Mississippi experienced robust growth in the number of job postings for cybersecurity analysts, auditors, engineers, architects, and administrators between 2010 and 2014 according to the workforce research firm Burning Glass Technologies. This firm reported the level of growth to be 161%.
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The CISO of Mississippi, Jay White, stated that “finding skilled cybersecurity professionals is a problem” in a 2014 interview with Dan Lohrmann in Government Technology. Thus, the demand for cybersecurity experts results in salaries that are 9% higher than typical IT salaries according to Burning Glass Technologies.
A 2015 Brookings Institution article on how state governments are addressing cybersecurity lauded Mississippi as one of two states that is “truly outstanding” for its focus on cybersecurity. Instead of relying on locally developed plans, Mississippi relies heavily on rigorous standards such as those developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology. By doing so, the Brookings Institution argues that Mississippi is likely to “adopt a much more robust and effect cybersecurity protocol.”
Key cybersecurity expert Dan Lohrmann spoke very highly of Mississippi’s chief information officers in an interview published in Government Technology. In fact, Lohrmann started his series of interviews with top state government leaders with those in Mississippi because of the quality of the state’s CIO, Dr. Craig Orgeron, and its CISO Mr. Jay White who share “a rare combination of technical and management expertise.”
Mississippi’s cybersecurity private sector received press from the Mississippi Business Journal in 2015. The article focused on cybersecurity experts who work from their homes in South Mississippi hunting cyber threats in a variety of industries.
Rebekah Wilke heads a Raytheon Foreground Security virtual security operations center that works 24/7 to keep clients such as financial service companies and utilities from being hacked by cybercriminals. While her team works throughout the US, 15 are located in south Mississippi. Wilke said “there are opportunities for those interested in working in cybersecurity in Mississippi.”
Salaries for Key Cybersecurity Experts in Mississippi
The employment search site Indeed.com aggregates the salaries for specific types of jobs in particular cities and provides a summary of the average salary over the course of the year preceding a search. As of July 6, 2016, the average salary for the year leading up to this date is provided below for the types of jobs being advertised:
Splunk Engineer/Architect—Stennis Space Center (Apex Systems)
Information Assurance Engineer 1, Cyber Security Operations—Jackson (GTI Federal)
Systems Engineer—Jackson (Fortinet)
Cyber Information Security Director—Vicksburg (Vecturs)
Splunk Engineer—Stennis Space Center (Apex Systems)
Information Assurance Engineer II—Biloxi (CACI International Inc.)
Network Security Information Assurance Engineer III—Vicksburg (Strategic Business Systems, Inc.)
Security Engineer (remote position)—Biloxi (Strategic Business Systems)
Systems Admin/Server Support—Gulfport (CSRA)
Systems Admin/Server Support—Gulfport (Strategic Business Systems, Inc.)
CNDSP Incident Analyst Lead (III)— Vicksburg (Strategic Business Systems, Inc.)
Info Assurance Analyst—Pascagoula (Alion Science and Technology)
Salaries for Information Security Analysts in Jackson and Rural Mississippi
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that the nonmetropolitan area of Southwest Mississippi had the 5th highest concentration of jobs for information security analysts of any rural area in the country in 2015.
The BLS provides detailed salary data for information security analysts in Jackson and a number of Mississippi’s nonmetropolitan areas. Information security analysts who have earned a master’s degree can expect to earn on the high end of the percentiles shown below: