A cyber security skills shortage is forcing companies to hire contractors rather than full-time staff, with day rates increasing by 16 per cent to £500 as a result.
Full-time employed security professionals, meanwhile, have seen their pay packets increase by as much as 10 per cent to an average £55,000 per year, or £65,000 in London.
Brookson, an accounting firm specialising in services for freelancers, contractors and other independent professionals, claimed that the number of job vacancies in cyber security had doubled in the past year alone.
“The number of job vacancies in cyber security has gone up by over 100 per cent in the last year. This shows that cyber security is one of the most sought after skills in the UK. While this means that there is more work available for people who specialise in cyber security, it also suggests that contractors may be able to command a higher rate of pay,” claimed the company.
Recruitment company Technojobs suggests that permanent cyber security staff have enjoyed a 10 per cent rise in salary, year on year, but in London pay has risen by 14 per cent from £57,000 during 2013 to £65,000 in 2014.
“From the data it is clear that the cyber security sector is suffering from a problem of supply and demand. This demand will continue to grow especially as hacking scandals and cyber attacks continue to hit the news,” said Anthony Sherick, managing director of Technojobs.
“In addition government demand for security specialists is massive and at its highest levels as it continues to monitor national UK and international threats.”
For contractors, the average daily rate has risen by 16 per cent year on year. “Currently, cyber security contracts have an average daily rate of £500. Therefore, it is one of the highest paying areas of IT in the UK and is also one of the fastest growing,” claims Brookson.
Cyber security is just one of many areas in which UK organisations claim to be experiencing growing skills shortages. Data science, with the growth of big data, is another area.
This has also been recognised by a recent House of Lords Digital Skills Committee when it brought Nick Boles MP, Minister of State for Skills and Equalities, and Ed Vaizey MP, Minister of State for Culture and the Digital Economy to give evidence on information and communications technology, competitiveness and skills in the UK.
And demand for cyber-security skills is only likely to ratchet-up even further as organisations take in the full implications of the devastating attack on Sony Pictures, allegedly perpetrated by the North Korean government over the release of a film called The Interview depicting the assassination of leader Kim Jong-Un.