What Does It Take To Become a Computer Security Specialist?

The computer security specialist career is expected to grow at a fast rate through the year 2018. As more businesses are adding online features, more specialists are needed to protect their important information. If you are looking for a stable job with room to grow, this is a good option for you. The average earnings of a computer security specialist are between $75,275 and $106,326. So how do you get started on getting a job in this growing career? 


A bachelor’s degree in information systems or computer science is normally required to get hired into this field. Another option is to minor in one of these areas with another interest as your major. There are programs available online if you do not have time to attend traditional classes. Online classes offer the same type of education, but you can do them at your own pace and on your own time.


Extra certifications are available to computer security specialists to help advance your career, improve your knowledge, and spice up your resume. Some of these include CCNA (Cisco Certified Network Associate), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), and CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional).  

Skills Needed

Employers will look for certain skills when hiring a computer security specialist. Some of these include DLP (anti-virus and anti-malware), Windows, UNIX, Linux operating systems, programming languages, secure coding practices, threat modeling, and ethical hacking. These are not all of the skills, just some of the hard skills employers check for when viewing resumes. Read each job description carefully to find the right career for your skillset.

Employers will also look for someone who is analytical, strong communication skills, and your ability to solve complex problems.


An entry-level position for a computer security specialist requires zero to two years of experience, depending on the employer. Senior-level positions require more experience with five years or more being the average.

What to Expect

Now that you have your education, certifications, and skills under your belt, what can you expect from the career? While on the job, you will help build secure computer systems. Analyzing the current system and network is usually where they start and then build up from there. You will build systems to defend against unauthorized access, define access privileges, monitor security administration, train employees in security awareness, respond to incidents, and research new security upgrades.

Becoming a computer security specialist takes a bachelor’s degree, certifications, and skills. The training can be done at a traditional college, online, or a combination of the two. Skills can be learned through an internship, while in school, or on the job training through your employer. A foundation of working with computers will go a long way to help you in your chosen career field. If you are looking to work in a different area of computer security, get new certifications and you can transfer into a new area. This is a great career path for someone looking for job security.  



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