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For Cybersecurity Professionals, Salary Isn’t a Top Priority

It’s easy for employers to fall into the trap of thinking today’s professionals are just chasing bigger and bigger paychecks. However, a new report has shown that salary isn’t the top priority for cybersecurity professionals when it comes to job seeking and sticking with an employer.

A survey from the cybersecurity certification body (ISC)² found the top priority for cybersecurity professionals is a job where they can have significant input on an organization’s cyber security matters.

The poll included 250 cybersecurity professionals working in the United States and Canada, with 14 percent saying they’re looking for a new job, 70 percent saying they’re open to new opportunities and 15 percent saying they have no plans to change jobs this year. This lack of dedication to a current employer appears to be driven by the expectations of these professionals not being met.

Digging into the data

Most survey respondents (68 percent) said they are trying to find a job where their views are valued, and 62 percent said they wanted a position that involved protecting people and their information. The survey also found preference for an employer with a strong code of ethics (62 percent), while salary as a top priority came in at 49 percent.

When asked what is most critical for cybersecurity professionals’ career goals, 62 percent said they prefer a business that clearly defines the job definition of its cybersecurity employees, 59 percent said they want an employer that sees cybersecurity as more than just “technology” and 59 percent said they’d prefer an employer that trains staff members on cybersecurity.

When asked what best explains the value they bring to a company, 81 percent said cybersecurity strategy, 77 percent said handling security technologies, 69 percent said educating on cybersecurity best practices and 67 percent said assessing company operations for risk assessment.

What are they looking for?

The (ISC)² survey also addressed what cybersecurity professionals see as red flags from employers. Survey participants said imprecise job descriptions (52 percent), job descriptions that inaccurately describe duties (44 percent) and job postings with inadequate qualifications (42 percent) show an employer’s lack of industry knowledge.

Cybersecurity professionals also said their performance ought to be assessed based on: how rapidly they react to a security breach or incident (43 percent); the maturation of the security apparatus (30 percent); how well they boost worker awareness (30 percent); and how they handle remediation (28 percent).

The survey also indicated employers are in desperate need of cybersecurity talent, with 13 percent saying they are approached “many times a day,” 8 percent saying they are contacted daily, 16 percent saying weekly and 34 percent saying about twice a month.

An overwhelming majority of respondents, 85 percent, said they would look into a prospective employer’s current security situation before taking a job and base their decision to accept a job offer on what they found. About half of respondents said they are more prone to take job with an organization that takes cybersecurity seriously and 40 percent said they would work for a business that needs security upgrades.

At Thompson Technologies, we are constantly looking at trends and forces within the tech labor market. If your company is currently looking for a talent acquisition partner with its finger on the pulse, please contact us today.

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