How to Become an Information Security Analyst – In 4 Steps

Organizations must protect networks, systems, and data from potential security breaches.

Information Security Analyst

Information security analysts work to implement measures that provide companies with the security they need.

If you’re looking for a fast-paced, challenging job that will put your creative problem-solving skills to the test, a career as an information security analyst may be the perfect fit for you.

Job Description: What Does an Information Security Analyst Do?

Information security analysts keep organizations safe from cyber threats.

Not only do information security analysts protect networks from ongoing attacks, but they also work to identify and address potential breaches before an attack can occur.

An information security analyst works to monitor and fortify an organization’s networks and systems, developing strategies that will shield sensitive data and reduce the level of risk the organization faces.

When security incidents do occur, information security analysts carry out detailed investigations so that they can figure out what happened and find the best ways to prevent future incidents.

Cyber warfare is constantly evolving, and security analysts must be prepared to adapt to new technologies and threats as they arise.


  • Evaluate existing security protocols to identify potential vulnerabilities or risks
  • Develop and implement security measures to safeguard networks and systems
  • Monitor network traffic for suspicious activity
  • Conduct security assessments and audits to ensure compliance with industry standards and regulations
  • Investigate and address security incidents
  • Keep up with the latest technology, trends, and cyber threats

Information Security Analyst Salary: How Much Can You Earn?

The median annual salary for an Information Security Analyst in the United States currently stands at $112,000 per year, with a typical starting salary range spanning from $82,736 to $101,261.

Numerous factors can influence earning potential, such as educational background, professional certifications, and years of experience within the field.

Hourly wages tend to range from $40 to $49 per hour.

Information security roles are highly complex and require a wide range of skills, including proficiency in network security protocol and the ability to respond to incidents swiftly.

Professionals with strong skills and extensive experience can command salaries upwards of $174,540.

Salary Information by State

State Employed Avg. Annual Salary Avg. Hourly Pay Top 10% Annual Salary Bottom 10% Annual Salary
District of Columbia1,750$132,200$63.56$177,240$84,300
New Hampshire680$135,320$65.06$189,750$82,220
New Jersey5,900$129,330$62.18$173,310$82,900
New Mexico1,820$119,010$57.21$165,170$70,220
New York7,260$138,730$66.70$215,550$76,450
North Carolina6,040$122,580$58.94$175,320$76,100
North Dakota250$90,130$43.33$130,850$50,220
Rhode Island510$110,880$53.31$164,470$71,840
South Carolina1,350$102,270$49.17$139,750$56,620
South Dakota710$97,800$47.02$129,790$70,400
West Virginia210$92,350$44.40$141,760$37,370
Puerto Rico410$57,650$27.72$82,880$30,200

Annual Average Salary: Top 10 States

The top earning state in the field is New York, where the average salary is $138,730.

These are the top 10 earning states in the field:

  • New York - $138,730
  • California - $137,600
  • Maryland - $135,920
  • New Hampshire - $135,320
  • Washington - $132,820
  • Iowa - $132,590
  • District of Columbia - $132,200
  • Virginia - $131,340
  • Delaware - $130,360
  • New Jersey - $129,330
* Salary information based on the May 2022 Occupational Employment Statistics (OES) Survey for Information Security Analysts, OCC Code 15-1212, BLS.
* Employment conditions in your area may vary.

How to Become an Information Security Analyst: A Step-by-Step Guide

Step 1: Obtain a Relevant Degree

Starting a career as an information security analyst typically requires at least a high school diploma and specialized training, although a bachelor’s degree is the norm for many roles.

Pursuing majors like information technology or computer science will give you a solid foundation for your future role.

While a bachelor’s suffices for entry-level positions, a master’s may be essential for advancement or specialized domains.

Advanced roles often demand deeper knowledge and skills, making higher education a strong asset.

In addition to obtaining a degree, you may want to consider obtaining certifications related to the field, such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), or CompTIA Cybersecurity Analyst.

These certifications are an excellent way to demonstrate your knowledge and develop critical skills.

Step 2: Gain Practical Experience

While pursuing your degree, actively seek out opportunities such as internships or part-time positions in cybersecurity or information technology to gain practical experience.

Hands-on exposure is vital in the field of information security, as it allows individuals to apply theoretical knowledge to real-world scenarios.

Engaging in such opportunities not only enhances your skill set but also strengthens your resume, demonstrating your commitment and competence to potential employers.

Practical experience provides invaluable insights and gives you the chance to improve your problem-solving abilities, preparing you more effectively for the challenges of a career in information security.

Step 3: Start Your Career

Once you’ve obtained the necessary qualifications, you can begin applying for entry-level positions as an information security analyst.

You can boost your chances of success by tailoring both your resume and your cover letter so that it highlights the experience you already have in the field.

Take the time to prepare for interviews so that you stand out from other candidates.

Even after you’re hired, you should continue to hone your skills and keep up with trends and technology related to your field.

Information security evolves rapidly, and you’ll need to stay updated on the latest developments if you want to thrive in your chosen career.

Seek out opportunities for professional development, such as advanced certifications and training programs, and be willing to adapt as new technologies are introduced.

Step 4: Develop a Professional Network

Computer networks shouldn’t be the only networks you deal with as an information security analyst.

If you want to advance in your career, professional networking is essential.

Make a point of attending industry events and seminars so that you can build relationships with other professionals.

You may also want to join online communities, like LinkedIn groups, where you can chat with other information security professionals and learn from your peers.


It’s possible to become an information security analyst without a formal degree, but opportunities are limited, even for entry-level positions.

The majority of positions require a bachelor’s degree in a field related to computers or technology.

Undergraduate programs in computer science, information technology, and cybersecurity can all provide students with the foundation they need to work in this challenging and complex field.

Licensing & Certification

Although a degree will be enough to get your foot in the door, you’ll increase your chances for professional advancement if you complement your credentials by obtaining relevant certifications.

Certifications that showcase your skills and demonstrate knowledge essential to the field can greatly improve your marketability.

There is a wide range of certifications that information security professionals can pursue.

Options worth considering include the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) certification, which demonstrates advanced cybersecurity skills, and the Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC), which provides information security fundamentals.

The International Information System Security Certification Consortium  (ISC)² and Certified Ethical Hacker certifications are other options you may want to pursue.

To succeed in information security, you’ll need to continually learn more about your industry and strive to strengthen your existing skills.

Job Outlook

Organizations are more dependent than ever on computer networks and cloud infrastructure, and because of that, the demand for qualified information security analysts has steadily increased in recent years.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in this field will grow by an estimated 32% between 2022 and 2032, significantly higher than the average rate across all occupations.

Across the next decade, it’s expected that there will be around 16,800 job openings for information security analysts each year.

There’s a strong need for candidates capable of filling entry-level positions, but there is also a high level of demand for more experienced candidates who can replace workers who are retiring or leaving their positions to pursue work in other fields.

Should You Become an Information Security Analyst?

Overall Satisfaction: High

Information security isn’t without its challenges, but people who choose to work in this field have a high level of satisfaction overall.

Many people are drawn to information security because of the challenging nature of the work and appreciate having the opportunity to use their brains while on the job.

In addition to providing mental stimulation, an information security career offers a high level of upward mobility, particularly for candidates who pursue certifications and other qualifications.

There are numerous opportunities for advancement, and the high demand for information security professionals means that many workers see their salaries increase over time.

Average Salary: High

The median salary for information security analysts is $112,000 per year, far above the average U.S. salary of $59,428.

The median hourly rate is $53.85 per hour, which is also high above the national average of $33.15.

Entry-level workers also have high earning potential, with an average starting salary of $96,652.

The high demand for information security professionals means that salary rates are likely to increase over time.

Since there are numerous opportunities for advancement, people who choose this career also have many chances to boost their earning potential.

Job Growth Outlook: High

Over the next decade, employment for information security analysts is predicted to increase by approximately 32%.

In comparison, the average growth rate for all jobs is projected to be between 5 and 8%, which puts this career field far above average.

Cybersecurity is a concern across all job sectors, and a growing number of organizations are adopting cloud services and similar technologies.

This means the need for information security analysts is likely to increase even more in the years to come.

Education Duration: 4 years

Most information security positions require applicants to have a four-year undergraduate degree.

A graduate degree may be required for more advanced positions.

Although it’s possible to start a career as an information security analyst with a bachelor’s degree, continuing education is highly recommended.

Certification programs are excellent ways for professionals to bolster their skills and learn more about new technologies.

Many of these programs can be completed quickly, and it’s common for analysts to obtain certifications while working in their field.

Personal Skills Needed

Protecting networks from cyberattacks isn’t easy.

Information security analysts must develop effective security measures and adapt those measures when necessary.

That means they must keep up with new technology and learn more about the methods that hackers are using to gain access to networks.

To succeed in this field, you’ll need both analytic, technical, and interpersonal skills, including:

  • Knowledge of network infrastructure
  • Communication skills
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Risk assessment
  • Computer forensics
  • Attention to detail
  • The ability to work under pressure
  • Strong understanding of cloud security
  • Cryptography and coding skills
  • Adaptability

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do you have to go to school to become an information security analyst?

You typically need to go to school for four years to become an information security analyst.

The majority of positions require a bachelor’s degree in computer and information technology or a similar field, which will take approximately four years to complete.

Some advanced positions may require a master’s degree, which will require an additional two years of schooling.

Continuing education and additional certifications, such as the CompTIA Advanced Security Practitioner (CASP+) are recommended.

How much money does an information security analyst make a year?

Information security analysts earn a median salary of $112,000 per year or $53.85 per hour.

Starting salaries typically range from $82,736 to $101,261, and wages typically increase as workers develop experience and advanced skills.

The top 10% of highest-paid workers in the field earn annual wages exceeding $174,540.

This salary is significantly above the median salary for all occupations and the median salary for computer occupations.

What skills do you need to have to be an information security analyst?

Information security is complex and ever-changing, so analysts need to be able to adapt to changes in the field.

Some of the skills an information security analyst needs include analytical skills, the ability to assess risks, and knowledge of network security, infrastructure, and cybersecurity.

Analysts also need strong communication skills so that they can inform others of security practices and educate them on potential threats.

Are information security analysts in high demand?

Demand for information security analysts is extremely high.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in this field will increase by 32% from 2022 to 2032, which is much higher than the average increase across all occupations.

It’s projected that there will be around 16,800 openings in information security per year.

Opportunities in the field may also increase as organizations adopt new technologies, like digital health services and cloud infrastructure.

What kind of education do you need to be an information security analyst?

Most information security analyst positions require a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.

Degrees that will prepare you for a career in this field include computer science, information technology, or cybersecurity.

It’s possible to become an information security analyst with a high school diploma if you have industry experience, but opportunities are limited.

Professional certifications in cybersecurity aren’t a requirement, but they can boost your chances of professional success.

Chelsea Wilson

About Chelsea Wilson

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s distance learning LLM degree program, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Master of Laws degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world.

Leave a Reply

Search Programs