Why Retrain in Cyber Security?
Well for a start there have been several high-profile security breaches recently including, alarmingly, the NHS which has resulted in demand for Cyber Security professionals to unprecedented levels.
Employers recruiting for positions within IT are struggling to fill these roles and potential employees lacking the necessary cyber security skills is a particular problem.
UK Cyber Security Skills Gap
There are a high proportion of UK businesses who lack staff with the technical, incident response and management skills required to manage their cyber security.
It’s estimated that:
▪ Approximately 653,000 businesses (48%) have a basic skills gap. That is, the people overseeing cyber security for an organisation.
The most common of these skills gaps are in setting up configured firewalls, storing or transferring personal data, and detecting and removing malware
▪ Approximately 408,000 businesses (30%) have more advanced skills gaps, in areas such as penetration testing, forensic analysis and security architecture
▪ A quarter (27%) have a skills gap when it comes to incident response (and do not outsource this)
Skills gaps are also common in the cyber sector. This extends to both technical and non-technical skills.
Recruitment and Skills Shortages
Around 7 in 10 cyber sector businesses (68%) have tried to recruit someone in a cyber role within the last 3 years. These employers reported a third (35%) of their vacancies as being hard to fill.
▪ In 43 per cent of cases, this was because applicants lacked technical skills or knowledge. However, applicants lacking soft skills (22%) was also a common contributing factor
▪ In half (51%) of cases, employers have found it hard to fill generalist cyber roles
▪ The most common roles in demand are security engineers (18%), security analysts (13%), security architects (10%), security managers (9%) and security consultants (8%)
▪ The sectors most in demand of cyber talent are the finance and insurance, information and communications, and professional services sectors
▪ The technical skills areas most in demand include network engineering, risk management and technical controls, operating systems and virtualisation, cryptography and programming
Source: Statistics taken from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport (DCMS) 2020 survey (see full report here).
You can start the process to retrain as a Cyber Security Professional with this career focussed bundle of Cyber Security certification and legacy courses here. These courses follow the certification curriculum for the relevant vendors and will prepare you for an exam should you wish to get certified or ideal for those requiring the knowledge for their current or future role. This bundle comes with Practice Lab options as an add on if desired.
Cyber Security Salary Range
Like many positions in IT the scope is huge for Cyber Security Professionals – your options would include working for a corporate company, a specialist consulting company, or going freelance, so the salary will be varied depending on your experience and what certifications you have obtained.
Currently the average salary for a junior cyber security analyst is circa *£25,000, while the average wage for the more experienced cyber security engineer can range from *£40,000-£62,000. Those who have achieved senior status either by leading developer teams or being an independent freelance contractor can earn in excess of **£75,000-£100,000.
*Source: IT Jobs Watch **Source: CW Jobs
Cyber Security UK Skills Shortage
Source: UK Government 2021
Cyber Security Career Path
Once you’ve gained entry-level IT experience, you need to identify your career path. Cyber security careers and positions vary widely depending on the industry, company and technology.
These are a list of some of the cyber security jobs that you will find available:
- Security Technician
- Security Analyst
- Security Manager
- Security Consultant
- Information Security Manager
- Information Security Analyst
- Security Architect
- Security Engineer
Like many roles within IT the two career path tracks that most Cyber Security professionals choose are either in an employed position for a company or as a freelance independent contractor.
If you are someone who prefers to work as part of a team and appreciate a regular source of income you’ll be happiest in an employed role. Therefore, you’ll work closely with other developers learning and picking up tips and best practices from members of your team.
As you progress you will find your prospects will improve and if you are ambitious, reliable and enjoy added responsibility then you’ll almost certainly have the opportunity to grow – especially with larger corporate style companies.
Working with new clients and having the autonomy to select your own projects, it’s probable the freelance route would be your preference. As a freelancer you’ll be responsible for generating your own business, enjoy high job satisfaction setting your own schedule and guiding the course of each project without the restraints of a traditional corporate structure.
Regardless of whether you prefer the freedom of freelance or the familiarity of traditional job role, once you retrain as a Cyber Security professional you will have the ability to enjoy a long-term future within the IT sector. Cyber Security skills will always be in demand and you will have built a career in a profession that can be very lucrative together with a sense of achievement and job satisfaction.
If you are considering a career as a Cyber Security professional then take a look at this Cyber Security career focussed certification and legacy bundle of courses and begin the process of achieving your dream career.