Skills shortage leads to major pay rises for cyber security staff

A shortage of cyber security and IT staff in the UK has led to a pay boom for those already working in the sector. On average cyber security experts claimed pay rises of more than 10 per cent last year as the growing sector is desperately understaffed. Security analysts saw the biggest raises with salaries soaring by some 10.5 per cent, according to recruitment group Hays.

Cyber security engineers’ pay rose by 8.4 per cent following a series of high-profile hacks and data breaches. Non-security IT staff also saw above-average pay rises with the average raise coming in at 2.3 per cent. Although much lower than those in cyber security, it is still someway above the national average of 1.8 per cent, again because of a skills shortage in the UK.

The study found 71 per cent of firms plan to recruit more staff over the coming year, but somewhat worryingly 59 per cent reported difficulties finding the right workers.

Almost one-third of firms said that a shortage of workers is holding back their growth, and 27 per cent said a shortage of staff is preventing them from implementing development plans.

“Employees are feeling the pressure, salary dissatisfaction is fuelling the discontent and careers are being stifled. Employers are concerned about the impact this could have on their ability to capitalise on their plans for growth,” said Nigel Heap, managing director at Hays UK and Ireland.

“We therefore suggest that organisations look to make workforce planning a key strategic priority, invest in their employer brand, and use contingent workers for more than just projects. Employers need to ensure they can attract the best people and alleviate some of the pressure on their existing workforce.”

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