otto, a professor and chair of the information systems department at California State University, Los Angeles (CSULA).

The veteran computer expert said his school is conscientious in its endeavor to equip the next generation of bold information security analysts.

“Our programs are designed to provide a solid foundation in all of areas of data, information and intelligence security,” said Otto, who earned his Doctor of Education degree from the University of Memphis.

What are CSULA’s courses now covering?

“Our programs address all threats and countermeasures to protect the confidentiality, integrity and availability of an organization’s informational assets, as well as the privacy aspect of personal information.”

What defines a keen information security analyst?

“The key attributes that are necessary include the ability to continually adapt to stay ahead of ever-changing security risks, remaining up-to-date on latest methods of attack on computer systems and being able to research new security technology to determine the best way to protect an organization.”

What key performance traits are essential?

“The qualities necessary include having the aptitude to demonstrate superior analytical skills, ingenuity and problem-solving competence. Successful information security analysts are also detail-oriented.”

How does one plan for a sustainable career in this vocation?

“The best way to prepare is to get the education and experience in a related occupation, and pursue a bachelor of science degree in computer science, information systems, information technology, programming or some other similar field.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist who covers topics of social interest in greater Los Angeles. Some news articles she has authored have been archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, DC. Sharon also contributes to Examiner.com.

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