November 11, 2009, 2:10 AM — No one reading this column needs general references to news about the economic difficulties we are living through in the United States and elsewhere. Just the other day, I spoke with a long-time friend and colleagues from the information security field who used to earn a decent living as a much sought-after consultant; last week he canceled his business telephone line to save money. He's looking for a permanent job.
Another colleague of ours hasn't had a consulting contract in months – despite having had trouble in the past keeping up with demand for his services.
I think that security consultants may be suffering from a side-effect of the economic downturn: clients who don't already have or want permanent information assurance (IA) personnel may simply have decided to continue taking risks and hoping that nothing bad will happen to them.
The situation makes me think more positively about having moved from the business world to academic in 2001 – despite dropping my nominal salaried income by 57.5% at that time and now earning about one-third of what I'd be making as a senior IA executive in industry today. At least I have tenure, which means that I'm not going to be fired unless I appear in class out of uniform (Vermont Militia = US Army Class A greens), show up drunk (I never drink alcohol), treat a student rudely (no way) or recite Monty Python skits in class… uh wait a minute, I do recite Monty Python skits in class – but very briefly. Really. Only little bits of them. Honest.
But more seriously, there is good news for IA students and professionals: according to an extensive survey published by Foote Partners, LLC in Florida, job prospects are good for information assurance (IA) specialists.
Perhaps organizations who have enough savvy to employ permanent IA staff also understand the value of hiring good people for these critically important functions.
Gupta quotes the company as describing a number of factors (described in more detail in her excellent article) increasing demand for IA professionals: