A lack of skilled information security professionals poses a threat to most organizations. In Tripwire’s 2016 Security Challenge Survey – Skills Gap, 75 percent of IT security professionals said they don’t have enough skilled personnel to detect and respond to a breach. Almost the same percentage (66 percent) of respondents reported a dearth of trained IT employees has increased the security risks facing them, so much so that 69 percent of organizations have embraced technology solutions to compensate for this lack of people.
The so-called “skills gap” doesn’t mean organizations will stop investing in information security, however. Cybersecurity Ventures projects digital security spending will grow to $1 trillion by 2021. This growth will no doubt increase the salaries of the highest paid jobs in information security, as well as other security professionals’ incomes more generally.
Given this projected investment, infosec experts can expect to find exciting opportunities most everywhere they go. But that begs the question: do some locations favor security folks more than others? Might some places offer higher salary potential, more affordability, or better amenities?
To answer this question, analysts at the consumer-education website GoodCall examined data for 221 cities located in the United States. They looked at what each city offers in terms of medium salary for infosec jobs, as well as the number of positions available, salary (the median salary for security analysts divided by the median overall salary for the city), affordability (median gross rent as a percentage of household income), and amenities per capita. These factors helped the experts weed out the best infosec cities from the rest.
Without further ado, here is GoodCall’s top 10 cities for information security in 2017.
10. Plano, TX
Plano, Texas, has a population of 283,619. GoodCall’s analysts spotted 21 information security jobs when they checked out the city. Those jobs sported a salary that’s nearly double the median overall salary for the city.
9. Troy, MI
At just 83,276 residents, Troy, Michigan, has the smallest population on GoodCall’s top 10 list. Even so, security experts who settle there can enjoy the fact that rent accounts for less than a quarter of their household income.
8. Chattanooga, TN
Rent in Chattanooga, Tennessee, might account for a higher percentage (30.5 percent) than Troy and Plano. But information security analysts can take comfort in the city’s high number of amenities and an industry salary that’s more than double Chattanooga’s median overall salary.
7. Irving, TX
Irving, Texas, is an overall great place to live for information security professionals. Jobs are abundant at 0.1014 per 1,000 residents. With a salary that’s 1.8 times greater than the city’s median salary and rent that’s just a quarter of household income, experts who settle here have lots of money to spare.
6. Orlando, FL
Rent in Orlando, Florida, accounts for more than 30 percent of household income. But an average industry salary that’s just shy of twice the city’s overall median income, not to mention plenty of amenities, makes up for that fact.
5. Cary, NC
Cary, North Carolina, ranks fifth on GoodCall’s top 10 list. The city stands out because of its high salary potential. Its affordability rating (23.1 percent) is also the best among the other cities.
4. Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach, California, has the highest number of amenities at 5.46 per 1,000 residents. Information security experts who settle here will no doubt enjoy all those things to do, as well as a good affordability rating at 27.6 percent of household income.
3. Jersey City, NJ
With the greatest job availability of 0.2157 positions per 1,000 residents, Jersey City, New Jersey, boasts high salary potential despite a comparatively low number of amenities at 1.98.
2. Sioux Falls, SD
Sioux Falls, South Dakota’s salary potential for information security experts is nearly double the median overall income for the city. It also has a respectable number of amenities at 3.18.
1. Columbia, MD
Sporting a job availability of 0.1643 posts per 1,000 residents, Columbia, Maryland, is affordable, has a fair number of amenities, and promises great salary potential. What’s not to like?
To view GoodCall’s full analysis, please click here.
Do you feel GoodCall missed a city in making its top 10 list? Let us know why you think so in the comments!