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Occupational Profile

Systems Security Analyst

Systems security analysts are computer specialists who assess administrative, physical and technical security risks to information, software and hardware; and develop policies, procedures and contingency plans to detect, prevent or minimize the effects of security breaches and concerns.

  • Avg. Salary $90,348.00
  • Avg. Wage $45.67
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary
  • Outlook Down
  • Employed 14,100
  • In Demand Lower
Also Known As

Computer Security Specialist, Computer Specialist, Information Technology Specialist, Systems Analyst, Security Analyst

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

52%
52%
Average Wage
Starting
Overall
Top
  • Certification Provincially Regulated
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
NOC & Interest Codes
The Systems Security Analyst is part of the following larger National Occupational Classification (NOC).
Systems Security Analysts
NOC code: 2171.2
METHODICAL

Interest in precision working to implement and administer system security infrastructure and security tools, and in maintaining security practices and procedures

INNOVATIVE

Interest in analyzing physical and technical security risks to data, software and hardware in order to develop policies and contingency plans that minimize the effects of security breaches

DIRECTIVE

Interest in consulting to advise on systems security issues and on enhancing security tools, techniques and business practices; in enforcing security practices and procedures, and in addressing security problems such as computer viruses and unauthorized information access, modification or deletion

Reading Interest Codes
A Quick Guide

The interest code helps you figure out if you’d like to work in a particular occupation. 
It’s based on the Canadian Work Preference Inventory (CWPI), which measures 5 occupational interests: Directive, Innovative, Methodical, Objective and Social.

Each set of 3 interest codes is listed in order of importance.

A code in capital letters means it’s a strong fit for the occupation.

A code in all lowercase letters means the fit is weaker.

Learn More

Duties
Updated Jun 20, 2017

Systems security analysts plan, co-ordinate and implement security measures for information systems by:

  • controlling access to information and working with privacy officers to ensure private information is protected when required by law 
  • ensuring that authorized users don't do things that might compromise information availability, integrity or confidentiality
  • preventing hackers (people who are not supposed to have access) from disabling computers or seeing, modifying or destroying the information that servers and media contain.

Duties vary from one job to another depending on the employer and the sensitivity of the information. However, in general, systems security analysts:

  • develop plans to safeguard computer files and meet emergency data processing needs
  • co-ordinate the implementation of computer systems plans with other people in the organization and outside vendors
  • assist in implementing legislated information protection requirements (for example, privacy requirements)
  • test systems and procedures to make sure security measures are working
  • modify security files to change user permissions, correct errors or install new software
  • consult with other computer specialists and organizational personnel about issues such as information access requirements and programming changes
  • monitor the use of information and regulate access to safeguard it
  • write reports to document computer security and emergency measures policies, procedures and test results
  • conduct compliance audits to ensure that security standards and policies are being followed.

To keep up to date with new developments, systems security analysts share information via e-mail, use web based resources that send out alerts about new threats (for example, computer viruses), attend technical training courses and conferences, and read computer related journals, magazines and newsletters.

Working Conditions
Updated Jun 20, 2017

Systems security analysts usually work standard office hours in offices that are equipped with sophisticated information technology. They may be required to work overtime when there has been a security breach.

Analysts who work for consulting companies may be required to travel.

  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg
Skills & Abilities
Updated Jun 20, 2017

Systems security analysts need the following characteristics:

  • the ability to think logically and analyze complex problems
  • the ability to remain alert while performing routine tasks
  • the decisiveness, creativity and flexibility required to meet security challenges and solve problems quickly 
  • a high degree of honesty and integrity
  • the ability to communicate and get along well with users, other computer specialists and managers throughout the organization
  • a keen interest in keeping up to date with new developments in technology.

They should enjoy analyzing information and solving problems, taking a methodical approach to tasks requiring precision and consulting with others.

Educational Requirements
Updated Jun 20, 2017

Systems security analysts need related post-secondary education and several years of related experience. Employers generally prefer to hire experienced applicants who have a four year bachelor's degree or two year diploma in computer science or a related discipline. A security background check normally is required.

Systems security analysts must continuously upgrade their knowledge because systems and security threats are constantly changing.

In Alberta, universities, colleges, technical institutes and private vocational schools offer a wide variety of degree, diploma and certificate programs related to computer science.


Related Education

The following schools offer programs or courses that are related to this occupation but are not required to enter the field.

Grande Prairie Regional College

Grant MacEwan University

Robertson College - Calgary NW

Robertson College - Edmonton

Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

University of Lethbridge

For a broad list of programs and courses that may be related to this occupation try searching using keywords.

Many systems security analysts also become certified in a security designation such as Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM) or Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC).For more information on education and certification see the websites in Other Sources of Information.

Certification Requirements
Updated Jun 20, 2017

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies through the objective application of specialized knowledge and professional judgement.

Legislation

Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta's Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act. This means that to call yourself an Information Systems Professional or use the I.S.P. designation, you must be a registered member of the Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta (CIPS Alberta). You do not have to be registered if you do not call yourself an Information Systems Professional.

Education

The Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) has defined the body of knowledge required for certification and recognizes the many different ways this standard may be achieved. Applicants must provide documented evidence for 1 of the following I.S.P. designation criteria routes: (1) Established Academic, (2) IT Industry Leader, (3) Established IT Professional, (4) Education Plus Experience, (5) Exam, (6) Professional Experience Only (applicants must have entered the field prior to 1976), or (7) Upgrade from Candidate Status. For official, detailed information, visit the CIPS website, CIPS Alberta website or contact CIPS Alberta.

Working in Alberta

Information systems professionals who are registered and in good standing with a regulatory organization elsewhere in Canada may be eligible for registration in Alberta if registered professionals in the 2 jurisdictions have similar responsibilities and competencies. For more information, see "What if I am already certified in another province or territory?" and the Alberta regulatory authority (below).

Contact Details

Canadian Information Processing Society of Alberta
PO Box 21085
Edmonton, Alberta
Canada T6R 2V4
Phone Number: 780-431-9311
Toll-free phone number: 1-844-431-9311
Fax number: 780-413-0076
E-mail: alberta@cips.ca
Website: ab.cips.ca

Employment & Advancement
Updated Jun 20, 2017

Below-average occupational growth is expected in Alberta for 2016 to 2020. Job openings are a result of employment turnover and newly created positions.

Systems security analysts are employed by organizations that have a web presence (for example, website, FTP site, e-mail service) and by consulting firms.

When companies hire consulting firms to perform security functions, they still need in-house personnel to ensure that consulting agreements are functioning as intended. In-house positions usually have a strong internal compliance component related to auditing and privacy compliance.

Advancement generally takes the form of more responsibility. The best and brightest systems security analysts may become sneakers or pen testers who identify security holes and flaws by deliberately cracking systems and performing penetration tests.

Systems security analysts are part of a larger 2011 National Occupational Classification 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants. In Alberta, 76% of people employed in this classification work in the following industries:

The employment outlook in this occupation will be influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • trends and events affecting overall employment (especially in the industries listed above)
  • location in Alberta
  • employment turnover (work opportunities generated by people leaving existing positions)
  • occupational growth (work opportunities resulting from the creation of new positions that never existed before)
  • size of the occupation.

Over 14,100 Albertans are employed in the Information systems analysts and consultants occupational group. This group is expected to have a below-average annual growth of 1.5% from 2016 to 2020. As a result, 212 new positions are forecast to be created each year, in addition to job openings created by employment turnover. Note: As systems security analysts form only a part of this larger occupational group, only some of these newly created positions will be for systems security analysts.

Employment turnover is expected to increase as members of the baby boom generation retire over the next few years.

Wage & Salary
Updated Jun 20, 2017

Salaries for systems security analysts vary depending on their education and experience, and the responsibilities of their positions.

Information systems analysts and consultants
NOC code: 2171

Survey Methodology

Survey Analysis

Overall Wage Details
Average Wage
Average Salary
Hours Per Week

Hourly Wage
For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median
Starting
Overall
Top
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $21.28 $53.33 $34.85 $34.65
Overall $29.11 $63.82 $45.67 $45.03
Top $35.56 $89.83 $57.25 $53.12

Swipe left and right to view all data. Scroll left and right to view all data.

* All wage estimates are hourly except where otherwise indicated. Wages and salaries do not include overtime hours, tips, benefits, profit shares, bonuses (unrelated to production) and other forms of compensation.

A: High Reliability
Data Reliability Code Definition

High Reliability, represents a CV of less than or equal to 6.00% and 30 survey observations and/or represents 50% or more of all estimated employment for the occupation.


Industry Information
Oil & Gas Extraction
Transportation and Warehousing
Public Administration
ALBERTA, ALL INDUSTRIES
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Educational Services
Wholesale Trade
Manufacturing
Health Care & Social Assistance
Business, Building and Other Support Services (aka Management, Administrative, and other Services)
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years

52%
52%

Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties

12%
12%

Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months

4%
4%

2015 Vacancy Rate

2%
Related High School Subjects
  • Science
  • Business, Administration, Finance and IT
    • Computing Science
    • Financial Management
    • Management and Marketing
    • Networking
Related Post-Secondary Field of Study
  • Business, Management and Administrative Studies
  • Computer and Information Technology
  • Engineering and Science Technologies
  • Engineering, Architecture and Related Studies
Other Sources of Information
Updated Jun 20, 2017

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) website: www.cips.ca

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) website: www.ictc-ctic.ca

International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc., (ISC)² website: www.isc2.org

International Systems Security Association (ISSA) website: www.issa.org

System Administration, Networking and Security Institute website: www.sans.org

Technology Alberta website: www.albertaict.ca

For more information on career planning, education and jobs, visit the Alberta Learning Information Service (ALIS) website, call the Alberta Career Information Hotline toll-free at 1-800-661-3753 or 780-422-4266 in Edmonton, or visit an Alberta Works Centre near you.

Updated Oct 01, 2009. The information contained in this profile is current as of the dates shown. Salary, employment outlook and educational program information may change without notice. It is advised that you confirm this information before making any career decisions.

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