Hi, my name is Michael Catucci and I’m an Industry Mentor at Pathrise. I’ve spent most of my 20+ year career building security programs for various organizations including classified systems for DOD contractors. Now, I guide fellows at Pathrise through technical interview preparation, resume reviews, industry advice, and negotiation support.
Why It’s Important to Negotiate Salary
A common question that comes up often is how do you negotiate salary? You need to be well-prepared before you are faced with this significant scenario. It’s essential to recognize how the process works for both cyber security and IT support specialist salaries so you can put yourself in the best possible position to negotiate your salary. It is easy to underestimate the impact of leaving dollars on the table. Consider the following quote:
“I tell my graduate students that by not negotiating their job at the beginning of their career, they’re leaving anywhere between $1 million and $1.5 million on the table in lost earnings over their lifetime.”
– Linda Babcock, Carnegie Mellon University economics professor
The IT and Cybersecurity Job Landscape
The outlook for both IT and cybersecurity jobs is bright and both continue to dominate job boards whether you’re looking to enter the field or are trying to advance to a higher position. Understanding the current IT/Cyber landscape can be meaningful when you negotiate salary. Consider the following facts:
Knowing what areas within the country are paying for certain positions can also help you negotiate salary. Below are some cyber security salaries based on experience levels by city:
What Employers are Looking For
- You should always stress customer service. While it is easy to forget that aspect of your job, it can play a big role in not only landing you the job offer but even helping you negotiate salary.
- Reinforce the added value you bring to the team with any cross-functional skills you can provide. While you may be applying for a security analyst position, your background in tech support or networking might fill a gap or need within the organization and can save them money.
- Employers are prioritizing real-world skills. Highlight these wherever possible including volunteer, internships, or entrepreneur work.
- Certifications matter! Top certs like CompTIA’s Security+ or (ISC)² CISSP earn higher salaries than those without them.
Putting it All Together
You should now be able to create a strategy for negotiating a higher salary. Remember: there’s a reason these positions are in high demand. A cyber-attack can cost a company millions. Understanding the value you bring to an organization and how to convey that during the salary negotiation process can be the difference in your annual earnings.
Don’t leave money on the table. Pathrise can connect you to an experienced professional for one-on-one negotiation support and help you get a 10-20% increase in salary on average. Learn more and connect with a Negotiation Consultant here.