Cryptanalyst

Whenever people use credit cards online banking systems cell phones or transmit messages via computers they assume these transactions are private and protected from accessibility by unknown third parties. Cryptanalysts are individuals who evaluate and decipher secret messages and coding systems. They also write codes that are impervious to being cracked by hackers or vulnerable to cyber attacks.

The technology of encryption is becoming ever more important in the computer and cell phone age because putting encryption codes in place ensures that all transactions made are protected and secure. Encryption codes protect sensitive data that is transmitted not only by individuals but also by businesses and government bodies.

The website Compucert.com states that cryptanalysts work for scientific research firms banks brokerage firms government agencies intelligence agencies insurance companies telecommunication companies police departments or consulting firms all of which need assurance that sensitive data cannot be accessed by hackers.

Cryptanalysts must have a high level of expertise in mathematics because the codes they develop are based on numerical theories and cutting edge mathematical algorithms. With regard to education cryptanalysts must have a minimum of a bachelor's degree typically with majors in mathematics computer science engineering or musicology. However those who earn master's degrees or doctorates in mathematics have a significantly greater number of job opportunities.

Entry-level cryptanalysts earn approximately $40000 per year but the average annual salary for this profession is $77000 and many earn well over $100000 per year.

Education Required: Bachelor's Degree
Avg Salary: $70000
High Salary: $100000
Low Salary: $40000
Tasks: Evaluates computer coding systems.
Deciphers secret codes.
Writes computer code that hackers cannot crack.
Works to protect computer transactions.
Also Called: Signals Analyst
Message Decoder
Data Decoder
Encryption Expert
Additional Resources: http://www.nsa.gov/careers/career_fields/cryptsiganalysis.shtml
http://www.compucert.com/cryptanalyst-career.html
http://www.ehow.com/about_5498746_cryptanalytic-techniques.html