As we've said before, information security is a hot career path at the moment, and the most recent Dice Report confirms it: Postings that included a need for security skills rose 109 percent year on year. The federal government and private sector companies are actively hiring professionals who can protects systems and networks, mobile devices included.

Many of these jobs can be found in Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland (especially Baltimore). The bulk are with large contractors that provide services to the federal government, including Northrop Grumman and Raytheon. In California the range of positions aren't limited to tech companies, but are also at firms like Sony Pictures Entertainment, Warner Bros., Princess Cruises and the County of Santa Clara.

When it comes to hiring information security professionals, Northrop Grumman looks for people with in-depth skills in several disciplines: high-assurance software engineering, network engineering, incident analysis/response, information assurance, virtualization environment, modeling and simulation of network systems. General technical skills needed include Java, HTML, Unix, Windows, C#, Ruby, TuningFork and Fast Scope.

The company also looks for candidates with experience in frameworks and standards (NIST, SANS, FISMA) and possess a Top Secret/SCI clearance - or at least have a clean record so they are clearable. Certifications the company looks for are Cisco Certified Internet Expert, Certified Ethical Hacker, Certified Information Systems Auditor, Certified Information Systems Security Professional and Cisco Certified Network Professional. "We're looking for people who demonstrate the ability to work in teams, solve complex problems, innovate and think out-of-the-box, collaborate, demonstrate curiosity, operate with integrity, are flexible, understand current requirements," said Diane Miller, director of operations at Northrop Grumman's Cybersecurity Group.

Raytheon has 154 positions on Dice that require information security skills. These include information assurance technologists, information security tool developers, information systems security engineers and systems analysts. Overall skills include engineering, networking, technical support, UNIX, Windows and development.

Information Security is also big at consulting firm Deloitte. It needs information security managers, information security analysts and information security engineers. Skills for these positions include consulting, C, Visio, IBM Tivoli framework, Java, J2EE, and data warehouse.

-- Chandler Harris