Cyber security wages are set to soar amid a skills shortage

Demand for cyber security roles is set to boom over the next year following several high-profile cyber attacks, prompting a rise in wages, new research from the recruitment sector’s trade body suggests.

Every specialist IT recruitment agency surveyed by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said they thought demand for cyber security staff would rise over the next year, with 81 per cent predicting a “significant” increase.

However, Kevin Green, the chief executive of the REC, said there are very few people with the skills needed, meaning employers will be competing with each other for the limited talent.

For eight of the past nine months, cyber security roles were reported as hard to fill due to candidate shortages, according to the REC's monthly report. A whopping 81 per cent said the UK workforce was unlikely to meet demand in cyber security over the next 12 months.

This is set to fuel a rise in wages for cyber security staff – 94 per cent of recruiters surveyed predicted rocketing wages over the next year. Just six per cent thought wages would stay the same.

Green said: ​“Recruiters tell us that employers are making life more difficult for themselves by creating job roles demanding unreasonable amounts of experience, qualifications and skills – so they’re looking for someone that doesn’t even exist.

"Instead, they should think about how to make the most of transferrable skills and create training opportunities which would benefit employees and new applicants."

Green also called on the government to ensure businesses can still access the people they need after Brexit.

"Long term, we need to see better careers guidance in schools about cyber security roles so that we can build a skilled workforce for the future. And right now, we need to maintain access to the best people from around the world to create a secure environment where British businesses can flourish.”

Several high-profile cyber attacks occurred this year, including at Uber, Equifax, the NHS and Westminster.

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