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March 22, 2016updated 04 Sep 2016 11:21pm

High-profile cyberattacks and data breaches spark huge boom for London cybersecurity jobs

News: Study also finds severe shortage of skills in HTML5, CSS, Python, Java, JavaScript, AngularJS, R, Hadoop, Spark, MongoDB and AWS.


The rise in cyber threats has led to a high demand for cyber security experts, who can earn as much as £800 a day.

A study has found that the number of technology jobs in London has grown approximately 30% between 2010 and 2015 due to healthy investment flows, with companies working on big data, ad tech and fintech reporting the largest growth in tech jobs.

According to Morgan McKinley’s 2016 IT Salary Guide, the widening digital skills gap in the UK is, however, proving beneficial for overseas professionals, particularly those from Central and Eastern Europe.

In the London area, the company has found a shortage in key skills such as HTML5, CSS, Python, Java, JavaScript, AngularJS, R, Hadoop, Spark, MongoDB and AWS.

One of the major areas where companies are in need for qualified employees is the cyber security space, as companies realise the impact of a data breach on their revenues and brand reputation.

As result, those with security expertise have seen a rise in demand over the last five years.

High-profile security breaches, such as TalkTalk last year, and the media reports on such events have created a culture where companies want to avoid being in the news for such reasons, the study says.

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The recruitment consultancy firm said that as a result of these attacks, heavy fines for financial services companies have been made and the attacks have had measurable impacts on company revenues, and damaged reputations, in commerce and industry sectors specifically.

In the study, it has been found that this has lead to a sharp increase in the demand for IT security specialists and upward pressure on salaries.

Day rates for lower level experts range from around £300 up to £800 where a company’s security has already been breached, or has identified a significant risk, according to the salary guide.

For example, a chief information security officer (CISO) in the banking and financial services is estimated to earn between £110k to £160k per year. In commerce and other industries, the salary is between £90k to £140k.

Heads of technology risk, technology risk managers and consultants, and information risk manager and consultants are also amongst the most well paid in the cyber security field.

A network security manager in banking and financial services is estimated to earn between £55k to £95k a year, a figure that drops to £50k to £85k in the commerce and other industries.

Morgan McKinley has also warned that despite cybersecurity being introduced as a subject at A level and in universities, until qualified graduates come onto the market there will be a scarcity of candidates.

In addition to security, Morgan McKinley’s guide has found that there is growing demand across the full range of IT skill sets in new digital technologies. "Developers and programmers find themselves in very strong employment opportunities related to digital platform projects," the document says.

An IT director/head of IT commerce and industry of head of financial services is estimated to be earning from £500 to £1,0000 a day in the capital.

Cem Baris, associate director for technology at Morgan McKinley, said: "There is a renewed confidence in the economy within the sector and IT professionals are reaping rewards with many enjoying salary increases.

"However, there are concerns that future restrictions on immigration may put a brake on this growth. In addition, there have been a number of initiatives to teach IT, coding and digital at schools and university with the belief that an increased interest at an early age will filter through but until qualified graduates come onto the market there will be a scarcity of professionals leading to war on talent.

"Employers will find it difficult to attract and retain the most skilled employees and therefore need to work hard to ensure their offering is compelling and goes beyond pay alone."

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