Job security in an insecure world: Information security analysts


When it comes to jobs, people always want to know what’s in and what’s out.

While it may be obvious that the opportunities are slim for an encyclopedia salesperson or a pay phone maintenance worker, pinpointing the most in-demand jobs with highest growth potential is a bit more challenging. The University of California San Diego Extension recently released its “Emerging Careers for 2016,” research report that details the hottest jobs for college graduates with less than five years of work experience both here in San Diego and nationally. Over the next couple of months, this column will dig a little deeper into the top jobs in San Diego.

First up, is that of the job of an information security analyst – something that should hardly be a surprise to anyone who pays even the slightest attention to nearly constant news of cyber-attacks on companies both large and small.

In a world full of computer hackers, information security analysts are tasked with protecting an organization’s computer network from breaches. These analysts work for almost every large agency that has a secure computer network—and many small agencies too. They help protect every imaginable type of confidential information, from emails to medical records to bank account numbers.

These jobs, which can also have such titles as a data security administrator, information security officer or information technology specialist, are predicted to grow nationally by nearly 18 percent by 2024 and have a median a salary of $86,170. Critical thinking, complex problem solving and active listening are key traits of a successful information security analyst.

Stephan Chenette, cofounder and CEO at AttackIQ Inc., a local cybersecurity firm, said there is a huge demand for cybersecurity talent, especially in niche areas.

“A massive area of growth is for infinite-response analysts. Companies are being attacked so often they need people who understand the different types of attacks and all the products that are available,” Chenette said. “You see companies that are buying 75 different cybersecurity products, and these infinite-response analysts understand how to seamlessly integrate or stitch all that technology into a company’s operations. If there were a candidate with those skills, he or she would be hired within a day.”

The top emerging careers locally mirrored the national list but highlighted the San Diego region’s growing strength in cyber security, digital marketing and health care IT. On a national level, information security analyst ranked ninth on the list of the emerging careers.

For a free copy of the report, visit

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