In a “seller’s market” are specialists with specialized cybersecurity expertise, one with 0% unemployment, corporations and government agencies vying for top talent, and senior-level positions paying as much as $400,000 and above.
“The right person can command over $400,000 at the very highest levels,” Paul Smith, PEAK Technical Staffing vice president, told CSOonline. The commercial companies are stealing people like crazy from the NSA and CIA because businesses are having such an international espionage crisis. The market has skyrocketed for individuals who recognize these risks.
That results from a well-documented shortage of talent in cybersecurity, with estimates of 3.5 million unfilled vacancies globally by 2022. Some need particular experience, whereas a credential or master’s degree from the industry may help bring others within reach.
It can be motivating, or even a source of inspiration, to better understand some of the most lucrative cybersecurity jobs in this fast-growing sector, whether you are looking to launch a career or take your current skills to the next level.
What are some top paying cybersecurity jobs?
8 Top-Paying Cybersecurity Jobs
This ranking is compiled from several industry sources, including Cybersecurity Ventures, CNBC, CSOonline, InfoSec Institute, Mondo, PCmag, Forbes and CyberSeek.org. This listing of the highest-paid cybersecurity workers is compiled from several industry sources.
1. Bug Bounty Specialist
You may have seen the news that by beating cybercriminals in their own game, such freelance hackers will gain a cool $500,000 or more. So-called “bug bounty” companies now offer a forum for hackers in organizations ranging from Tesla to the Department of Defense to target security vulnerabilities safely.
Casey Ellis, CTO at Bugcrowd, told CNBC that the highest payout for a single exploit by the firm was $113,000 for a bug discovered at a major computer hardware company, and noted that the total annual payouts were about $145,000 for the top 50 hackers. According to PCmag, a 19-year-old from Argentina recently became the first person to hit $1 million in rewards on the bug bounty site HackerOne. However, since success in this sector requires elite-level expertise, this does not mean that you can leave your day job to chase bug bounties.
2. Chief Information Security Officer (CISO)
He is the executive solely responsible for the information and data protection of an entity; and the larger the organization, the larger the paycheck. According to the InfoSec Institute, which lists a median salary of $140,000+, “While a few elite CISOs may earn close to $500,000, many make just a little over $100,000.” The median salary is reported on CSOonline.com at $158,939, and the range is $140,000-$300,000.
Forbes estimates that in San Francisco, $420,000 is the top end of the CISO salary scale. According to Cybersecurity Projects, a cybersecurity head honcho “working for a mid-sized corporation is probably looking at a $150,000 to $200,000 salary.”
3. Lead Software Security Engineer
According to Cybersecurity Projects, which cites wages above $225,000, higher than that of even the CISO in some industries, this is described as a career for top coders and programmers with leadership skills, “a rare breed.” In this scenario, specialized software experience plus “soft skills” at the executive level will add up to a lucrative opportunity for senior management.
4. Cybersecurity Sales Engineer
In addition to minimizing attack surfaces and fending off hackers, cybersecurity is not just about computer wizards; there is also a steady flow of new and creative technology solutions to be offered. Most coders enjoy coding, but some are prompted by higher pay to turn to sales. CSOonline estimates that annual compensation of between $180,000 and $220,000 are charged to top cybersecurity sales engineers.
5. Cybersecurity Architect
According to the InfoSec Institute, which defines the task of performing senior-level work designing an organization-wide network and computer security architecture, information security or cybersecurity architect earns an average of $140,820. The architect can also oversee InfoSec awareness programs, develop and manage policies, respond to and evaluate security incidents, and perform risk assessments more of a ‘big-picture’ task. Noting that 27% of employers hiring a master’s degree for this position, Cyberseek.org lists an average salary of $129,000.
6. Cybersecurity Manager/Administrator
According to Mondo, professionals in this position receive salaries of between $125,00 and $215,000, known as information management managers and information systems security managers. Usually, identifying potential vulnerability areas, improving protection to protect valuable company data and managing the information systems team are key responsibilities in this position.
7. Penetration Tester
“Ethical hackers” are also called the professionals doing this vital work. More and more large companies recruit full-time staff or third-party contractors to penetrate their computer networks to find and fix weaknesses that cybercriminals might exploit.
Cyberseek rates the average salary for penetration and vulnerability testers at $102,000 and estimates that an advanced degree is pursued by 22% of those employed. However, according to Mondo, wages can reach up to $130,000 to help find security vulnerabilities in both systems and policies.
8. Information Security Analyst
This work is rated by the United States as #4 among the best technology workers and #40 overall. News & World Report, citing a median income of $95,510. Due to their broad range of duties related to preventing, tracking and reacting to data breaches and cyberattacks, it defines information security analysts as’ the gatekeepers or security guards of information systems.’ The U.S. Labor Statistics Bureau reports a median pay of $98,350 and cites a 32% rise in the job market for this profession, much faster than the average for all occupations.
8. Cybersecurity Experts Earn a lot for Critical Work.
It’s no secret that now that the cybercrime problem is everyone’s business, there is a big recruiting drive underway among organizations of all sizes. Consequently, by obtaining industry certifications and enrolling in advanced degree programs, information technology professionals and others who strive to position themselves for success in this critical and fast-growing sector are developing their skills.
All in all, the cybersecurity environment provides meaningful opportunities to do important and valuable work and to get well paid for doing it.
This study was provided to you by the online Master of Science in Cybersecurity Operations and Leadership of the University of San Diego and its Master of Science in Cybersecurity Engineering, both online and on-campus.