Half of All Security Experts are Unhappy and Unappreciated, Study Finds
Article by George Norman
On 24 Jul 2009
According to a new study that will be presented at the Defcon hacking conference in Las Vegas (conference starts on the 30th of July and ends on August 2nd at the Riviera Hotel and Casino) one in two security experts are unhappy with their jobs. You would think that working in the hot industry that is IT security would keep these guys happy, but it seems that just because they are well paid is not enough to keep 50% of them satisfied.

So what is the problem? According to the study conducted by Lee Kushner, CEO of security recruiting and career coaching firm L.J. Kushner & Associates, and security expert Mike Murray, the problem is that these jobs are not challenging enough and are not utilizing the full potential of the employee. Here are some actual figures to put things in perspective:


- The study was conducted on a about 900 security specialists.
- 57% percent said they are unhappy about the work not being challenging enough.
- 58% said they do not feel recognized enough for their accomplishments.
- 56% said they are capable of more effort than their job requires.
- 46% said their job does not offer much opportunity for creative thinking.
- 52% said they are less then satisfied with their current workplace.
- 27% said they like the place (read they are satisfied) where they currently work.
- 21% said they are more than content.
- 47% said they make more than $100,000 per year.
- 37% said the reason they would leave a work place for another is not salary, but their career goals.
- 30% move on to other employers in order to learn new skills, 22% to for life quality reasons.
- 10% of security experts said salary is the main motivation for leaving an employer for another.
- 34% move to a new job every 2-3 years.
- 31% move to a new job every 4-5 years.
- 32% move to a new job after 5+ years.

The survey was meant to take the pulse of the current security profession in an attempt to make it more career-oriented. Instead it brought to light some facts that nobody was expecting, not even Mike Murray. “People in security are generally passionate about what they do. You'd think in a progressive industry that [it wouldn't be the case] that one out of two are not happy...that shocked me. If I had to guess, it sounds a little like the industry is bored,” he said.

Tags: Defcon, Security, Hacker, Expert, Job, Career
About the author: George Norman
George is a news editor.
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Half of All Security Experts are Unhappy and Unappreciated, Study Finds
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