When adjusted for the cost of living, Charlotte, North Carolina pays cybersecurity professionals the most at an income of $125,173 compared to other metro cities in the U.S., according to an Indeed report. Chicago ranked second at $119,887 followed by San Francisco at $116,073. When salaries are unadjusted for the cost of living, however, San Francisco pays the most at $148,621.
Among the metro cities with the most open positions for cybersecurity are Washington, followed by New York, then Dallas, Baltimore, Chicago and Atlanta.
Searches on Indeed for cybersecurity job postings increased by almost 6% between March of 2017 and March of 2018. In particular, the most sought after jobs are IT security specialist, information security analyst, network security engineer, security engineer and application security engineer.
Indeed's findings showed there is no regional favoritism to where cyber work lies. It is not a coincidence that the cities on the list are also ones flagged as tech hubs in the U.S.
Overall tech employment in the U.S. has reached about 11.5 million workers, but while California is responsible for one-fourth of the national tech sector payroll, its high cost of living is driving tech talent to places like Seattle, Austin, Texas and Washington.
Cybersecurity jobs are open for the taking, but finding candidates to fill them is hard. The last few years have given organizations more cause for alarm with their security. Yahoo, Uber and Equifax's massive data breaches cost companies money and led to a damaged reputation. Federal agencies and consumers are acting to hold organizations accountable for how they handle customer data, placing more pressure on how they handle security.
But because of the publicity following large-scale cyberattacks, experts agree that now is the time to diversify the candidate pool with women and minorities. Only about one-tenth of the cybersecurity workforce is made of women and the lack of representation serves as a diversion for young women to pursue the profession.
Before true change can occur for women and minorities, hiring businesses need to address the pay gap between white professionals and ones of color. (ISC)2 found cybersecurity professionals of color make about $7,000 less annually than their white counterparts and were less likely to have received a raise in the last year.