Portland experienced the 4th highest level of growth in the number of cybersecurity job postings of any city in the country between 2010 and 2014 according to the workforce research firm Burning Glass Technologies. Job listings for cybersecurity analysts, engineers, auditors, architects, and administrators in the Portland area increased by 175% during this time frame.
A 2015 UPI.com article on the cybersecurity “talent shortage” quoted Alex Stamos, the CIO of Yahoo, as saying “It is pretty much impossible to hire folks within the indicated backgrounds.” As a result, cybersecurity experts are seeing higher and higher starting salary salary offers as employers compete for top talent. In fact, Burning Glass Technologies reported that the average cybersecurity salary exceeded that of other IT professionals by 9%.
Oregon’s IT sector includes hundreds of companies involved in providing cybersecurity solutions, including such stalwarts as Intel and IBM. In 2015, the Portland Business Journal featured the co-founder and CEO of Eugene’s SheerID, Jake Weatherly, who thinks that creating an Oregon Cyber Center of Excellence would help raise the profile of the state’s security industry. Weatherly said that while “There is a lot going on here in…cyber security…much of it is under the radar.”
Although the FBI’s 2012 Internet Crime Report ranked Oregon 24th in the nation for cyber crime, the Oregon Engineering & Technology Industry Council placed cybersecurity education and research as first on its list of “urgent workforce needs in 2014.”
The Council emphasized the need to produce graduates in Oregon who are capable of developing and applying high assurance forensics to protect infrastructure systems including:
- SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition) systems
- Other Industrial Control Systems (ICS)
Recommendations from their study included establishing an Oregon Center for Cyber Studies and considering targeting critical niche areas that would help to differentiate Oregon from other states.
Salaries for Cybersecurity Professionals in Portland
The Robert Half Technology 2016 Salary Guide provided the salary ranges for cybersecurity admins and analysts working in the Portland area. Professionals with a master’s degree can expect to earn salaries that fall on the high end of these ranges:
- Data Security Analysts: $117,251 – $165,288
- Systems Security Administrators: $112,358 – $159,218
- Network Security Administrators: $109,961 – $156,555
Salaries for Information Security Analysts in the Portland Area
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an analysis of the annual and hourly salaries for information security analysts in the Portland area as of 2015. Information security analysts who possess a master’s degree can expect to earn salaries that fall within the 90th percentile: