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Information System Security

Earnings Potential

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, median annual earnings of network and computer systems administrators were $58,190 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $46,260 and $73,620. The lowest 10 percent earned less than $37,100, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $91,300. For systems administrators, starting salaries in 2005 ranged from $47,250 to $70,500.

Facts at a glance

  • The computer systems design and related services industry is expected to experience rapid growth, adding 453,000 jobs between 2004 and 2014. 
  • Professional and related workers enjoy the best prospects, reflecting continuing demand for higher level skills needed to keep up with changes in technology. 
  • Computer specialists account for 53 percent of all employees in this industry.

Summary of what this career entails

Computer support specialists and systems administrators normally work in well-lighted, comfortable offices or computer laboratories. They usually work about 40 hours a week, but that may include being “on call” via pager or telephone for rotating evening or weekend work if the employer requires computer support over extended hours. Overtime may be necessary when unexpected technical problems arise

Examples and or details of work

In some organizations, computer security specialists may plan, coordinate, and implement the organization’s information security. These workers may be called upon to educate users about computer security, install security software, monitor the network for security breaches, respond to cyber attacks, and, in some cases, gather data and evidence to be used in prosecuting cyber crime. The responsibilities of computer security specialists has increased in recent years as there has been a large increase in the number of cyber attacks on data and networks. This and other growing specialty occupations reflect an increasing emphasis on client-server applications, the expansion of Internet and intranet applications, and the demand for more end-user support.

Degrees that lead to this career

Some of the degrees individuals can attain include:

  • B.A. in Computer Information Systems with Concentration in Information Assurance and Security
  • B.S. in Business Administration /Information 
  • B.S. in Information Systems Security
  • B.S. in Information Security
  • M.S. in Information Systems Technology/ Information Security

Specific Career openings in this field

Some of the positions available for individuals that want a career in information system security include computer support specialists, help- desk technicians, network administrators, systems administrators, and computer security specialists.


Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2006-07 Edition, Computer Support Specialists and Systems Administrators, on the Internet at