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Despite Economy, IT Security Salaries Are On The Rise

Pay for certified security professionals is among the fastest-growing in IT, study says

While cutbacks abound in IT departments and businesses across the globe, salaries in the IT security space are actually on the rise, a new study says.

Although overall pay for skilled IT technicians fell slightly last quarter, pay for some specific security specifications is up, according to data in the latest edition of the IT Skills and Certifications Pay Index, published by Foote Partners.

"It's not just a 'slash-and-burn' recession strategy based strictly on CIOs cutting costs," said David Foote, co-founder and CEO of Foote Partners, in a news report. "It looks like a calculated effort [by CIOs], in a time of chaos and severe constriction, to smartly invest in skills and technologies that will not only tactically see them through the recession, but also ensure that [their companies] are stronger and undiminished at their core when it's over."

Overall IT security certifications pay grew 0.8 percent over the past three months, and 1.9 percent year-over-year, the report states. Certifications posting the greatest gains were the GIAC Security Essentials Certification (GSEC), which was up 46.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, and the Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH) certification, up 40 percent. The Certified Information Security Manager (CISM) was also up 7.1 percent over the past quarter. Of the highest-paying IT certifications, 18 out of 42, or 42.9 percent, were related to security, the report says.

For noncertified security skills, network security management made neither gains nor losses in the past quarter, but was up 6.7 percent over the past six months, and 14.3% year-over-year, the Foote study says. Network security management and "various project-based security skills" were among the highest-paying non-certified IT skills of the past three months.

Have a comment on this story? Please click "Discuss" below. If you'd like to contact Dark Reading's editors directly, send us a message Tim Wilson is Editor in Chief and co-founder of Dark Reading.com, UBM Tech's online community for information security professionals. He is responsible for managing the site, assigning and editing content, and writing breaking news stories. Wilson has been recognized as one ... View Full Bio

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