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Career and Education Opportunities for Computer Security Specialists in Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas provides a wide variety of opportunities, both career and educational, for computer security specialists. The national trend for computer security specialists sees this job pool growing by about 23.2% over the next eight years. In general, computer security specialists plan, coordinate, and implement security measures for information systems to regulate access to computer data files and prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information.

Income for computer security specialists is about $30 hourly or $63,660 annually on average in Texas. Nationally, their income is about $31 hourly or $66,310 yearly. Computer security specialists earn less than people working in the category of Computer generally in Texas and less than people in the Computer category nationally. Computer security specialists work in a variety of jobs, including: information security director, information systems security analyst, and data recovery planner.

The Houston area is home to eighty-one schools of higher education, including nineteen within twenty-five miles of Houston where you can get a degree as a computer security specialist. Computer security specialists usually hold a Bachelor's degree, so you can expect to spend about four years training to become a computer security specialist if you already have a high school diploma.

CAREER DESCRIPTION: Computer Security Specialist

In general, computer security specialists plan, coordinate, and implement security measures for information systems to regulate access to computer data files and prevent unauthorized modification, destruction, or disclosure of information.

Computer security specialists talk with users to consider issues such as computer data access needs and programming changes. They also document computer security and emergency measures policies and tests. Equally important, computer security specialists have to train users and promote security awareness to insure system security and to further optimize server and network efficiency. They are often called upon to direct implementation of computer system plans with establishment personnel and outside vendors. They are expected to monitor use of data files and regulate access to protect data in computer files. Finally, computer security specialists monitor current reports of computer viruses to establish when to update virus protection systems.

Every day, computer security specialists are expected to be able to listen to and understand others in meetings. They need to read and understand documents and reports. It is also important that they articulate ideas and problems.

It is important for computer security specialists to encrypt data transmissions and erect firewalls to conceal confidential data as it is being transmitted and to keep out tainted digital transfers. They are often called upon to inspect violations of computer security procedures and consider procedures with violators to insure violations are not repeated. Somewhat less frequently, computer security specialists are also expected to monitor current reports of computer viruses to establish when to update virus protection systems.

Computer security specialists sometimes are asked to modify computer security files to incorporate new software or change individual access status. and perform risk assessments and execute tests of data processing systems to insure functioning of data processing efforts and security measures. And finally, they sometimes have to inspect violations of computer security procedures and consider procedures with violators to insure violations are not repeated.

Like many other jobs, computer security specialists must have exceptional integrity and be able to absorb the factors involved and a problem and provide a well thought out solution.

Similar jobs with educational opportunities in Houston include:

  • Applications Programmer. Develop, create, and modify general computer applications software or specialized utility programs. Analyze user needs and develop software solutions. Design software or customize software for client use with the aim of optimizing operational efficiency. May analyze and design databases within an application area, working individually or coordinating database development as part of a team.
  • Computer Programmer. Convert project specifications and statements of problems and procedures to detailed logical flow charts for coding into computer language. Develop and write computer programs to store, locate, and retrieve specific documents, data, and information. May program web sites.
  • Computer Scientist. Conduct research into fundamental computer and information science as theorists, designers, or inventors. Solve or develop solutions to problems in the field of computer hardware and software.
  • Computer Support Specialist. Provide technical assistance to computer system users. Answer questions or resolve computer problems for clients in person, via telephone or from remote location. May provide assistance concerning the use of computer hardware and software, including printing, and operating systems.
  • Computer Systems Analyst. Analyze science, engineering, and all other data processing problems for application to electronic data processing systems. Analyze user requirements, procedures, and problems to automate or improve existing systems and review computer system capabilities, workflow, and scheduling limitations. May analyze or recommend commercially available software. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Computer Systems Engineer. Research, design, and test operating systems-level software, compilers, and network distribution software for medical, industrial, and general computing applications. Set operational specifications and formulate and analyze software requirements. Apply principles and techniques of computer science, engineering, and mathematical analysis.
  • Data Base Design Analyst. Coordinate changes to computer databases, test and implement the database applying knowledge of database management systems. May plan, coordinate, and implement security measures to safeguard computer databases.
  • Network Operations Analyst. Determine user requirements and design specifications for computer networks. Plan and implement network upgrades.
  • Network Systems and Data Communications Analyst. Analyze, design, and evaluate network systems, such as local area networks (LAN), wide area networks (WAN), Internet, intranet, and other data communications systems. Perform network modeling, analysis, and planning. Research and recommend network and data communications hardware and software. Includes telecommunications specialists who deal with the interfacing of computer and communications equipment. May supervise computer programmers.
  • Network and Computer Systems Administrator. Install, configure, and support an organization's local area network (LAN), wide area network (WAN), and Internet system or a segment of a network system. Maintain network hardware and software. Monitor network to ensure network availability to all system users and perform necessary maintenance to support network availability. May supervise other network support and client server specialists and plan, coordinate, and implement network security measures.
  • Software Engineer. Design and develop solutions to complex applications problems, system administration issues, or network concerns. Perform systems management and integration functions.

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES: Computer Security Specialist Training

Interactive Learning Systems - Houston, TX

Interactive Learning Systems, 6200 Hillcroft Ave Ste 200, Houston, TX 77081-3007. Interactive Learning Systems is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 16 students. Interactive Learning Systems has a less than one year program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated six students in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Houston West - Houston, TX

ITT Technical Institute-Houston West, 2950 S Gessner, Houston, TX 77063-3751. ITT Technical Institute-Houston West is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 564 students and an admission rate of 40%. ITT Technical Institute-Houston West has an associate's degree program in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunicationsááá(NEW which graduated thirty-eight students in 2008.

San Jacinto Community College - Pasadena, TX

San Jacinto Community College, 8060 Spencer Hwy, Pasadena, TX 77501-2007. San Jacinto Community College is a large college located in Pasadena, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 24,677 students. San Jacinto Community College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Security Specialist. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, less than one year which graduated 18 students in 2008.
  • System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated seven, five, and thirteen students respectively in 2008.

University of Houston-Clear Lake - Houston, TX

University of Houston-Clear Lake, 2700 Bay Area Blvd, Houston, TX 77058-1098. University of Houston-Clear Lake is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 7,638 students. University of Houston-Clear Lake has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated eighteen and twenty-three students respectively in 2008.

Texas Southern University - Houston, TX

Texas Southern University, 3100 Cleburne St, Houston, TX 77004. Texas Southern University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 8,062 students and an admission rate of 99%. Texas Southern University has a bachelor's degree and a master's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated six and five students respectively in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Houston North - Houston, TX

ITT Technical Institute-Houston North, 15621 North Freeway, Houston, TX 77090. ITT Technical Institute-Houston North is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 717 students and an admission rate of 45%. ITT Technical Institute-Houston North has an associate's degree program in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunicationsááá(NEW which graduated forty-six students in 2008.

University of Houston - Houston, TX

University of Houston, 212 E. Cullen Building, Houston, TX 77204-2018. University of Houston is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 36,080 students and an admission rate of 79%. University of Houston has 4 areas of study related to Computer Security Specialist. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree which graduated nineteen, forty-five, and thirteen students respectively in 2008.
  • Information Science/Studies, bachelor's degree which graduated 10 students in 2008.
  • Computer Systems Analysis/Analyst, bachelor's degree which graduated 1 student in 2008.
  • Computer and Information Systems Security, master's degree which graduated 14 students in 2008.

Remington College-Houston Southeast - Webster, TX

Remington College-Houston Southeast, 20985 Interstate 45 South, Webster, TX 77598. Remington College-Houston Southeast is a small college located in Webster, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 168 students and an admission rate of 52%. Remington College-Houston Southeast has an associate's degree program in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunicationsááá(NEW.

American Intercontinental University - Houston, TX

American Intercontinental University, 9999 Richmond Avenue, Houston, TX 77042. American Intercontinental University is a small university located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 535 students and an admission rate of 29%. American Intercontinental University has a bachelor's degree program in Information Science/Studies which graduated seven students in 2008.

Lone Star College System - The Woodlands, TX

Lone Star College System, 5000 Research Forest Drive, The Woodlands, TX 77381-4399. Lone Star College System is a large college located in The Woodlands, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 41,331 students. Lone Star College System has less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree programs in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated forty-one, fourteen, and forty-one students respectively in 2008.

ITT Technical Institute-Webster - Webster, TX

ITT Technical Institute-Webster, 1001 Magnolia Ave, Webster, TX 77598. ITT Technical Institute-Webster is a small school located in Webster, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 369 students and an admission rate of 40%. ITT Technical Institute-Webster has an associate's degree program in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunicationsááá(NEW which graduated forty-three students in 2008.

Interactive Learning Systems - Houston, TX

Interactive Learning Systems, 256 N Sam Houston Pkwy Suite 130, Houston, TX 77060. Interactive Learning Systems is a small school located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 16 students. Interactive Learning Systems has a one to two year program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated five students in 2008.

Interactive Learning Systems - Pasadena, TX

Interactive Learning Systems, 213 W Southmore St Suite 101, Pasadena, TX 77502. Interactive Learning Systems is a small school located in Pasadena, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily less-than 2-year programs and has 45 students. Interactive Learning Systems has a less than one year and a one to two year program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated zero and six students respectively in 2008.

Rice University - Houston, TX

Rice University, 6100 S Main, Houston, TX 77005-1827. Rice University is a medium sized university located in Houston, Texas. It is a private not-for-profit school with primarily 4-year or above programs. It has 5,337 students and an admission rate of 23%. Rice University has bachelor's degree, master's degree, and doctor's degree programs in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated zero, eight, and five students respectively in 2008.

University of Houston-Downtown - Houston, TX

University of Houston-Downtown, 1 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002-1014. University of Houston-Downtown is a large university located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 4-year or above programs and has 12,283 students. University of Houston-Downtown has a bachelor's degree program in Computer and Information Sciences which graduated ten students in 2008.

College of the Mainland - Texas City, TX

College of the Mainland, 1200 Amburn Road, Texas City, TX 77591-2499. College of the Mainland is a small college located in Texas City, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 3,585 students. College of the Mainland has 2 areas of study related to Computer Security Specialist. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, associate's degree.
  • Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunicationsááá(NEW, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated zero and three students respectively in 2008.

Houston Community College System - Houston, TX

Houston Community College System, 3100 Main Street, Houston, TX 77266-7517. Houston Community College System is a large college located in Houston, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 48,087 students. Houston Community College System has 4 areas of study related to Computer Security Specialist. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree.
  • Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunicationsááá(NEW, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated twelve and four students respectively in 2008.
  • System Administration/Administrator, less than one year, one to two year, and associate's degree which graduated three, two, and zero students respectively in 2008.
  • System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager, less than one year.

Lee College - Baytown, TX

Lee College, 511 S Whiting, Baytown, TX 77520. Lee College is a medium sized college located in Baytown, Texas. It is a public school with primarily 2-year programs and has 5,968 students. Lee College has 2 areas of study related to Computer Security Specialist. They are:

  • Computer and Information Sciences, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated eleven and two students respectively in 2008.
  • System, Networking, and LAN/WAN Management/Manager, less than one year and associate's degree which graduated twenty-seven and ten students respectively in 2008.

Remington College-Houston Campus - Houston, TX

Remington College-Houston Campus, 3110 Hayes Road Suite 380, Houston, TX 77082. Remington College-Houston Campus is a small college located in Houston, Texas. It is a private for-profit school with primarily 2-year programs. It has 532 students and an admission rate of 53%. Remington College-Houston Campus has an associate's degree program in Computer Systems Networking and Telecommunicationsááá(NEW which graduated one student in 2008.

CERTIFICATIONS

Systems Security Certified Practitioner: The SSCP is ideal for those working towards positions such as Network Security Engineers, Security Systems Analysts, or Security Administrators.

For more information, see the (ISC)2 Americas website.

Certification and Accreditation Professional: The Certification and Accreditation Professional (CAP) credential is an objective measure of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for personnel involved in the process of certifying and accrediting security of information systems.

For more information, see the (ISC)2 Americas website.

Certified Fraud Examiner: The ACFE established and administers the Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) designation.

For more information, see the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners website.

Certified Confidentiality Officer: Professional certification validates your training and experience in your present career.

For more information, see the Business Espionage Controls and Countermeasures Association website.

CIW Associate: Certified CIW Associates possess the basic hands-on skills and knowledge that Internet professionals are expected to understand and use.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

CIW Security Analyst: Security Analysts protect an organization's assets and operations.

For more information, see the Certified Internet Web Professionals website.

Certified Wireless Network Administrator: The CWNA certification is the foundation level enterprise Wi-Fi certification for the CWNP Program, and CWNA is required for your CWSP and CWNE certifications.

For more information, see the Certified Wireless Network Professional website.

Server+ Certification: For individuals who wish to demonstrate expertise with advanced PC hardware issues such as RAID, SCSI, multiple CPUs, SANs, and more.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

Certified Technical Trainer: CompTIA CTT+ is an international, vendor-neutral certification that covers core instructor skills, including preparation, presentation, communication, facilitation and evaluation in both a classroom and virtual classroom environment.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

CompTIA PDI Certification: Servicing and supporting devices and technologies associated with the printing and document imaging industry requires extensive training to ensure qualified, able technicians.

For more information, see the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) website.

Certified Cyber-Crime Expert: High-profile cases of corporate malfeasance and increased attention paid to cybercrime and cyberterrorism have elevated electronic evidence discovery to an indispensable component of any organization's security plan.

For more information, see the E-Business Process Solutions website.

Certified Network Systems Technician: Certified Network Systems Technician is a network professional who is expected to obtain knowledge of computer.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Certified Web Specialist : Certified Web Specialists are expected to obtain knowledge of customer inabilities and lack of experience to solve problems related to the operation, maintenance and upgrading of World Wide Web home pages.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Fiber Optics Designer: The Electronics Technicians Association 40-hour certified Fiber Optics Designer (FOD) training program is an optical designer certification that will provide an in-depth knowledge of optical local area networks.

For more information, see the ETA International website.

Stay Sharp Program - Google Hacking and Defense: Network and system security administrators, hands-on security managers, information security officers, intrusion detection and vulnerability assessment personnel, any personnel responsible for the secure configuration of Internet facing systems and the protection of Intellectual Property within their organizations that need an understanding of typical security exposures that Google uncovers, how to use Google hacking as an evaluation tool and common techniques used by Google hackers.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Stay Sharp Program - Defeating Rogue Access Points: Security professionals who are concerned about the weaknesses of wireless networks.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Securing Solaris - The Gold Standard: The Solaris Gold certificate focuses on the hardening of Solaris 8 & 9 systems following the CIS benchmark.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Stay Sharp Program - Mastering Packet Analysis: Network administrators, information security analysts, intrusion detection and prevention analysts and network auditors that need an in-depth understanding of how to assess network protocols and use powerful network analysis tools.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

Ethics in IT: All IT professionals including: Systems administrators, auditors, information security officers, programmers, systems analysts, database administrators, Information service providers, contractors, consultants.

For more information, see the Global Information Assurance Certification website.

IBM Certified SOA Associate: This entry level certification is intended for individuals who work on SOA projects, such as architects, technical sales people, sales people, administrators, application developers, business analysts, project managers, system integrators, business integrators, managers, project sponsors and others.

For more information, see the IBM Corporation website.

Computer Hacking Forensic Investigator: Computer hacking forensic investigation is the process of detecting hacking attacks and properly extracting evidence to report the crime and conduct audits to prevent future attacks.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Certified Ethical Hacker: The CEH Program certifies individuals in the specific network security discipline of Ethical Hacking from a vendor-neutral perspective.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Licensed Penetration Tester: The licensed penetration tester is a program which trains security professionals to analyze the security posture of a network exhaustively and recommend corrective measures authoritatively.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Network Security Administrator: The EC-Council's NSA certification looks at the network security in defensive mode.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

EC-Council Certified Security Analyst: EC-Council Certified Security Analyst (ECSA) complements the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification by exploring the analytical phase of ethical hacking.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

EC Council Certified Secure Programmer: EC-Council's Certified Secure Programmer is being offered to provide the essential and fundamental skills to programmers and application developers in secure programming.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Security 5 Certification: The Security5 Certification is the entry level for anyone interested in learning computer networking and security basics.

For more information, see the International Council of E-Commerce Consultants website.

Certified Information Systems Security Practitioner: The Systems Security Certified Practitioner (SSCP) credential offers information security tacticians, with implementation orientations, the opportunity to demonstrate their level of competence with the seven domains of the compendium of best practices for information security.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Associate of International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium: Associate of (ISC) status is available to those who have gained competence in key areas of industry knowledge and information security concepts and can pass either the CISSP® or SSCP® examinations, but lack the years of practical work experience required for full accreditation.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Certification and Accreditation Professional: The CAP credential is an objective measure of the knowledge, skills and abilities required for personnel involved in the Certification and Accreditation process.

For more information, see the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, Inc. website.

Certified Web Professional - E-Commerce Specialist: A CWP E-Commerce Specialist is an expert in standards, technologies and practices in electronic commerce.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Professional - Enterprise Developer: A CWP Enterprise Developer builds n-tier database and legacy connectivity solutions for Web applications, using Java, Java application programming interfaces (APIs), Java Database Connectivity (JDBC) solutions, middleware tools, and distributed object models.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Professional - Internetworking Specialist: A CWP Internetworking Specialist defines network architecture, identifies infrastructure components, monitors and analyzes network performance.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Professional - Security Specialist: A CWP Security Specialist implements security policy, identifies security threats and develops countermeasures using firewalls and attack-recognition technologies.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Certified Web Professional - Server Administrator: A CWP Server Administrator manages and tunes E-Commerce infrastructure including Web servers, FTP, news, and mail servers for mid-size to large businesses.

For more information, see the International Webmasters Association website.

Juniper Networks Certified Internet Specialist: The JNCIS-E exam is designed for networking professionals with advanced knowledge of, and experience with, the Juniper Networks E-series platforms.

For more information, see the Juniper Networks website.

Microsoft Certified Professional Developer: For individuals who wish to distinguish themselves as an expert in Windows development, Web application development, or enterprise applications development.

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator: The Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) credential validates your ability to manage and troubleshoot network environments in the Windows operating system.

For more information, see the Microsoft Corporation website.

Level I: Network Performance Technologies : Gain network performance expertise through in-depth analysis of networking protocols and their role in delivering application performance.

For more information, see the NetQoS website.

Security Certified Network Professional: The SCNP program focuses on defensive security technologies, such as Firewalls and Intrusion Detection.

For more information, see the Security Certified Program website.

WOW Certified Professional Web Administrator: WOW Certification is a powerful opportunity for individuals aspiring to be or already working as a Web professional.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

WOW Certified Web Administrator Apprentice: Web Administrator Apprentices are aware of the fundamental concepts for the hardware and software infrastructure supporting Internet communications.

For more information, see the World Organization of Webmasters website.

LOCATION INFORMATION: Houston, Texas

Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas photo by Hequals2henry

Houston is located in Harris County, Texas. It has a population of over 2,242,193, which has grown by 14.8% in the past ten years. The cost of living index in Houston, 89, is well below the national average. New single-family homes in Houston are valued at $173,500 on average, which is near the state average. In 2008, 3,684 new homes were constructed in Houston, down from 6,035 the previous year.

The top three industries for women in Houston are health care, educational services, and accommodation and food services. For men, it is construction, professional, scientific, and technical services, and administrative and support and waste management services. The average commute to work is about 27 minutes. More than 27.0% of Houston residents have a bachelor's degree, which is higher than the state average. The percentage of residents with a graduate degree, 9.7%, is higher than the state average.

The unemployment rate in Houston is 8.0%, which is less than Texas's average of 8.1%.

The percentage of Houston residents that are affiliated with a religious congregation, 50.4%, is more than the national average but less than the state average. El Buen Pastor United Methodist Church, 34th Temple Church of God in Christ and Pentecostal Church of God in Christ are some of the churches located in Houston. The largest religious groups are the Catholic Church, the Southern Baptist Convention and the United Methodist Church.

Houston is home to the Champion Rod and Gun Club and the Independence Heights Residential Historic District as well as Hermann Park and Hennessey Park. Shopping centers in the area include Windsor Plaza Shopping Center, Meyerland Plaza Shopping Center and Meyerland Shopping Center. Visitors to Houston can choose from Capital Inn, Bradford Homesuites - Houston Galleria and Best Western Fountainview Inn and Suites for temporary stays in the area.