Salary Survey Extra: Are security pros overworked?
Posted on
January 23, 2016

Salary Survey Extra is a series of weekly dispatches that give added insight into the findings of both our annual Salary Survey and our smaller Salary Survey PLUS polls. These posts contain previously unpublished Salary Survey data.

Are IT security pros working too hard?

Is there such a thing, in 2016, as a 9-to-5 job? You know, other than for college students who deliver pizzas or tear movie tickets in half to get money for textbooks and housing fees? A lot of Americans like to say that they work hard, then play hard. Indeed "hard work" is a value nearly as deeply ingrained in the American psyche as Mom and apple pie.

In that vein, it's probably not precisely written in the Bible of Hard Work that "Thou shalt work more than thine appointed hours" β€” but maybe it should be. One of the standard questions in all of the Certification Magazine salary surveys asks respondents how many hours they work per week. And we find pretty consistently that the proverbial 40-hour work week is not actually the norm.

Out of all working professionals in the Security Salary Survey, a staggering 54 percent work between 41 and 50 hours each week, while 15 percent work more than 50 hours each week. Just 28 percent work between 31 and 40 hours every week. By quite an overwhelming margin, the norm for cybersecurity professionals is to work 41 hours or more each week.

Interestingly, if you zero in on the United States, it's more common to work longer hours in the Land of the Free than it is in the rest of the world. Outside the United States, just 48 percent of cybersecurity pros fall into the 41-50 hour range (though it's still the case that an unlucky 15 percent work more than 50 hours). A marginally healthier 32 percent work between 31 and 40 hours each week.

In the United States, 57 percent of cybersecurity pros work between 41 and 50 hours per week (membership in the More Than 50 Club is still at 15 percent). The number of people in the 31-40 hours per week bracket dips to 26 percent. If you value hard work and, perhaps more importantly, if "hard work" equates with "long hours" in your mind, then cybersecurity may satisfy you sense of self-worth.

Who are you betting on to win the Dragon Battle Royal?

BATTLE ROYAL OK, so this one is a little silly even by our freewheeling standards. Sometimes our mind works in mysterious ways. Quite a few people actually answered the question, however, so maybe we aren't the only ones to ever wonder. "Wonder what," you ask? Why this:

If all of the dragons got together to fight, which dragon would win?

Without further ado, the results:

Winner: Dragons aren't real. β€” 18. percent (Well, duh. Lighten up, people.)
First Runner-Up: Smaug β€” 14.7 percent (We'll consider this a win for Benedict Cumberbatch and Peter Jackson as well. J.R.R. Tolkien, too, except that he'd probably be rolling over in his grave if he knew the first thing about The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies.)
Second Runner-Up: Fighting never solves anything. β€” 14.5 (Come on, people. Have a little salsa on the corn chip of your dry existence.)
Third Runner-Up: Godzilla β€” 9.5 percent (You can't beat the old standards. Unless you're Smaug.)
Fourth Runner-Up: Puff the Magic Dragon β€” 6.7 percent (OK, we have to ask. How many of you guys really think Puff could take Smaug or Godzilla, and how many of you are just feeling, shall we say, mellow?)
Fifth Runner-Up: Godzilla is a daikaiju, not a dragon. Sheesh! Idiots. β€” 6.2 percent (Right? Like, who doesn't know that?)
Sixth Runner-Up: Toothless β€” 5.2 percent (Everyone who choose Toothless watches kid movies. Nerds!)
Seventh Runner-Up: Trogdor the Burninator β€” 5.1 percent (Not nearly enough respect for burnination here. Strongbad would not be pleased.)

Also receiving votes: The Khaleesi's Dragons (5 percent), The dragon that eats Matthew McConaughey in Reign of Fire (4.9 percent), Falkor (3.8 percent), The Dragon Reborn (1.9 percent), a green dragon (1.4 percent), Mushu (0.9 perecent), Pete's Dragon (0.8 percent)

No votes received: Ingeloakastimizilian

About the Author

Certification Magazine was launched in 1999 and remained in print until mid-2008. Publication was restarted on a quarterly basis in February 2014. Subscribe to CertMag here.

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