Salary Isn't Everything

Challenges of securing users, networks, and other IT resources edge out salary as most important element in job satisfaction among IT security pros in Dark Reading survey

May 18, 2006

3 Min Read
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NEW YORK -– For love, or money?

For IT security professionals, the answer is "love": the love of a good challenge that requires them to innovate and stretch beyond their usual problem-solving methods, according to a survey by CMP Technology's Dark Reading (

This is the second of a three-part salary survey series undertaken by Dark Reading; part three will be posted next Monday, May 22. The results were compiled from more than 760 responses, nearly half (46 percent) of which were from security professionals at companies with annual revenues of more than $100 million.

"About 58 percent of the respondents said challenging work was most important to them, followed by salary and compensation," said Tim Wilson, senior editor of Dark Reading, who oversaw the survey. Those responses were followed by good management (42 percent); good coworkers (16 percent); their company's financial stability (9 percent); benefits and perks (6 percent) and their company's need for IT security (about 5 percent). Respondents were asked to name the two most important elements from that list of potential respondents.

Click here to see the findings of part two of the Dark Reading Salary Survey.

But while the IT professionals surveyed by Dark Reading love a challenge above all, they also like getting paid for it.

Some 47 percent of the respondents said they were "somewhat satisfied" with their current salary; 29 percent are "somewhat dissatisfied"; and 10 percent are "really honked off" by their compensation. Only 14 percent said they were "very satisfied" with what they were paid. And that data point jibes with a major finding of part one: that security budgets are increasing while salaries remain relatively flat.

Click here to read part one of the Dark Reading Salary Survey.

Part three, to be posted next Monday, May 22, examines advancement opportunities – what security professionals see as the best ways to get ahead, get good projects, and make more money. Most think that security personnel with security certifications make more money, even if they don't think that "CISSP" after their names means a bigger raise. When asked which areas of expertise are most in demand, they said that an understanding of compliance issues, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act or HIPAA, has more cachet in the marketplace than, say, anti-spam or anti-spyware expertise.

Dark Reading is the latest enterprise-focused Web publication to emerge from CMP's business unit, Light Reading. As the Web's only one-stop security shop, Dark Reading simplifies the challenges IT professionals face in keeping informed about the latest viruses, enterprise network security, and data privacy.


Alix Raine
SVP Communications
CMP Media
600 Community Drive
Manhasset, NY 11030
[email protected]

About Light Reading
Reaching a core audience of more than 917,000 enterprise IT managers and executives, Light Reading Inc. publishes, the leading global content site for the telecom industry;, a storage networking site;, dedicated to wireless networking; and, an IT security site. Light Reading is also affiliated with, a market research site offering quantitative analysis of telecom technology to carriers, service providers, and vendors. Light Reading was acquired by United Business Media in August 2005, and operates as a unit of CMP Technology.

About CMP Technology
CMP Technology ( is a marketing solutions company serving the technology industry. Through its market-leading portfolio of trusted information brands, CMP has earned the confidence of more technology professionals than any other media company. As a result, CMP is the premier provider of access, insight and actionable programs designed to connect sellers and buyers in ways that yield superior return on investment. CMP Technology is a subsidiary of United Business Media (, a global provider of news distribution and specialist information services with a market capitalization of more than $3 billion.

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