Salary Survey 2016: How does your compensation stack up?

See what your peers said about their career outlook and how your salary compares.

CSO Salary Survey 2016

Survey says!

In a tight job market, security pros are paid well, rate job satisfaction high, and will make a move for money, according to Computerworld's 2016 IT Salary Survey*.

Read the full article: With all eyes on security, talent shortage sends salaries sky high

Digging into the data, we find that information security manager is the hottest job in IT, boasting the biggest increase in average total compensation (up 6.4% from 2015 to 2016). Information security specialist also made the hot jobs list with an average increase in total compensation of 4.7%, tying software developer for the #5 spot.

Read on for more notable numbers. Or just flip ahead to the last slide to see what your peers earn.

*Results based on responses from 3,878 IT professionals, 138 of whom had security titles.

CSO Salary Survey 2016 3

Tenure trends

35.5% of security professionals surveyed said they have been in the IT profession for 25 years or more and 19.6% said they had been in the profession for 20-25 years.

Don't let those years of experience fool you. Security pros are highly mobile. 39.1% of security professionals said that they have been with their current employer for 1-5 years, while 19.6% said they've been with their current employer for less than 1 year.

CSO Salary Survey 2016 2

Now hiring

51.3% of security executives and managers said they expected IT staff headcount to increase in the coming year.

Of those who expected headcount increases, 79.5% said the majority of open positions were highly skilled specialist position, while 20.5% were staff or entry level positions. None said they were planning to hire management positions.

CSO Salary Survey 2016 4


81.9% of security professionals surveyed said they they have IT-related certifications and 67.4% said they plan to pursue a certification in the next 2 years.

Of those security professionals with IT-related certifications, 62.8% said that it helped them land a job, earn a promotion or get a pay raise.

64.5% said certification training was the most beneficial type of training for career advancement.

CSO Salary Survey 2016 5

Working long and hard

76.2% of security pros work more than 40 hours per week. And 58% say they either very frequently or frequently check messages or communicate with the office during non-work hours.

60.1% said that they expected their IT workload and responsibilities to increase in the next 12 months.

CSO Salary Survey 2016 6

Compensation trends

76.8% of security pros surveyed said that their total compensation (salary + bonus) increased since one year ago. Yet, just 52.9% reported being either satisfied or very satisfied with their total compensation.

And 60.9% of security pros said that they did not feel that their salary was keeping pace with business growth and demands.

CSO Salary Survey 2016 7

They’ve got issues

For security pros, the top 5 most important job-related issues are:

  • Base pay (52.2%)
  • Benefits (36.2%)
  • Job stability (35.5%)
  • Flexible work schedule/telecommuting/working from home (31.2%)
  • Job atmosphere/community (30.4%)

Just missing the top 5: Vacation time/paid time off (29.0%) and Challenge of job/responsibility (28.3%)

CSO Salary Survey 2016 8

Satisfied and secure

63.8% of security professionals said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with their current job and nearly the same number said they felt their current position is either very secure or secure.

In addition, 89.9% reported being either very satisfied or satisfied with the decision to pursue a career in IT. And 73.2% said that they think that a career path in IT and the potential for salary advancement is more promising than most other career paths.

CSO Salary Survey 2016 9

Stress takes a toll

46.4% of security pros said that their jobs were either very stressful or stressful. 64.5% said they have been under pressure to both increase productivity and take on new tasks within the past year. 57.2% said their working conditions had been significantly affected by increased workload.

Among those who have been asked to increase productivity and/or take on new tasks, 79% of said that their salary had not been adjusted to compensate for the added workload.

CSO Salary Survey 2016 10

Top career concerns

Security pros' top 5 career concerns are:

  • Keeping skills up-to-date/being valuable to employer (20.3%)
  • Finding an appropriate new position for my skill set (18.8%)
  • Flat/stagnant salary (14.5%)
  • Increased workload (14.5%)
  • Changing structure and role of IT dept. (8.0%)
CSO Salary Survey 2016 11

Job search status

49.2% of security pros surveyed said they are are either actively or passively looking for a new job outside their organization. 72.6% said they had been approached by a hiring organization or headhunter about job opportunities in the past 12 months.

Top 5 reasons why they are looking for a new job:

  • Looking for higher compensation (68.4%)
  • Seeking career advancement (51.9%)
  • Looking for more interesting/challenging work (39.2%)
  • Looking for more personal fulfillment (35.4%) Want less stress (25.3%)

File this under a good problem to have: 32.9% of security pros surveyed said the hardest part of their job search is knowing how much compensation to ask for.

CSO Salary Survey 2016 12

What your peers earn

Average total compensation (salary & bonuses) in 2016:

CSO: $162,064
Information security manager: $122,340
Information security specialist: $94,845

Average Increase in total compensation (salary & bonuses) from 2015 to 2016:

CSO: 5.09%
Information security manager: 6.36%
Information security specialist: 4.66%

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

Related Slideshows