What to Pay for Cybersecurity Professionals?

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The increase in salaries is more dramatic this year, as companies fight each other for talent

By Karl Sharman, Vice-President, BeecherMadden

With 16 states banning salary history information for future employers, salaries will more likely dramatically increase. It is hard to benchmark your current offering if you are unable to ask what your prospective employees are currently earning. There are great reasons why this law has been implemented and it is obviously not unique to cybersecurity. What makes cybersecurity more greatly affected, is the growing skills shortage in the industry. Organizations are having to pay more to attract talent and there are limited ways for them to benchmark what they should offer.

At BeecherMadden, we have conducted salary reports for the past 5 years in the United States, which show salaries increasing year on year. Candidates are achieving increases of over 25% on basic salary alone for moving jobs. Staying in your role is far less lucrative with the majority achieving a rise of 10% or lower. Alongside this interesting data is where people have moved to in that five-year period and where the greater increases have been seen.

Regions such as Dallas, Charlotte, and San Francisco have seen a dramatic increase in salary for cybersecurity professionals. As an example, San Francisco has seen a rise of up to 33% in base salaries within certain positions for professionals in the industry.

Specific job titles have also seen increases over the last 12 months due to the need and the apparent lack of talent, for example, two areas stand out: Incident Response (IR) and Security Architecture. Both IR & Security Architecture has seen an increase of 16% across North America in the last year.

The biggest salary increases have been within levels of positions, often seen as years of experience, as many junior or entry-level candidates have witnessed the greatest rise. These positions have seen a 33% rise in salary within the last 12 months as many companies attempt to get talent at an earlier stage of the professional’s career.

Locations, titles, skillsets and years of experience are a few of the factors that organizations need to be aware of when budgeting for jobs, in fact understanding what motivates professionals into the move is just as crucial. Cybersecurity is often seen as cost center, meaning budgets cannot always be increased. Offering remote work or flexible working is a great start to attracting talent, that may be out of reach or not affordable in other cases.

The war for cyber talent is here and will only get more challenging. The only way to compete against this is through data. Every organization needs to fulfill their need through the right salaries, benefits, and talent mapping before they begin their search. This is why benchmarking will allow organizations to fully understand every area of attracting the best talent to give each one the best chance to recruit the best.

For BeecherMadden’s 2019 salary report or benchmarking, please email karl.sharman@beechermadden.com

About the Author

Karl Sharman is a Cyber Security specialist recruiter & talent advisor leading the US operations for BeecherMadden. After graduating from University, he was a lead recruiter of talent for football clubs including Crystal Palace, AFC Wimbledon & Southampton FC. In his time, he produced and supported over £1 million worth of talent for football clubs before moving into Cyber Security in 2017. In the cybersecurity industry, Karl has become a contributor, writer and a podcast host alongside his full-time recruitment focus. Karl can be reached online at karl.sharman@beechermadden.com, on LinkedIn and at our company website http://www.beechermadden.com