February 22, 2017


Author: Jerry Brennan and James Butler  

Abstract oil painting of many people. A Year of Growth and Opportunity.

The New Year frenzy has died down and 2017 is well underway. However, one question remains central to conversations SMR is having with clients and candidates alike this year.

“Will 2017 be a good year both for security and security job seekers?”

The answer is “Yes!” It looks good for both employers and job seekers, and the reasons for this may surprise you.

Previously 2015 and 2016 were forecast as transition years, with all indications suggesting a large number of security practitioners would be exiting senior positions. That didn’t happen. This year we’ve polled a substantial number of CSO’s during the past month, and many feel 2017 is the year they can again consider shifting. So, what has changed?

Economics
Economic factors remain key for both corporations and job seekers. For instance, many executives extended time in place in order to rebuild retirement plans, and investments have now grown substantially enough to provide an incentive to move on.

From the employer’s perspective, the hoped-for uptick in global economies means corporations are once again considering adding security staff as the economics will again be in place to support their needs. Contrary to what may appear in the headlines, it is not about terrorism. It’s about economics.

Visibility
Increased visibility of senior leadership in security is affecting change. Many security risk roles have been integrated into and aligned with business objectives and that is fostering opportunity. Corporations are increasingly aware of vulnerabilities in today’s ever more immediate environments, and are much more incented to participate in proactive security programs as demanded by both internal and external stakeholders.

Compensation
Salaries in the security risk sphere have steadily increased, outpacing the average. Executive-, upper- and middle-level positions have all outdone average salary metrics. Corporations are changing their compensation philosophies in general, and long-term incentives available to security roles are very often the same as those available to other classes. As an example, SMR recently helped to facilitate a package for a placement in the $1M range. Numbers like this for security executives were rarely on the radar before.

Evolution
The rapid advance of cyber security together with the concept of a converged security function continues to open up opportunity for individuals with more broad and different skill sets. What has always been a candidate-saturated market is shifting. Well-qualified job seekers are in demand while the supply is short.

All of the components are present for 2017 to be a favorable year for security job seekers. Conditions are ripe for expansion and advancement plus there is the likely possibility of increased earning potential and prestige. Put all of these factors together and there’s a lot on the horizon to look forward to in 2017 for both the security profession and its practitioners.

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