Securing a Million Dollar Salary in Tech


If you secure a job in tech security, you may be securing your future — and could be on a road to a lucrative career.

To see what’s driving the growth, look no further than the cyber attack on the U.S. early in October — or, the hacking into campaign emails.

According to executive search expert, Marc Lewis, CEO of Leadership Capital Group, there are three incredibly hot C-level jobs in tech for 2017 — all in tech security. Each can show you a path to a promising career.

Two of the three jobs are in tech according to Lewis. The other in business analytics. They are below:

  • Chief Information Security Officer
  • Chief Cyber Security Officer
  • Chief Customer Insights Officer (aka Business & Analytics Officer)

“If you can create a path to security tech jobs, you are on the road to a long, prosperous career,” said Lewis.

He went on to describe each, and why they are critical to organizations and “career makers” for many. Overall, every organization must be concerned with physical risk, information risk, terrorism risk, and cyber security – and those concerns are driving incredible demand for these jobs.

Below are descriptions of key top-executive positions in tech security for 2017 and the first jobs that can lead you there.

1. Chief Information Security Officer: (aka CISO and sometimes referred to as a Chief Security Officer): Because security of personal information and corporate info has become paramount to the livelihood of any business, risk of exposure has become a critical issue.

The hacks like TargetAnthemSonyJPMorganJohnson & JohnsonState Farm or Dyn have revealed the massive exposure and responsibility corporations have in protecting enterprise and customer information. Any company, especially banks, credit card companies, healthcare and insurance companies have massive data warehouses filled with extremely sensitive personal customer information. Losing control of the information can put these companies under.

Plus, in many cases, the CISO is given additional responsible for physical security, premises, personal protection and more.

A CISO can easily make upwards of $500,000 to $1 million per year. To get on the track to that position, jobs such as VP or Director of Threats, Incidents & Intrusion, of Security Risk & Compliance, or Security Operations or Architecture can lead you there.

2. Chief Cyber Security Officer: Nations, political parties, commercial companies and the media press seek intelligence to create an advantage. Securing information from cyber-attacks is an arduous task. Anything transmitted over the internet can be exposed to phishing. Plus, phony websites are the perpetual booby trap.

Prioritization of threats is a constantly changing puzzle.

Unlike a broad CISO role, the Cyber Security Officer manages and designs the deployment protection of all internal and customer facing mission-critical systems. Within those systems is personal and corporate data to be protected by the Cyber Security Leader. The Cyber Security Leader is focused on data and information and not directly on physical security.

Chief Cyber Security Officers make can easily $350,000 or more. Government agencies like the CIA or the NSA are excellent places to start a career that can take you here.

3. Chief Customer Insights Officer (or Chief Business & Analytics Officer): — While companies must protect consumer data, they must also leverage it to drive business insights. With the advent of big data, companies have to go beyond a data warehouse and leverage data to win in the marketplace and drive business strategy.

Companies can now predict the future with customer data.  Analytics Software-as-a-service or SaaS has become one of the hottest categories of software that is critical to driving marketing programs. These powerful systems may include artificial intelligence, are self-learning, and drive incremental market growth. The Chief Customer Insights Officer optimizes these systems and strategies to drive incremental revenue automatically.

The Chief Customer Insights Officer at larger enterprises makes more than $500,000. Strategic jobs in marketing such as VP of Business Intelligence and/or Analytics will lead to the CCIO job.

4. New hot Job for 2017 — Chief Collaboration Officer: Email is now a dirty word. No one trusts it. Beyond personal exposure, as in the Sony case, email is a permanent documented trail. In addition, the inefficiency of multiple communication platforms, email, texting, Skype, is inefficient. New products designed to address more unified communication (UC) such as Slack or Cisco’s Spark are hoping to become the new communication platform of choice. The Chief Collaboration Officer is charged with solving this challenge, creating a safe, efficient communication environment. In this world, small is beautiful – as in a smaller lesser known platform. Smaller systems are less prone to hacks because there less “bang for the buck” for hackers. At least until these new platforms become more broadly adopted, hackers will focus on mainstream (email and web sites).

Because this is a new position, salaries tend to be lower –in the $250,000 range. But, Lewis expects the salary to double in two years, and be seven figures by the year 2020.

Bottom line: Security is where to lock in the secure jobs in 2017.


Other Hot Jobs for Tech:

5. Chief Commercial Officer: The new title for the head of sales. Commercial has supplanted Chief Revenue Officer as the leader of the sales and customer relationship function.

Salary $250,000 or more. To get there, get in sales and close deals.

6. Chief Digital Officer: Companies are all digital all the time. The CDO is likely to be the next title to disappear and go the way of chief ecommerce officer. It will be core to every business and function of a company. Every job in every department will be “digital.” Understanding digital will help grow your career.

Go digital and get on the path to a mid-six-figure ($500,000) career.

7. Chief Technology Officer (no longer Chief Information Officer): CTO is now the preferred title for the head of tech. The CIO has become viewed as the plumber and maintainer of systems rather than the architect and builder. The CTO title is likely to garner more money today.

Salary: $350,000 to $1+ million. Best jobs to get that lead to the top job: VP or SVP of Architecture & Strategy, of DevOps or Application Development

8. Chief Privacy Officer – Privacy is different from risk in consumer companies. Customer PII (Personally Identifiable Information), SPI (Sensitive Personal Information) must be protected. While company info security is important – customers always come first. The CPO makes sure they are.

Salary in the $200,000+ range.  A good place to start this career is at a financial institution or insurance company.

9. Chief Risk Officer – While the title had originated in financial and insurance industries, the increasing number of risks now make it important for almost every type of company. Think about securing products as simple as a Wi-Fi doorbell. With the Internet of things (or IoT), things can go wrong. Anything connected can be hacked for nefarious purposes.

Salary: $300,000+, or in financial services $500,000+. Best jobs to that get you there: VP Compliance, VP of Financial or Business Risk


Looking back in 2016– other sources for top tech jobs: U.S. News & World ReportGlassdoorInformationWeekMashable

[Photo Credit: Simon Davison on Flickr via Creative Commons 2.0]

This post appeared on the LinkedIn Influencer page of Rob Wyse on November 7th, 2016 and can be viewed there by clicking here.
Rob Wyse (@robwyse) is Managing Director, New York, of Capital Content, where he advises thought leaders and writes about issues that drive economic opportunity, improve the environment, and lead to positive social change. His areas of focus include for-benefit enterprises, climate change, interfaith understanding, jobs and the economy, Internet access, and healthcare reform.