Demand for cyber security skills soars

Demand for Cyber Security Skills Soars
At a time when the industry is reporting a widening cyber security skills gap, the latest Tech Cities Job Watch report from Experis shows that companies are prioritising longer-term investment over short-term fixes.

In the wake of several high profile hacks from the likes of Yahoo, the National Security Agency, and the Bangladesh Bank’s SWIFT software, and with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) set to come into effect from May 2018, cybercrime is at the top of the C-Suite agenda for companies of all sizes – not just the big multinational players.

With business leaders taking cyber security concerns more seriously than ever before, we’re starting to see a shift in how they integrate the necessary skills into their workforce. While there’s still a requirement for contractor support, employers are now prioritising long-term defence, and are increasingly looking for permanent IT security professionals to do this.

Embedding skills for the future

This shift is also reflected when comparing permanent salary increases to day rates. Annual IT security permanent salaries climbed by 5% year-on-year, compared to a 0.62% rise for contractor day rates over the same period.

With the threat of cybercrime showing no signs of abating, our latest report demonstrates that employers are committed to ensuring IT security skills are embedded into their organisation for the foreseeable future.

Linked to this is the increased need for internal training and development opportunities. Businesses must foster a culture of learnability and up-skilling to equip existing and new security professionals with the right tools to defend against future attacks.

Demand for IT security talent is at an all-time high. As our data shows, those organisations that are looking to plug the skills gap are willing to pay more than ever before to bring in the right people with the right experience at the right time to ensure their business doesn’t become the next cyber security headline.

The report also found that Security Engineers, Security Consultants, Penetration Testers, Security Analysts and Security Architects are the roles most in demand by employers. Additionally, London remained the dominant force in the country’s cyber security frontline defence, with almost three times as many permanent IT security roles advertised in the Capital than in every other tech city in the study combined.

About Tech Cities Job Watch

The Tech Cities Job Watch report provides employers with a barometer of the changing workforce dynamics within the technology sector. Five key disciplines are focused on in particular: Big Data, Cloud, IT Security, Mobile and Web Development.

It also puts a spotlight on the emerging opportunities and challenges businesses face in ten UK cities that are rapidly developing reputations as technology cluster hubs – London, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne.

This article first appeared in the sixth edition of The Human Age newspaper.