It’s a good time to be working in cybersecurity. As hackers continue their onslaught, stealing information in sectors ranging from health care to retail sales, businesses will need experts in digital security to fight back.
In the first half of 2016, more than 554 million records were breached – a 31% increase over the previous six months.
Analysts expect significant growth in the industry: More jobs will come, and companies will spend more money to shore up security.
Cybersecurity Ventures projects companies and consumers will spend $1 trillion globally over the next five years on cybersecurity. That’s a projected growth of 12-15% from 2017 to 2021.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicted 18% job growth from 2014 to 2024.
A recent report showed that
several states have a high need for cybersecurity professionals.
Given the bullish nature of the industry, GoodCall® analysts crunched the numbers to determine the Best Cities for Cyber Security Professionals.
They looked at data from 221 cities, including average salary for cybersecurity professionals compared with the average overall salary, the number of jobs available per capita, affordability, and amenities per capita. These factors highlight cities that are both great places to find a job in the industry and great places to live.
The top 10 best cities for cybersecurity professionals are:
- Columbia, Md.
Columbia stood out for its high number of available jobs per capita. It’s also a fairly affordable area that pays cybersecurity professionals well.
- Sioux Falls, S.D.
The average salary for cybersecurity professionals in Sioux Falls is more than double the city’s overall average. And rent there accounts for just 26% of annual household income.
- Jersey City, N.J.
Talented workers have a good chance at landing a job in Jersey City, which has the fourth-highest number of jobs available per capita. Salary is competitive, too: the average of $115,000 is 1.9 times the city’s overall average.
- Newport Beach, Calif.
Newport Beach has it all. It’s fairly affordable, pays well for cybersecurity pros, and the abundance of amenities make it a fun place to live.
- Cary, N.C.
Cary is the fourth most affordable place on the GoodCall list, and it ranks in the top 50 cities for jobs available per capita.
- Orlando, Fla.
Cybersecurity jobs pay well in Orlando – nearly 2.2 times the overall average salary. And companies are hiring; Orlando ranks 20th in jobs available per capita. And, of course, the area’s amenities are abundant.
- Irving, Texas
Companies are shoring up security in Irving, which has 14th-highest available cybersecurity jobs per capita. The area is also an affordable place to live: Rent accounts for just 25.3% of annual household income.
- Chattanooga, Tenn.
Security jobs pay well in Chattanooga, where average salary for the industry is 2.2 times higher than the overall average. The abundance of amenities makes it a great place to live, too.
- Troy, Mich.
Aside from its fairly high available jobs per capita, Troy stands out for its incredibly affordable rent, which accounts for 24.7% of household income.
- Plano, Texas
When analysts last checked, there were at least 21 cybersecurity jobs posted in Plano, among the top 10% of cities in available jobs per capita. The fact that it’s affordable is just a bonus.
Here’s a look at the top 50:
View the full rankings here.
Some cities didn’t make the highest ranks on the GoodCall list but were still notable in specific statistical areas:
GoodCall analysts included data from 221 cities in the U.S. to generate rankings based on a score. That score was determined by:
Available Jobs: The number of full-time jobs in each city posted on Indeed.com under the title “cybersecurity” or “information security.” This was analyzed per 1,000 residents and accounted for 30% of the score.
Salary Potential: The average salary for Information Security Analysts from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, compared to the average overall salary from the area, also from the BLS in 2015. This made up 30% of the score.
Affordability: The median gross rent as a percentage of household income, taken from the American Community Survey 2015 1-year estimates. This accounted for 30% of the GoodCall score.
Amenities: The number of accommodation and food services as well as arts, entertainment and recreation venues, as reported in the 2012 Geographic Area Series from the Census Bureau, and adjusted per 1,000 residents. County data was used when city data wasn’t available. This accounted for 10% of the GoodCall score.