Monday, July 6, 2009

EDUCAUSE: The Career of the IT Security Officer in Higher Education

A paper titled "The Career of the IT Security Officer in Higher Education" by Marilu Goodyear, Gail Salaway, Mark R. Nelson, Rodney J. Petersen, and Shannon Portillo was released on July 1st. The paper details research and results of surveys and interviews with higher education security officers, reviews of job postings, and other data. Of note, over 300 individuals responded to the survey from a total of 1685 institutions, resulting in a large sample group.

Details include the reporting lines of the security officers, their previous employment and skillsets, as well as their education and certification levels. Over 90% of the security officers have at least a bachelor's degree, with over 40% having an advanced degree. CISSPs have the greatest showing, which makes sense for a management position, but GIAC and CISM and CISA certifications also make a strong showing.

Those interested in the field will also find the salary table on page 18 of the report noteworthy, with a median range of $70-90,000 across the full range of schools, and a maximum in the $170-190,000 range.

The paper is well worth a read even if you're not in higher education - the challenges described and the training that these security officers want are the same challenges and training that are needed across the board.

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