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DR Survey: Security Hot, Paychecks Not

If my job is so hot, why is my paycheck so cold? It may sound like a blues song, but if you're an IT security pro, you may know the refrain well. Because while security technology continues to reign as a top enterprise priority -- and one of the fastest-growing areas of IT spending -- a newsurvey undertaken by Dark Reading, Light Reading's new sister site devoted to IT security concerns, suggests that the people riding the security wave aren't exactly raking in the dough.

In an email survey of 768 security executives -- nearly half of whom work at companies with annual revenues of $100 million or more -- Dark Reading found that more than half of security specialists earn a salary somewhere in the mid- to high-five figures. (See Figure 1.)

That's about the same as -- or maybe a little less than -- the average starting salary for a software engineer or network engineer, who got between $61,000 and $93,000 right out of the box in 2005, according to human resources research firm Robert Half International.

Just as significantly, Dark Reading's survey indicates that more than 80 percent of security specialists received salary increases of less than 10 percent last year. Some 22 percent received no raise at all; about 5 percent actually took a pay cut. (See Figure 2.)

This finding seems at odds with studies on overall IT security spending, which consistently ranks as a top priority in large enterprises, increasing at a rate of about 15 percent annually, according to Infonetics Research.

Do enterprises value security technology more than security personnel?

Get the complete story at Dark Reading.

— Tim Wilson, Site Editor, Dark Reading

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