CSO salaries rise fastest in New York, Boston

The average CSO salary is now 4 percent higher than last year as a result of more responsibility and better visibility, with salaries in New York and Boston rising even faster, according to a new report

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The average CSO salary is now 4 percent higher than last year as a result of more responsibility and better visibility, with salaries in New York and Boston rising even faster, according to a new report from Mondo.

The national average for CSOs is now between $146,000 and $214,000, said Laura McGarrity, vice president of digital marketing strategy at Mondo, a recruiting firm serving the finance, healthcare and media industries as well as tech startups.

That's up from a range of $135,000 to $200,000 in 2014.

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New York saw a 6 percent increase, to between $161,000 and $233,000. Boston also had a 6 percent increase, from a lower base, to between $156,000 and $228,000.

"Cybersecurity has been huge, certainly in the finance industry," said McGarrity.

The Internet of Things and the Bring Your Own Device movement have also contributed to the complexity of the security challenge, she added.

Meanwhile, as a result of high-profile breaches and the increasing attention paid to security, CSOs are becoming more visible within their companies, and some firms have adjusted their organizational structures to reflect this.

In some cases, she said, a CSO can even rank above a CIO.

But along with the increase in pay, visibility and responsibility, CSOs are also expected to have a more holistic understanding of the industries where they work.

"There's a lot more pressure for them to understand other areas of the business, to be well versed through all business lines and business units, and to know how to plan and strategize for risk aversion," she said. "There's been a lot of pressure on softer skill sets."

CIOs and CTOs still have the highest average salaries of all the technology professionals, however, ranging from $170,000 to $250,000, a 9 percent increase from 2014.

However, a small number of very high-ranking CIOs drive these numbers up, said McGarrity.

"Typically, across the board, we've seen more uptick on the CSO front," she said.

The other highest-paid technology jobs are Chief Data Officer, ranging from $143,000 to $200,000, VP of Information Technology, $137,000 to $178,000, VP of engineering, $136,000 to $177,000, Director of PMO, $123,000 to $177,000, and Scala developer, $115,000 to $177,000.

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The Mondo IT salary data is based on 3,500 Mondo placements over the past year, in New York City, San Francisco, Washington DC, Philadelphia, Denver, Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Ft. Lauderdale.

While broader business skills were the focus this year, greater gender and racial diversity will be the focus in the future, the company predicted.

Today, according to McGarrity, women hold about 25 percent of the technology positions in the US.

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