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Systems Security Analyst

Systems security analysts are computer specialists. They assess administrative, physical, and technical security risks to data, software, and hardware. They strive to detect, prevent, or minimize the effects of security breaches and concerns.

Also Known As

Computer Security Specialist, Computer Specialist, Cybersecurity Analyst / Specialist, Information Technology Specialist, IT Security Analyst, Security Analyst, Systems Analyst

NOC Codes

In Canada, the federal government groups and organizes occupations based on a National Occupational Classification (NOC) system. This alis occupation may not reflect the entire NOC group it is part of. Data for the NOC group can apply across multiple occupations.

The NOC system is updated every 5 years to reflect changes in the labour market. Government forms and labour market data may group and refer to an occupation differently, depending on the system used.

Here is how this occupation has been classified over time.

2006 NOC

  • 2171.2: Systems Security Analysts

2006 NOC-S

  • C071: Information Systems Analysts and Consultants

2011 NOC

  • 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants

2016 NOC

  • 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants

2021 NOC

  • 21220: Cybersecurity specialists

2023 OaSIS

  • 21220.00: Cybersecurity specialists
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Systems security analysts research, plan, design, coordinate, implement, and support security measures for information systems. They:

  • Control access to data and work with privacy officers to protect confidential information (when and as required by law)
  • Help authorized users avoid action that might compromise data availability, integrity, or privacy
  • Prevent hackers from disabling computers or seeing, modifying, or destroying data on servers and media
  • Perform vulnerability testing, and security assessments of technology infrastructure
  • Design, implement, and maintain security infrastructure such as firewalls, antivirus software, intrusion detection systems, VPN devices, and authentication systems
  • Monitor alerts and events and respond according to defined security processes
  • Acquire threat intelligence to better understand and protect against threat actors

Duties vary depending on the employer and the sensitivity of the data. In general, systems security analysts:

  • Develop plans to safeguard computer files and meet emergency data-processing needs
  • Coordinate the rollout of computer systems plans with internal colleagues and outside vendors
  • Help in meeting legislated information and privacy protection needs
  • Test systems and procedures to make sure security measures work
  • Consult with computer specialists and company personnel about issues such as data access and changes to software
  • Monitor the use of data and regulate access to keep it safe
  • Write reports that document policies, procedures, emergency measures, and results of computer security tests
  • Conduct compliance audits to make sure security standards and policies are followed
  • Develop security awareness by providing orientation, educational programs, and ongoing communication
  • Recommend security enhancements to management or senior IT staff
  • Act as a security resource and representative for technical services in supporting digital security concerns for new and existing projects
  • Establish and update security procedures for responding to security alerts
  • Research and recommend security paths and procedures for other technical services departments
  • Maintain and update the corporate access management system
  • Perform security audits and administer security documents

Systems security analysts must keep up to date with new developments. To do this, they:

  • Use social media to learn about new developments in the field
  • Attend technical training such as courses and conferences
  • Read computer-related journals, magazines, and newsletters, and listen to pertinent podcasts
Working Conditions
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Strength Required Lift up to 5 kg

Most systems security analysts work standard office hours. They work in offices equipped with advanced information technology.

They may have to work overtime, such as in the event of a security breach. They may need to be on call in case of emergencies or digital security alerts within their company.

They may experience high-stress situations in response to security breaches.

Analysts who work for consulting companies may have to travel.

Interests & Abilities

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2006 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Systems Security Analysts

2006 NOC: 2171.2

Interest Codes

Interest Codes for This NOC Group

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


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


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

Your Interest Codes

To identify or change your interest codes, complete the Interests Exercise in CAREERinsite.

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 for this NOC group 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 About Interests


Typical ability expectations for this NOC group
Your abilities

To fill in or change the values for your abilities, complete the Abilities Exercise in CAREERinsite.

Mental Abilities

General Learning Ability

Verbal Ability

Numerical Ability

Visual Abilities

Spatial Perception

Form Perception

Clerical Perception

Physical Abilities

Motor Coordination

Finger Dexterity

Manual Dexterity

Understanding Abilities

A Quick Guide

You are born with abilities that help you process certain types of information and turn it into action. These abilities influence which skills you can learn more easily.

The abilities or aptitudes shown for this NOC group come from the General Aptitude Test Battery (GATB). The GATB measures 9 aptitudes. It groups them into 3 categories: mental, visual, and physical.

The abilities scores range from 1 to 5, with 5 being stronger.

Learn About Abilities

Traits & Skills
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Systems security analysts need:

  • Logical thinking
  • Honesty and integrity
  • Mental alertness while performing routine tasks
  • Organizational skills
  • Speaking, listening, and writing skills
  • Teamwork skills
  • Decisiveness, creativity, and flexibility to meet security challenges and solve problems quickly
  • Creative thinking
  • The ability to study complex problems
  • The ability to work under pressure and manage time well
  • The ability to work with little to no supervision

They should enjoy:

  • Studying information and solving problems
  • Taking a step-by-step approach to precision tasks
  • Consulting with others
  • Keeping up to date with changes in technology
  • Solving mysteries or puzzles

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Top 10 Skills Employers Are Looking For

Information systems analysts and consultants

2016 NOC: 2171

This chart shows which job skills are currently in highest demand for this occupational group. It was created using this occupation's 102 most recent Alberta job postings, collected between Jun 21, 2024 and Jul 20, 2024.

Review these skills to learn:

  • Whether or not this occupation matches your skill set
  • What training you may need to get these skills
  • What skills to highlight in your resumé, cover letter, and interview.
Tasks: Design, develop and implement information systems business solutions
Tasks: Provide advice on information systems strategy, policy, management and service delivery
Tasks: Confer with clients to identify and document requirements
Tasks: Conduct reviews to assess quality assurance practices, software products and information systems
Tasks: Assess physical and technical security risks to data, software and hardware
Tasks: Develop policies, procedures and contingency plans to minimize the effects of security breaches
Tasks: Develop and implement policies and procedures throughout the software development life cycle
Attention to detail
Experience: 1 year to less than 2 years
Construction Specialization: Client focus
Educational Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Minimum Education 2 years post-secondary

Most employers prefer to hire applicants who have a 4-year bachelor’s degree or a 2-year diploma in computer science or a related discipline. They also prefer applicants with several years’ experience and relevant certifications. A security background check normally is required.

Systems and security threats change often. Systems security analysts must upgrade their knowledge on an ongoing basis.

In Alberta, there are many degree, diploma, and certificate programs related to computer science. These are offered by numerous universities, colleges, technical institutes, and private vocational schools.

Related Education

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

ABM College
Alberta Educational Centre
Bow Valley College
Canadian Imperial College
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary North
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Calgary South
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton City Centre
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton North
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton South
CDI College of Business, Technology and Health Care - Edmonton West
Grant MacEwan University
QCom College of Technology (QCT)
University of Lethbridge

To expand or narrow your search for programs related to this occupation, visit Post-Secondary Programs.

Completing a program does not guarantee entrance into an occupation. Before enrolling in an education program, prospective students should look into various sources for education options and employment possibilities. For example, contact associations and employers in this field.

Certification Requirements
Updated Mar 31, 2022
  • Certification Provincially Regulated

Many systems security analysts become certified in a security designation. These can include:

  • Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP)
  • Certified Information Systems Manager (CISM)
  • Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC)
  • CompTIA Security
  • Designations offered through EC-Council

They may also become certified in many other security designations (vendor-specific and vendor-neutral). To learn more about education and certification see Other Sources of Information.

Certain professional titles or duties within this occupation are protected by provincial legislation. Requirements vary if you use these titles or perform these duties.

The related legislation is shown below. If there are multiple related legislations, select a certification heading to learn about each one.

Information Systems Professional

Information systems professionals investigate, analyze, design, develop, or manage information systems based on computer and related technologies. They do so objectively applying specialized knowledge and professional judgement.


Information Systems Professional is a protected title under Alberta’s Professional and Occupational Associations Registration Act [pdf]. 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.

For information on what you need and other details, visit the certification profile Information Systems Professional.

Employment & Advancement
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Systems security analysts work for organizations that have an online presence. They also work for consulting firms.

Many companies hire consulting firms to perform security functions. However, they still need in-house personnel to ensure consulting agreements work as intended. Most in-house positions have a strong internal compliance component. This is related to auditing and privacy compliance.

In general, advancement takes the form of more duties. The best and brightest systems security analysts may become “pen testers.” That is, they perform penetration tests (crack systems on purpose) to identify security flaws.

Industry Concentration

This section shows the industries where the majority of people in this occupation work. The data is based on the 2016 Census.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups.

In the 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants occupational group, 79.9% of people work in:

Employment Outlook

Employment outlook is influenced by a wide variety of factors including:

  • Time of year (for seasonal jobs)
  • Location in Alberta
  • Employment turnover (when people leave existing positions)
  • Occupational growth (when new positions are created)
  • Size of the occupation
  • Trends and events that affect overall employment, especially in the industry or industries from the previous list

In Alberta, the 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants occupational group is expected to have an above-average annual growth of 2.5% from 2021 to 2025. In addition to job openings created by employment turnover, 674 new positions are forecasted to be created within this occupational group each year.

NOC groups often include several related occupations. Although there is labour market data for the larger NOC group, this occupation makes up only a part of that group. It means data for this occupation may be different than the data shown. For example, only some of the new positions to be created will be for this occupation. It also applies to other data for the NOC group such as number of people employed.

Source: 2021-2025 Alberta Regional Occupational Demand Outlook

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

Related Alberta Job Postings
Wage & Salary
Updated Mar 31, 2022

Salaries for systems security analysts vary depending on their education, experience, and the duties they perform.

In Alberta, this occupation is part of 1 or more 2016 National Occupational Classification (NOC) groups. If there are multiple related NOC groups, select a NOC heading to learn about each one.

Information systems analysts and consultants

2016 NOC: 2171
Average Wage
Per Hour
Average Salary
Per Year
Average Hours
Per Week
Average Months on Payroll
Survey Methodology Survey Analysis

2021 Alberta Wage and Salary Survey

NOC 2171 Wage Profile

Unless otherwise noted, the data shown here is for all industries and all regions in Alberta.

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.

To see the full survey data for this NOC group, visit the wage profile.

Other wage sources
To make an informed wage and salary decision, research other wage sources [pdf] to supplement this data.

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.

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
  • Low
  • High
  • Average
  • Median

Hourly Wage

For full-time and part-time employees
Wages* Low (5th percentile) High (95th percentile) Average Median
Starting $21.90 $55.07 $35.33 $34.21
Overall $27.67 $63.22 $45.60 $45.67
Top $32.26 $81.63 $54.92 $53.87

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.

Pay brackets for hourly wages

  • Starting pay: average pay offered for entry-level positions
  • Overall pay: average pay across all employees in this occupation
  • Top pay: average pay offered to top-paid employees

Industry Information

Oil & Gas Extraction
Information, Culture, Recreation
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate, Leasing
Professional, Scientific & Technical Services
Educational Services
Health Care & Social Assistance
Public Administration

Skills Shortage

Employers that Recruited in the Last 2 Years
Recruiting Employers that Experienced Hiring Difficulties
Employers with Unfilled Vacancies of over 4 Months
Vacancy Rate
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 Mar 31, 2022

Canadian Information Processing Society (CIPS) of Alberta website:

EC-Council website:

Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC) website:

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

International Systems Security Association (ISSA) website:

System Administration, Networking and Security Institute website:

Technology Alberta website:

Get information and referrals about career, education, and employment options from Alberta Supports.

Updated Mar 31, 2022. 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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