Security professionals' skills shortage in the UK

Security professionals shortage in UK ‘increasing competition among companies for talent’

IT security professionals are at the forefront of the demand from companies across the UK, many of whom have placed greater demand on tech skills.

IT security professionals are at the forefront of the demand from companies across the UK, many of whom have placed greater demand on tech skills.

The skills shortage among IT professionals across the UK has caused increased competition among employers for the best candidates, with IT security at the forefront of demand.

That is the main finding of a new study from Experis, which found that big data, cloud technology, and mobile and web development, were also among the skills most highly valued by employers.

Examining numbers gathered during the fourth quarter of 2016, the research found that IT security has seen the greatest rise in demand, with the number of jobs advertised reaching 4,442 – an increase of 52.91% compared to the previous year.

Demand for contractors, in contrast, rose by 15.28% year-over-year, with 762 roles in IT security advertised over the last three months of 2016.

“Securing data and information is a priority for all companies across the UK.”

In terms of roles; security engineers, security consultants, penetration testers security analysts and security architects were found to be the most sought-after positions.  

Broadly speaking, salaries for permanent IT security positions increased by 4.99%, with gains made in Birmingham, Bristol and London.

The report went on to say that securing data and information is now a priority for all companies across the UK.

It claims: “Consumers need to feel confident that their privacy is respected. Such compromises resonate at the highest levels of the organisation concerned.

“Thus today, IT security is a leadership issue. And, as we will see, IT security talent lies at the heart of the solution.”

There are fears among many businesses that the current skills shortage in security professionals could prove harmful to Britain’s attempts to make itself a truly digital economy, although such concerns are by no means limited to the UK.

Writing for WeLiveSecurity recently, ESET’s Stephen Cobb highlighted the current security professionals’ skills gap in the US.

He said this has emerged mainly due to a number of factors, including the progress made with the use of technology, and an increase in criminal activity.

He also acknowledged that the road ahead is a difficult one: “I fear the skills gap may well persist for some time, despite our best efforts to reduce it.”

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