Forget being called a nerd back in high school. It’s time for the techies to have the last
IT security specialist has just been named the hottest job for 2003 and 2004, according to
Challenger, Gray & Christmas, a Chicago-based international outplacement firm. And the post
of chief privacy officer just got the nod for the highest-paying hot job, bringing in an
average salary of $122,360. An IT manager or security manager came in ninth on the list of
high-paying hot jobs with an average salary of $91,470.
Security is simply hot this year.
The security industry came in second, just behind preventative health care, for the hottest
industry of this year and next.
”Anti-terrorism measures will increase the need for security personnel,” reports
Challenger, Gray & Christmas. ”There is also growing concern among companies to protect
their greatest asset: information. Additionally, employers are increasingly concerned about
the people they are hiring, which will give rise to investigative services.”
Security and IT managers are earning salaries of more than $91,000, according to the report.
And a survey of top corporate information systems security executives for Fortune 500
companies found that the average overall compensation level was $237,000.
”Corporations are collecting more information than ever due largely to the data-gathering
capabilities of the Internet,” says John Challenger, chief executive officer of the
outplacement firm. ”Companies will need individuals to make use of this information, but
more importantly, they will need people to protect this information.”
Gordon Haff, an analyst at Illuminata, an industry analyst firm based in Nashua, N.H., says
he sees no signs of the security industry cooling off any time soon.
”Security, in terms of IT employment in general, was one of the few relatively bright spots
all the way through the big IT downturn,” says Haff. ”Certainly 9/11 created a lot of
sensitivity to security. Viruses continue to increase. All of that has created a lot of
awareness of security needs.”
But Haff remains somewhat skeptical that awareness will actual translate into spending.
”The question comes: There’s a lot of awareness of security but how much are individual
companies really going to be willing to pay to implement better security?” Haff asks. ”How
much real change in process are they willing to make? For it to remain a hot job, companies
as a whole need to demonstrate that they’re willing to continue spending on it in the long
term as opposed to doing some quick fixes.”