Demand for cybersecurity professionals in the UK has increased by 58%, according to DCMS

Demand for cybersecurity professionals in the UK jumped 58% in the past year, while the shortage of available staff has more than tripled, according to a DCMS cybersecurity job market report.

In 2021, UK companies advertised 53,144 core cyber roles and 100,048 ‘cyber-enabled’ roles – where cybersecurity forms part but not all of the job description. These figures were increases of 58% and 66% respectively from 2020.

“The demand for cybersecurity professionals has increased significantly in 2021. This continues and exceeds the post-pandemic recovery in demand seen in the fall of 2020,” said the 2022 Cybersecurity Skills Labor Market Report. British.

“Employers and recruiters see the cybersecurity job market as an increasingly applicant-driven market, with a higher average number of vacancies per company this year, and a higher proportion of those vacancies vacancies being difficult to fill.”

The report estimates the UK cybersecurity workforce to be between 110,000 and 152,000, with a median estimate of 131,000, putting it at around the same level as in 2020. 7,500 people entered the job market and 4,600 left – as demand grew. 17,000 (13%).

“Taken together, these results suggest a net annual shortfall of approximately 14,100 people in 2021. This is an increase of approximately 4,100 from the 2020 estimate,” the report said.

The DCMS report noted the findings of the 2021 ISC2 Cybersecurity Workforce Survey, which found the UK cybersecurity workforce was around 301,000, with a shortfall of 33,000. While the overall numbers are different, the relative shortfall – 10.8% versus 11% – is comparable.

According to the report, other measures have confirmed the surge in demand for cybersecurity professionals.

“More than half of all companies in the cyber sector (53%) have tried to hire someone in a cyber role since the start of 2020. Although this result is similar to the previous year (47%) , it should be noted that the average (average) number of vacancies per company has increased from 5.2 last year to 6.8 this year,” he said.

Of these vacancies, the research estimated that 44% were “hard to fill”, compared to 37% in 2020 and 35% in 2019.

Companies that have outsourced cybersecurity have better staffed internal teams than those that don’t, according to the study: “[Sixty per cent] of those who outsource have more than one responsible person, versus [43%] of those who do not subcontract.

“This suggests that outsourcing continues to be used by organizations as a way to expand their cyber capacity, rather than a way to replace their internal cybersecurity staff.”

More than half of UK businesses have a basic cybersecurity skills gap, and a third of businesses have more advanced skills gaps, particularly when it comes to penetration testing, the report also showed. These figures are substantially the same as in previous editions of the research.

Among cybersecurity companies in particular, the report found: “Half…(49%) encountered issues with lack of cybersecurity technical skills in the past 12 months, either among existing staff (20%) or among job applicants (45%). This year (compared to 2021), skills gaps are greater in the areas of operational security management and the implementation of secure systems. »

Geographically, almost half (48.6%) of cybersecurity job openings were in London and the South East. And the average advertised salary was £60,100 for a basic cyber job offer, up just 1.5% from 2020, with a median salary of £55,000, up 3.7 %.

Looking at the longer-term outlook for the industry, the report found a 17% increase in the number of people enrolled in cybersecurity courses and a 7% increase in the number of graduates. Computer science enrollments increased by 14% and graduates by 5%.

“This increase is likely to help reduce the cyber labor gap in the long term. However, this is still a slight increase in the context of known skills gaps in the UK economy,” the report said.

Diversity in the sector has improved slightly but still looks deplorable: 22% of cybersecurity professionals are women (compared to 15% in 2020), while 25% are from ethnic minorities (16% in 2020). Senior positions were less diverse, with only 13% held by women.

The report surveyed 947 private sector companies, of which 107 were large corporations, as well as 123 public organizations, 211 charities and 224 e-businesses.

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