The UK cyber security workforce has grown by 163% in the past five years to 58,000, according to a research report by the Tech Partnership, a network of employers seeking to promote cyber skills.
The report, based on data from information technology job tracking firm IT Jobs Watch and the quarterly labour force survey by the Office for National Statistics, is encouraging in the light of growing concerns about the international shortage of people with cyber security skills.
The data shows that salaries are up 7% in the past year to about £57,000 a year, which is 15% higher than for tech specialists as a whole. This also bodes well for the future as it may help to attract more young people to the increasingly important information security profession.
Just under half of the cyber security workforce is employed in digital industries, while banking accounts for 20% and the public sector 12%.
“In today’s data-driven world, nothing is more important for UK businesses than maintaining security,” said Karen Price, chief executive of the Tech Partnership.
“Developing the skills to protect ourselves is a national priority, and needs action at every level: at schools and universities, through digital apprenticeships, and through upskilling for experienced professionals.”
Analyst firm Frost & Sullivan has forecast a worldwide shortfall of 1.5 million information security professionals by 2020.
In view of this need, Price said employers are joining forces to make a difference in all these areas, and are working with government to ensure the UK has the skilled staff needed to maintain a leadership position in cyber security and operate safely in the global tech environment.
Looking at the detail of demand for digital specialists – based on advertised vacancies over the period – almost 7,000 roles were available in each quarter of the past year.
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