Recent estimates project that, by 2019, there will be more than 1.5 million unfilled IT security jobs worldwide.
Certification offers a nice double benefit here: Rapid and comprehensive training for aspiring security professionals, and reassurance for hiring managers who want to pay a lot of money to the right person, with the right skills and knowledge.
IT security pros definitely get paid. Our survey of more than 600 certified professionals revealed a median annual income of $92,500 in 2014, which jumped up to $97,500 in 2015.
What’s more, the upper echelon of IT security earners is actually expanding. A shade less than 40 percent of those surveyed claimed an annual income of $100,000 or more in 2014, but 46 percent were in the six-figure club for 2015. If you’ve put in the time to build up your store of cybersecurity knowledge and keep it current, then quite a few employers, it would seem, are willing to pay quite handsomely for your expertise.
There was an interesting regression that popped up in our salary data. While 73 percent of those surveyed received bonus or incentive pay in 2014, just 57 percent said the same has either already happened, or that they expect it to happen, in 2015. Perhaps some who were left out this year have an unforeseen surprise coming at the company Christmas party.
Getting a security certification doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll immediately make more money, but it does appear to have that affect for some. Roughly 48 percent of survey respondents said that they got a raise in the first year after earning their most recent security cert.
The jump in pay was modest for most, with 68.5 percent of those cashing in reporting an increase of 5 percent or less, but some made a bigger score. The pay hike was between 10 and 20 percent for 25 percent of those who got a raise, while a lucky 6.5 percent climbed even higher, getting an increase of 25 percent or better.
Cybercrime is doubtless a profitable endeavor for some. But is your average digital bandito really taking home the level of booty that’s being shelled out to the people who defend against his cyber-depredations? It’s simple economics, fellas — come join the good fight.
Employers are offering big money to certified cybersecurity professionals. Here’s the proof: