Poll: Information security salaries remain steady despite recession

Despite an economic crisis, professional information security salaries are holding up well in the U.K., according to a new survey of more than 600 professionals.

Information security job salaries for professionals are holding up well in the U.K., despite the economic downturn, according to a new survey of more than 600 people.

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The survey, which was conducted in April, found that 56% of respondents recieved a pay rise in the last year, while the others remained steady. Of the 566 permanent employees included in the sample, the average annual salary was £53,600. Nearly half of that group said that bonuses formed part of their overall package, with most seeing bonuses worth £10,000 a year, and some bonuses reaching £100,000.

The poll was carried out by Information Security Solutions, a specialist recruitment agency in London, and included members of ISC2 Inc., ISACA, the British Computer Society, the Business Continuity Institute, the Council of Registered Ethical Security Testers and the MIS Training Institute.

"In the last two quarters, most recruitment activity has been focused on government work," said Iain Sutherland, managing director of Information Security Solutions. "But since the start of April, we have seen a sudden jump in the commercial sector. Companies are starting to recruit again. I think they realised that they couldn't cut any more. They still need to function, and I think they are also more risk-averse, so they need good security."

Other highlights of the survey:

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  • Day rates for contractors ranged from £100 to £1,150; 63% of them earned between £400 and £650 a day.
  • The average contractor had 24 unpaid days off a year, but no one had more than 40 unpaid days.
  • Education and qualifications play a greater role, with 42% of respondents having professional (non-vendor) qualifications; 49% having a university degree; and 25% holding a Master's or higher.
  • Highest salaries go to consultants, followed closely by those in the financial and telecommunications sectors. Professionals in local government earn about a third less than those two areas of the market.
  • For the first time, the highest information security salaries have moved from London out to the greater southeastern sector of the country.

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