Salary research shows upturn for those who know how to sell security


Salary research shows upturn for those who know how to sell security

Ron Condon

Research compiled exclusively for shows that salaries for some security professionals have started to rise again in the last three months, although mid-range salaries are still falling in some areas.

Fresh graduates are seeing their salaries rise slightly, and some senior roles are commanding more money. But those senior people are increasingly being required to show strong personal qualities rather than purely technical qualifications.

The figures have been compiled by Acumin Consulting Ltd., which specialises in the information security field. The figures show how pay has shifted in the last three months since Acumin's last survey in August. In the main, the current figures represent the salaries of those who actually changed jobs, rather than salaries that have been advertised, which tend to be higher to attract candidates.

"It appears that the consultancies prefer to take on more junior people and train them up rather than take on those with three to five years' experience," said Chris Batten, joint managing director of London-based Acumin. "It may just be a way of keeping their costs down."

Batten said he had also seen a rise in pay for employees with CLAS consultant training -- those with security clearance to work on government projects -- but he warned that the boom in this area could be short-lived. "We know a lot of people have been going for CLAS registration, so I think supply is going to catch up with demand."

The latest figures (see this month's table on information security salaries) also show a slight upturn in some senior salaries, but Batten said that soft skills -- the ability to persuade and sell security to the business -- are now very much in demand. "Some companies want someone with a good personality who can persuade the business about security, while others are looking for a more aggressive enforcer. It depends on the corporate culture, but it's very much the soft skills that are being sought," Batten said.

Some software vendors are also paying more to recruit high-powered sales people, which Batten thinks could indicate that they will start doing more direct selling rather than paying distributors and resellers.

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