The number of job postings for cybersecurity experts in Idaho exploded between 2010 and 2014 according to the workforce research firm Burning Glass Technologies. The firm reported that the number of listings increased 2.6-fold during this time period—the highest level of growth of any state in the country. Burning Glass Technologies also reported that cybersecurity positions are hard to fill and pay high salaries—9% more than the typical IT position.
The Wall Street Journal published an article in 2011 entitled “Top U.S. Cyber Defenders Work in Idaho Falls.” The article quoted Chris Bronk of the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University as saying “The number of people who can deal with Stuxnet…is a really small number.”
The combination of skillsets required to deal with cyber attacks of this level are rarely found in one person. Very few cybersecurity experts have an understanding of the control systems for critical infrastructure, and experts with these skills are likely to be found in Idaho Falls—not in Palo Alto or Langley.
One of the nation’s premier cybersecurity research and response facilities is the Idaho National Laboratory (INL), which received national press in recent years.
INL boasts the Industrial Control Systems Cyber Emergency Response Team (ICS-CERT) which responds to serious attacks that may have national security implications. The number of incidents reported to ICS-CERT rose 22-fold between 2009 and 2011.
The federal government is sending even more resources into Idaho to fight high-level cyber attacks following the 2015 hacks of the email systems of the White House, State Department, and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In December 2015, AirForce-Technology.com reported that the one of four Cyber Operations Squadrons operated by the National Air Guard under the US Air Force will be located in Idaho.
The state of Idaho is highly proactive in promoting cybersecurity to businesses and home computer users alike, and The Northwest Weekly declared the state’s Department of Finance to be a “cybersecurity champion.”
Idaho’s high-level cybersecurity industry has been drawing major players into the state. For instance, the highly rated firm root9b opened an office in Idaho and will be doubling the size of its operations to service both an academic institution and an R&D project with the Department of Homeland Security. This is expected to create dozens of new high paying jobs.
Salaries for Key Cybersecurity Experts in Boise City
According to the Robert Half Technology 2016 Salary Guide, cybersecurity specialists in Idaho can expect to earn salaries within the ranges shown here. Cybersecurity specialists with master’s degree have the advanced expertise to earn on the high end of these ranges:
- Data Security Analysts: $97,724 – $137,760
- Information Security Administrators: $90,836 – $128,720
- Network Security Administrators: $88,896 – $126,567
Salaries for Information Security Analysts in Boise City and Pocatello
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) provided employment data and salaries for information security analysts in Idaho as of 2015. More than one third of these analysts were located in Boise City. The BLS provides the range of salaries that information security analysts in Boise City and Pocatello earned that year. Information security analysts with a master’s degree can expect to earn salaries in the highest percentiles: