Cyber-Security Salaries on the Up as Shortages Bite

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IT security salaries are on the rise thanks to a double whammy of increased cross-sector demand and continued skills shortages in key areas, according to recruitment consultancy Morgan McKinley.

The firm’s 2014 UK Salary Guide claims that remuneration for skilled IT professionals in certain key areas is outstripping average UK salaries.

"Cyber-security – with dominant program requirements being Hadoop, Python and R – big data, business intelligence and application development are all in high demand,” said Morgan McKinley associated director, Cem Baris, in a statement.

“While two years ago, hirers were demanding skills as well as corporate experience, now we see a focus on skills irrespective of age and track record.”

An IT security analyst, for example, could make up to £45,000 inside London on a permanent contract or up to £450 per day temping, according to the guide.

Those with experience in social, mobile, cloud and analytics will be particularly sought after as firms scrabble to adopt cloud, big data analytics and mobile technologies, the recruiter said.

Part of the surge in demand for cyber-security and other key skills comes from the Big Four consultancies, which grew 16% over the past year, and an explosion in UK tech start-ups, Morgan McKinley said.

That start-up scene includes VCs, financial advisers and private equity firms – all of whom need skilled IT labor, the report said.

Government legislation restricting the ability of UK employers to hire from outside the EU has apparently also pushed up salaries.

"Technologies are moving fast and companies are keen to ensure they take advantage of the new opportunities these offer while there are not enough STEM graduates coming into the workplace from UK universities to fulfill these opportunities,” Baris concluded.

“The result will be higher remuneration for those with the IT skills most in demand."

There is, of course, a global cyber-security skills shortage. Some 56% of (ISC)² members believe this, as opposed to just 2% who said they think there’s a surplus, according to last year’s Global Information Security Workforce Study.  

The security skills shortage is so acute in the UK that the government announced plans earlier this year to introduce the subject into the national curriculum.  

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