IoT Set to Put Strain on Cyber Skills Market

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UK demand for cybersecurity skills rose 10% year-on-year in the last quarter of 2018, with adoption of the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies set to put further strain on the market going forward, according to Experis.

The recruitment company’s latest Experis Industry Insiders report revealed a near 17% increase in advertised cybersecurity roles from the previous quarter, to 13,214.

However, average permanent salaries actually dropped slightly, by 2% year-on-year to £58,557, as employers sought out short-term solutions to fill their skills gaps. Contractor day rates jumped nearly 20% over the previous year, to £505.

In the IoT space, the number of new roles advertised jumped 49% quarter-on-quarter to Q4 2018. Permanent (1.5%) and contractor (4%) average salaries both increased.

“IoT offers huge opportunities for organizations, if they have the right cybersecurity foundations in place to take advantage of new innovations safely. We can see that there is a strong demand for top talent, but the market is struggling to keep pace,” argued Experis director of specialist markets, Martin Ewings.

“Businesses are having to be creative and take a blended approach to their talent acquisition strategies — tapping into the contractor market to build a hybrid team of permanent and temporary workers. In doing so, they can have fast access to the skills they need right now, while taking a longer-term view by building permanent capabilities and investing the time required to enable strategic development.”

However, building these permanent capabilities will be challenging given continued global shortfalls. Skills shortages in cybersecurity have reached nearly three million worldwide, including 142,000 in EMEA, according to (ISC)2.

Defense contractor Raytheon is doing its bit by announcing this week a new cyber-apprenticeships scheme as part of a £2m investment strategy which also includes a Cyber Academy to train university students.

The firm claimed there would be opportunities for 70 cyber-apprentices each year for the two-year program, which offers an alternative to three- and four-year degree courses. Plans are in place to certify around 280 apprentices over four years.

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