By 2022, the government expects to see more than 27,000 additional information security analysts nationwide to have already landed lucrative employment. This projection represents a prominent 37 percent increase in the number of operative specialists that were tasked with protecting computer networks in 2012.

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Joseph Otto)

(Photo Courtesy of Dr. Joseph Otto)

In Los Angeles, entry-level workers earn an average annual salary of more than $60,000, with experienced professionals pulling in yearly wages in excess of $100,000, according to current data. Employers prefer to consider knowledgeable candidates that have received formal education in information systems.

Information security is a vocation that continues to evolve as a large-scale career field. In response, a growing number of institutions of higher learning are depending on top computer experts, like Dr. Joseph Otto, to help prepare tech-minded students for computer occupations, particularly cyber-security.

Otto’s introduction to computer technology started when the Information Age was just cutting its teeth.

“I was an accounting teacher at the time and completely enthralled by computers and their potential,” said Otto, a professor and chair of the Department of Information Systems in the College of Business and Economics at California State University, Los Angeles. “The dean of the business college at the time gave me the summer off, bought me a personal computer and asked me to learn and set up word processing and spreadsheet classes.”

Which career pathways helped you become a leader in information systems?

“I began teaching classes at a local community college and presenting at conferences. I also wrote articles dealing with computers that explored hardware and software in business.”

Which academic degree benefits you to this day?

“I earned a doctorate in computer education from the University of Memphis.”

What is your most-monumental accomplishment to date?

“My greatest memory is receiving the Presidential Award from the California Business Education Association. This prestigious recognition validated all of the hard work I had done, trying to become the best teacher that I could be.”

What is your message to aspiring information security analysts?

“I advise them to take classes in cyber-security and earn certificates dealing with the different areas of data and information security.”

Sharon Raiford Bush is an award-winning journalist. Some news articles she has authored are archived by the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

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