Survey: Demand for cyber jobs still high, salaries rising

Wednesday - 2/22/2012, 10:17am EST

Hord Tipton, executive director, (ISC)2

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A survey by the information security certifying organization (ISC)2 found demand is high and salaries increasing for information security personnel.

"It looks like the vacuum is being filled," said Hord Tipton, executive director of (ISC)2 and the former chief information officer at the Interior Department.

The need for these IT workers still remains high, however. Hiring managers said it is still difficult to find people with the right skills that match the jobs, Tipton said in an interview with The Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

"This to me is a good thing in that hiring managers are becoming more educated into what they actually want and they're actually taking the time, it looks like, to match the correct skills with the resumes and certifications that are out there," Tipton said.

However, hiring managers have not adjusted salaries to reflect increased salary expectations, Tipton said.

Last year, (ISC)2 found accredited security employees were making an average of $98,500 worldwide while uncertified employees said they made about $78,000.

The survey also found that traditional methods of recruiting — like job fairs — are not very effective in finding employees right for the job. Cyber programs do provide well-trained people, but they are not "capable of producing enough," Tipton said. And the academic world "still needs to retool their programs and their coursework in order to produce security people ... that can hit the ground running," he added.

Some companies are starting to hire hackers or "black hatters" who have the technical skills to do the job. This emerging hiring trend has not been taken up by government agencies, though, Tipton said.

"Our whole business revolves around that element of trust. If you can indeed find good candidates, you could develop that element of trust." he said.

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