Career Spotlight: Security Operations Engineer

An in-depth look at the role of a security operations engineer

As the use of technology increases daily, so do threats to the cyberworld. Companies and organizations all over the world are hiring cybersecurity professionals to help protect and defend their computer software and networks. A key member to this team is a security operations engineer who monitors computer systems to better protect the company or organization against cyber threats. While for this reason, security operations engineers play a critical role, at the end of the day, they protect the consumer too.

If you’ve ever purchased something online and thought about what happens to your credit card or personal information, the protection guaranteed at companies starts with a security operations engineer. This guide will give you the steps to becoming a security operations engineer.

Security Operations Engineer Job Description

Security operations engineers make sure data, personal information, and software are protected against all cyber threats. While many members of IT teams help fix a cyberattack after it has occurred, security operations engineers work to prevent threats from becoming incidents. While we all know cybersecurity threats are bound to happen, hiring a security operations engineer will decrease the chances of a threats turning into an attack, which in turn will help your organization and your customers.

Security Operations Roles and Responsibilities

Security operations engineers are highly technical computer specialists whose main responsibilities include:

  • Research, design, develop, and test software
  • Implement safety measures to protect sensitive information and secure data from hackers
  • Maintain security policies at the points of access to a clients’ networks
  • Evaluate security vulnerabilities of all computers systems and networks
  • Create policies and procedures for end users to ensure systems are protected
  • Act as liaison for companies, working with different vendors and partners to ensure network access and security requirements are met
  • Provide defense tactics if and when a cyberattack occurs

Security operations engineers are also considered experts in their field. If and when something occurs, they provide support and leadership to any parties involved.

Skills and Education Needed to Become Security Operations Engineers

Security operations engineers must be highly educated in the field of cybersecurity, information technology, or computer science. All positions require at least a bachelor’s degree in cybersecurity. As technology changes and companies continue to grow in the cyberworld, advanced degrees in cybersecurity, combined with multiple years of experience, are starting to be required. A graduate certificate in cybersecurity operations from Excelsior University will set you up to be a successful candidate for any cybersecurity engineering position. This degree builds your skills in threat detection, incident response, information assurance, defense mitigation, and risk assessment.

In addition to education requirements, hiring managers look for individuals who have strong:

  • Communication skills. Security operations engineers must be able to explain technical language to leadership and other members of the team.
  • Project management skills. With technological advances happening every day, a security operations engineer will be pulled into a lot of projects. Being able to stay organized and prioritize projects efficiently and effectively is necessary.
  • Ability to work under pressure. In a crisis, security operations engineers must act quickly and professionally to access situations and protect data.

Security Operations Engineer Salary

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, job opportunities for security operations engineers are expected to grow 28 percent by 2026. The demand will continue to grow as technologies change and new threats arise. Protection of sensitive data and the ability to fight cyberattacks should be a top priority for all companies. If a cyberattack occurs, it can mean a significant loss of money and resources for all involved. If the wrong people get a hold of sensitive and private information, many people could be in danger.

According to, security operations engineers make, on average, $100k per year. Earn your degree in cybersecurity from Excelsior University to protect individuals, families, and companies from cyber threats from throughout the world.