UK cyber workforce grows 160% in five years, Tech Partnership figures show

The UK cyber workforce has grown by 160% in the five years to 2016, according to new Tech Partnership research.

A total of 58,000 people now work in cyber security, up from 22,000 in 2011, and they command an average salary of over £57,000 a year – 15% higher than tech specialists as a whole, and up 7% on last year. The public sector accounts for 12% of all cyber staff.

The figures, derived from analysis of bespoke data from IT Jobs Watch and supporting information from the Office of National Statistics’ Quarterly Labour Force Survey, are published in the Tech Partnership’s most recent Fact Sheet, Cyber Security Specialists in the UK.

Prospective cyber security professionals should note that five occupational groups make up three quarters of all jobs posted: Security Analysts, Security Consultants, Security Engineers, Security Managers and Security Architects. The best paid cyber specialists are Security Architects, reflecting their high levels of experience and expertise. They command average annual salaries of over £70,000, and while they represent only 11% of the profession, demand for their skills has grown by 269% over the last five years.

The core process and methodological skills in demand have remained constant over the last year: Information Security, Firewall and Network Security are most often called for, featuring in 84% of all job advertisements. However, there are large increases in demand for some more specialist areas, with cybercrime up 264% and big data up 202%. Certifications remain important as a guarantee of knowledge: CISSP and ISO/IEC 27001 feature in almost one third of all job advertisements.

Reflecting on the figures, Tech Partnership CEO Karen Price points to the urgency of sustaining the UK’s cyber capability. “In today’s data-driven world, nothing is more important for UK businesses than maintaining security. 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.

Employers are joining forces to make a difference in all these areas, and are working with Government to ensure that we have the skilled people we need to maintain our leadership position in cyber security, and operate safely in the global tech environment.”

The cyber security factsheet can be downloaded here.

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