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UK IT Pros: Brexit Will Increase Skills Shortages

Over 90% of UK IT professionals believe Brexit will make chronic industry skills shortages even worse, according to new research from RedSeal.

The security vendor polled 502 IT professionals to gain greater insight into the skills challenges facing the country.

In total, 87% of CIOs and senior IT pros admitted that they are struggling to find cybersecurity professionals with the right expertise. In addition, 73% argued that Brexit-related uncertainty is adding to the challenge of hiring from outside the UK, and even more (95%) said that leaving the EU will only widen the current skills gap.

It’s a challenge that could have a major impact on the economic and social prosperity of the nation: 81% of respondents said they’d been hit by a cybersecurity breach in the past 12 months, and two-fifths admitted that their business doesn’t have a plan in place to respond to one.

“Further and higher education in cybersecurity needs continuing support in order to keep pace with the ever-changing threat landscape that UK business is facing right now. Engaging young people and mid-career changers in developing skills and knowledge through high-level technical and computing education is more important than ever before,” argued Peter Komisarczuk, head of the information security department at Royal Holloway University of London.

“There are significant career opportunities in cybersecurity — the average annual salary for jobs in cybersecurity is £72,500 and we are seeing our graduates getting significantly more that the average graduate salary of £23,000 on leaving with their degree. Moreover, the potential to contribute to economic growth is huge, as well as support UK business against a very real cyber-threat.”

Globally, skills shortages in cybersecurity have now surpassed four million, including 291,000 in Europe, which experienced an increase in shortages by more than 100% from 2018 to 2019, according to (ISC)2.

With the Conservative Party commanding a large lead in current opinion polls ahead of the December General Election, the UK seems to be heading unequivocally towards Brexit.

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