Salaries for UK IT security professionals rose by 3.5% in 2005, outstripping the rises experienced in most other European countries, research has revealed.
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IT security staff in the UK earned an average of £42,734 last year - higher than their counterparts in Canada, where the average was £38,110, and the rest of the world, where it was £28,734.
Only IT security professionals in the US earned more than their UK peers, the Sans Institute Information Security Salary and Career Advancement Survey found. The survey of 4,250 IT professionals in Europe and the US, including 120 from the UK, found that salaries for technical security specialists in the UK started at £33,000, rising to £43,600 for people with between 10 and 14 years' experience.
Security professionals in management positions could expect to earn £47,000 after three or four years, rising to about £54,000 after 10 to 14 years. More UK security professionals rated communication skills as a key contributor to career development than technical knowledge, the survey found. The skills highlighted as "very important" in the survey were: communication (63%), technical knowledge (55%), critical thinking (54%) and judgement (54%).
On qualifications, 60% of UK IT security professionals said ISC2 certification gave them an edge in management posts, although only 36% felt that ISC2 exams measured the hands-on skills they needed.
Thirty six per cent of respondents said security qualifications from the Information Systems Audit and Control Association gave them an edge. For hands-on security work, 56% of UK IT professionals said global information assurance certification from the Sans Institute was valuable.