We’ve all read countless news stories of how big companies were hacked by sly cyber thieves who made off with the personal information of millions of people. From Equifax to Yahoo, Linkedin to Target, these break-ins are everyone’s new reality.
Data breaches are not only frequent, they are also costly for the companies who fall victim. In the aftermath, they must remediate the breach, notify customers, pay lofty compliance fines and risk perpetual brand reputation damage. As such, companies are fighting back and dramatically fortifying their cyber security efforts. IT analyst firm Gartner forecasts information security technology market spending will reach $86.4 billion this year – that’s a 7% increase in 2017 alone. And organizations across all industries will continue to hire the best cyber security talent money can buy in an attempt to outsmart the bad guys.
An important new opportunity
As the need for cyber security talent grows, so does the compensation companies are willing to pay. Salaries vary depending upon specific job type obviously, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics says the median annual salary is $90,000 with tech hubs like San Francisco and New York paying between $115,000 and $140,000 or more. Other cities are also stepping up. Using data from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, TechRepublic recently wrote 15 U.S. Cities with the highest salaries for cyber security jobs. Some may surprise you:
3. San Francisco
7. Austin, Texas
8. Salt Lake City
9. New York
10. San Jose, Calif.
11. San Diego
12. Washington, D.C.
14. Los Angeles
15. Arlington, Va.
Cyber security skills shortage
Companies are paying high salaries because of need but also because these professionals have proven hard to find. Today, the U.S. employs nearly 780,000 people in cyber security positions with approximately 350,000 current cyber security openings, according to CyberSeek, a project supported by the National Initiative for Cyber security Education (NICE) which is a program of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in the U.S. Department of Commerce. This is up from 209,000 job openings in 2015. An information security advocacy group, ISACA predicts a shortage of 2 million cyber security professionals by 2019.
Ever-growing employer need, high paying salaries and an existing skills shortage all add up to a great professional opportunity, which is a big part of why U.S. News and World Report ranked a career in information security analysis seventh on its list of the 10 Best Technology Jobs for 2017. There is a wide variety of job types in the cybersecurity field and we will discuss those in a future post.
If you’re interested in protecting organizations from hackers but lack the skills needed to get started, it isn’t too late. Check out our newly launched Cyber Security program. In just 24 weeks, you could be ready to start a great new career protecting organizations from the growing number of cyber criminals.