North Carolina ranked 12th in the nation for the number of job postings for cybersecurity analysts, engineers, auditors, architects, and administrators between 2010 and 2014. In addition, the job growth rate in North Carolina for these professions exceeded 125% during this time frame.
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Demand for cybersecurity experts exceeds supply, and the White House cites estimates that the number of jobs in this field is growing 12 times faster than the job market overall. Such strong demand results in high salaries for cybersecurity experts, and Burning Glass Technologies reported that the average salary in the cybersecurity field exceeds that of IT professionals overall by $6,500.
The Triangle Business Journal reported that North Carolina suffered from 815 data breaches between January 2013 and September 2014 that impacted 1.8 million residents. Fortunately, North Carolina boasts a number of heavy hitters in the cybersecurity industry.
In particular, the Research Triangle’s SAS, IBM, and Red Hat make it a hotbed of cybersecurity expertise. The area also boasts one of Cisco’s two security operations in the world. Opportunities for cyber criminals are increasing with the trend towards cloud-based operations, and as the Triangle becomes a big data leader with SAS and IBM active in the area, cyberwarriors are close behind. Other data-focused companies such as Credit Suisse, Citrix and MetLife also keep security in the forefront.
The concentration of local cybersecurity talent is so strong that the government taps into it to staff the Joint Cyber Defense Team of the North Carolina National Guard. Most of these cyber team members work as IT specialists in an array of state, national, and international corporations and industries according to the officer in charge of the Joint Cyber Defense Team, Lt. Col. Anthony Sullins. As a result of its high-quality talent, the Team performs exceptionally well in national cyber training events according to an article from the US Army.
Salaries for Cybersecurity Professionals in North Carolina’s Major Cities
The Robert Half Technology 2016 Salary Guide provides the salary ranges that cybersecurity analysts and admins can expect to earn in the major cities of North Carolina. Professionals with a master’s degree have the expertise to earn salaries on the high end of these ranges:
- Data Security Analysts: $111,746 – $157,528
- Systems Security Administrators: $107,083 – $151,743
- Network Security Administrators: $104,799 – $149,205
- Data Security Analysts: $110.095 – $155,200
- Systems Security Administrators: $105,500 – $149,500
- Network Security Administrators: $103,250 – $147,000
- Data Security Analysts: $114,499 – $161,408
- Systems Security Administrators: $109,720 – $155,480
- Network Security Administrators: $107,380 – $152,880
Salaries for Information Security Analysts in North Carolina’s Urban and Rural Areas
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that both urban and rural areas of North Carolina had high numbers of information security analysts as of 2015:
- The Charlotte area has the 9th highest concentration of jobs in the country
- The Southeast Coastal nonmetropolitan part of North Carolina has the greatest number of jobs of any rural area in the county
In addition, information security analysts in the Southeast Coastal nonmetropolitan area received the 5th highest average salary of these analysts in any rural part of the US.
The BLS provides an enhanced level of detail on the salaries of information security analysts in North Carolina’s major urban and rural areas. Analysts with a master’s degree can expect to earn salaries that fall within the highest percentile: