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New report from Indeed highlights huge opportunity for IT security contractors

Cyber security remains a hot topic across many industries, with barely a week going past when there is not a news item about the latest breach within a high profile organisation. Which means that the need for expertise in IT security is as high as it has ever been. But the latest research from the […]

By Alex Graham on 21 Jan 2017
Read time: 3 minutes

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Cyber security remains a hot topic across many industries, with barely a week going past when there is not a news item about the latest breach within a high profile organisation. Which means that the need for expertise in IT security is as high as it has ever been. But the latest research from the Indeed Hiring Lab – released on 17th January and compiled from data gathered over the last two years – points to a significant skills shortage.

The data comes from jobseeker and employer behaviour on the Indeed website – covering millions of positions from thousands of different sources. And their new report makes interesting reading for limited company contactors especially – who are finding themselves in a position of potential high demand, not only in the UK but also around the globe!

To put this into context, Cisco recently estimated that there are around a million vacant cybersecurity roles worldwide, and Symantec has predicted that figure will rise to 1.5m by 2019. Which means that contractors and other professionals in this arena should have plenty of roles to choose from, and should also be able to command the highest rates

The Indeed report looked at 10 different countries with the highest demand, and reviewed Indeed Hiring Lab Data from Q3 2014 to Q3 2016. Contractors based in this country will be pleased to see that the UK and Ireland came 2nd and 3rd in the list of areas of highest demand – falling only behind Israel which has the strongest demand. All 10 countries suffered a shortage of IT security skills, but at the other end of the scale, the US and Canada fared best – with more than 50% of employer demand being met by jobseekers.

Ireland’s 2nd place is probably due to the fact that over 1,200 multinational businesses – including the likes of Microsoft, Google, Dell and Facebook, have their European operations based there, while many of the large cybersecurity companies – for example as Kaspersky, FireEye and Symantec – do the same. So if you fancy a contract in Ireland, there could be plenty to choose from!

In terms of specific skills, network security specialists are in demand pretty much everywhere – with this type of skill set being the second most wanted in the UK and Ireland, Israel, Germany and the US. To show what they mean by ‘high demand’ Indeed pointed out that, in the UK, there was 223.1% greater demand for network security skills than for mobile security, and in Ireland there was 83.1% more demand for network security skills than for application security.

Commenting on the report, Indeed’s economist for Europe, the Middle East and Asia Mariana Mamertino said, “Beyond the headlines, cybercrime is a threat to organisations of all sizes. The problem is fast approaching crisis point and British businesses will inevitably be put at risk if they can’t find the expertise they need to mitigate the threat. This should serve as a wake-up call to Britain’s tech sector – it must pull together to upskill and attract more people into cyber security roles.”

Overall, there is a huge gap between the employers’ demand and the number of available job seekers – across all 10 countries which were analysed. So, if you are thinking of a role further afield, and you have the right skill-set – the opportunity could be there to work in the US, Canada, Germany, Italy, France – or even Australia, Israel or Brazil.

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