The number of positions for cybersecurity architects, auditors, engineers, analysts, and administrators in New Mexico increased by 119% between 2010 and 2014 according to the tech staffing firm Burning Glass Technologies. Since then, the state’s cybersecurity expanded even further. The high level of demand for cybersecurity experts in New Mexico helps to raise the bar for salaries in this industry. Burning Glass Technologies reported that the average salary for cybersecurity experts throughout the country exceeded those of other IT professionals by 9%.
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New Mexico boasts two federal labs performing critical work in cybersecurity and a robust commercial industry in the field. Much of this R&D centers in Albuquerque, and in 2016, Gary Oppedahl, the city’s economic development director, told Albuquerque Business First that “people can expect to see Albuquerque as a cybersecurity hub in the future.”
The high-profile expansion of Albuquerque’s RiskSense, Inc. to Silicon Valley provides data to back up this claim. With the company’s engineering team continuing operations out of it’s corporate headquarters in Albuquerque, the marketing, financial management staff relocated to Sunnyvale.
Both co-founders Dr. Srinivas Mukkamala and Mark Fidel remain with the company, but Dr. Mukkamala relocated to Silicon Valley. Fidel transitioned from being President to Head of Corporate Development and leads operations in Albuquerque.
Los Alamos National Laboratory applied scientific research to address national security issues since 1943. The Laboratory aggressively addressed cybersecurity issues since the 1980s.
In 2015, Los Alamos National Laboratory entered into a strategic alliance with Ernst & Young LLP to make a key cybersecurity tool available to private businesses according to a news release posted on the Lab’s website. Up until that point, only government agencies used the threat detection technology program PathScan® which enables organizations to detect threats before they do deep and lasting damage. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate aided its transition to the commercial marketplace.
The powerhouse national lab Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque created its Cyber Engineering Research Institute in 2011. The Institute enables the lab to share its national expertise in cyber defense with industry and universities according to its Director Rob Leland who was quoted in the Albuquerque Business Journal in 2012. The lab addressed cybersecurity aspects of the country’s nuclear program for decades, but this Institute allows it to effectively exchange ideas with communities.
Salaries for Albuquerque’s Key Cybersecurity Experts
Cybersecurity specialists in Albuquerque can expect to earn salaries within the ranges shown here according to the Robert Half Technology 2016 Salary Guide. Cybersecurity experts with master’s degree can expect to earn on the high end of these ranges:
- Data Security Analysts: $100,737 – $142,008
- Systems Security Administrators: $96,533 – $136,793
- Network Security Administrators: $94,474 – $134,505
Salaries for Information Security Analysts in the Major Areas of New Mexico
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that information security analysts in Los Alamo County received the highest average salary of any nonmetropolitan area in the country as of 2015. In fact, this County boasted the highest concentration of information security analyst jobs in a rural area of the US.
The BLS provides a detailed salary analysis of information security analysts in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, and Los Alamos County. Information security analysts with master’s degrees should earn in the highest percentiles: