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Cybersecurity pros in high demand, highly paid and highly selective

Kenneth Corbin | Aug. 12, 2013
A survey of cybersecurity workers reveals a profile of a highly compensated profession whose members say the integrity of their employer matters most.

"Government agencies and defense/aerospace firms remain magnets for cybersecurity professionals," Duffey says.

Asked to name the company they would most like to work for, respondents ranked Google at the top, followed by the federal government, self-employment and Cisco. Respondents cited Symantec-Norton, IBM, McAfee and Cisco as industry leaders in cybersecurity.

The survey also suggested that there is relatively little churn in the industry, with 65 percent of cybersecurity pros polled saying that they have worked at two or fewer organizations throughout their career.

"These people aren't jumping from job to job looking for salary bumps and signing bonuses," says Lee Vorthman, CTO of NetApp's Federal Civilian Agencies unit. "Many of them want to work for federal agencies and most of them tend to stick with employers for the long term. For companies, that means they better get them early or risk not getting them at all."

The survey also probed security professionals' career aspirations, finding that 22 percent anticipate taking on more difficult challenges, 18 percent envision themselves in a leadership role, while 16 percent are seeking to start their own company or consult, and 15 percent are aiming to become a CIO or CISO.

What Cybersecurity Pros Know
Finally, the survey shed some light on the educational profile of the cybersecurity workforce. Eight-five percent of respondents said that they hold a professional certification, naming the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Cisco Certified Network Professional Security (CCNIP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) as the most popular credentials.

Forty-four percent of respondents said that they hold a bachelor's degree in computer science, mathematics or electrical engineering, and 34 percent said they hold a master's degree in those fields. Just 5 percent said that they hold a doctoral degree in those subjects.


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