Information technology security consultants work for firms that provide consulting services to companies, nonprofits, government agencies, and other organizations. Opportunities are available throughout the country, but are best in large metropolitan areas. Some IT security consultants are able to work from home offices, which can be located anywhere an Internet connection is available. Major consulting firms with well-respected IT security departments include Accenture, Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC.
You’ll need several years of experience in computer security to work as a consultant. To obtain that experience, participate in internships, fellowships, and cooperative educational opportunities. Most IT companies and IT security consulting firms offer experiential opportunities for college students.
You should also build your professional network by joining IT-focused networking groups (check out MeetUp.com for groups in your area), attending career fairs, creating a profile on LinkedIn and following IT security companies and consulting firms, and joining professional associations and volunteering to get your name out there and raise your profile. Other job-search strategies include working with a recruiter, using the resources of your college’s career services office, and contacting potential employers directly about jo opportunities.
Consultants advance by becoming well-known for their skill and expertise thwarting cyberattacks, by receiving higher salaries or bonuses, or by becoming partners at their firms. Those who want to work independently can launch their own consulting businesses. A consultant may also choose to accept an executive-level position—such as chief security officer, chief technology officer, or chief information officer—at a corporation or other organization. Some become college professors.
Visit the following Web sites for job listings:
To learn more about the field, read:
Attend the (ISC)² Security Congress (https://congress.isc2.org) to participate in continuing education classes and network.
Talk with IT security consultants about their careers. Ask them questions about their educational background, what they like and dislike about the work, how they market their businesses, key skills for success in the field, and any other things you are interested in knowing about this career. Visit the Institute of Management Consultants USA Web site, https://www.imcusa.org/search/custom.asp?id=2065, for a database of consultants (including those in cybersecurity).