How cool would it be if LMFAO (or a reasonable proximity – Beaker, anyone?) did a security version of “Sorry for Party Rocking,” because evidently the security job market is rocking. But it offers a great perspective on the mind of the security professional. Check out the following quotes to get a feel for how things seem, which I can anecdotally validate based on the number of calls I get from CISO types looking to grow and retain their teams.
“What’s the unemployment rate for a good cybersecurity person? Zero,” Weatherford said, adding that government agencies and the private sector were stealing the best people from each other. “We are all familiar with the fratricide going on.”
Salaries split in 2013, with the median staff salary declining $2,000 to $95,000 this year. Management salaries continued to rise, topping $120,000 in 2013, up $5,000 from the previous year. The trend in total compensation reflects the same split as salaries: Total compensation for staff declined in 2013 to a median of $98,000, down $5,000, while management saw a $2,000 increase, to $129,000.
So salaries for staff are down marginally, but still considerably higher than general IT jobs. That’s good, right? Security folks should feel good about their job security and their place in the organization, right? Doesn’t scarcity mean companies need to be taking better care of their security folks? That would be a reasonable conclusion, no?
In 2013, security practitioners showed a slight drop in how secure they feel in their jobs. While other IT disciplines continue to feel as secure in their positions as in 2012, IT security staff saw a seven-point drop, to 43%, in the number that feel very secure.
It’s totally counterintuitive, or is it? The reality is that when something bad happens, and in security something bad always happens sooner or later, someone is going to take the fall. So I can kind of understand how in the Bizarro World of security, scarcity and higher salaries make folks less secure in their jobs.
But here’s the real point: even if your organization throws you under the bus, there are a hundred companies waiting in line for you to chase their windmills and eventually end up under their buses. So rejoice, security professionals! You may not keep a business card for long, but you shouldn’t have to spend much time in the unemployment line.
Photo credit: “Help Wanted” originally uploaded by James