SMEs expected to suffer as cyber security salaries equalize across the UK

SMEs expected to suffer as cyber security salaries equalize across the UK

IT employers outside of London are expected to face “considerable” challenges in meeting increasingly equal wages in the cyber security industry as a result of a post-pandemic surge in remote and hybrid working.

COVID-19 gave rise to widespread hybrid working conditions that are now being adopted more permanently across the industry, leading to more equal pay in companies inside and outside the M25.

“I just worked for a client based in Wales who had to compete with London salaries because their candidates were working remotely,” a recruitment agent said in a post. annual report on the UK Cyber ​​Security Job Market, published by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

Wales was the UK region with the steepest increase in average cybersecurity salaries in 2021, rising £5,300 (12%) compared to the previous year.

Scotland and the East of England were the second and third regions with the highest pay rises: 7.6 and 4.8% respectively, while the North East, South West and East Midlands were the only three to show falls in cyber pay average.

The overall average salary for a cybersecurity job increased to £60,100, an increase of £900 (1.5%) compared to 2020 data, and the average salary is 34% higher than the average pay package of you.

While more equal pay across UK regions presents challenges for smaller employers struggling to meet both the need for cybersecurity talent and the salary demands of the right candidates, the report suggests there are positives to the development. .

The ability to work from anywhere in the country, in a wide range of different cybersecurity roles, is expected to have a positive impact on workforce diversity, according to the DCMS report.

There is data showing that diversity is being addressed in a positive way, with an increase in the number of women, ethnic minorities, disabled and neurodiverse people working in the industry, but the figures still point to a sector dominated by men and this is especially true in the highest. papers

Rising wages and employers’ willingness to facilitate remote or hybrid work contracts could be an indication of how far companies will go to secure needed cybersecurity talent.

Compared to 2020 data, the DCMS said the demand for trained cybersecurity professionals has increased “significantly” with 2021 figures showing an average of 4,400 more cybersecurity job openings posted each month, an increase of 58%.

There are around 7,500 new entrants to the online job market each year, according to the report, but this is partly offset by around 4,600 people leaving the market annually. The talent shortage is further supported by an industry trend of increased acceptance of entry-level candidates, with numbers up 18% compared to 12% in 2020.

Recruiters also said the search for top talent is hampered by poorly written job specifications, a common theme according to respondents, and the rise of remote work leading to smaller employers being unable to meet rising salary demands. .

Among the other key takeaways from the annual report is that employers are struggling to attract cybersecurity talent with complementary skills.

Such qualities include the softer skills such as communication and leadership, which many reports from years past have suggested are lacking in many IT applicants, as well as broader skills such as marketing, sales and technical report writing.

Troubleshooting Recommendations

DCMS said the recommendations outlined in last year’s report remain valid, as many of the report’s highlights are iterations of previous years that have become more challenging over time.

Among the recommendations is a greater need to communicate the importance of cyber security at the board level, promote cyber awareness in a company, and add soft skills to the Chartered Cyber ​​Professional certification.

Job advertisements need to be clearer, smaller companies are encouraged to establish relationships with local schools and universities to attract emerging talent, and recruiters need to play a role in solving diversity issues.

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