IT Security – UK Tech Labour Market Trends, September 2023

Cyber becomes the fastest-growing IT skill in the UK

Key findings include:

  • Q3 is on track to be a record for Cyber vacancies as attack vectors multiply
  • Aerospace & Engineering firms see a 40% uplift in vacancies year-on-year
  • Location-neutral roles are up 25% on 2021.
  • BAE Systems is the company to watch, up 165% for Cyber recruitment

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Despite the fact vacancies have dropped in 2023 versus 2022, we see this as a temporary lull, as the attack vector is bigger than ever before. IT security vacancies are expected to total approximately 4,187 for the year, marking a 30.7% decrease from the 6,045 vacancies observed in 2022.

Equally, at the same time, IT security has increased in share of all IT vacancies, from 4.1% last year, to 4.7%, making it one of the fastest-growing segments. This is according to the latest UK Technology Labour Market Trends report by Robert Walters and market data analysts Vacancysoft.

Growth in Defence as Banks slow down

We anticipate a 40.2% year-on-year increase for Cyber within Aerospace & Engineering. The influence of geopolitical events, such as the Ukraine conflict, is evident in the rising demand for IT security expertise in the defense industry.

Banking, the second-largest sector, is expected to see a decline of -26.3% year-on-year, with approximately 813 vacancies, equally anecdotally, there is feedback that this is in part because some businesses may have overly recruited at the start of the war.

London loses share as location-neutral roles rise

While London dominates, the capital has seen the sharpest year-on-year fall, with vacancies down 41.5% on last year. Consequently, the share of IT security vacancies in the capital has dropped, dropping from 47.8% in the previous year to 40.4% in 2023.

The data indicates a rising trend of location-neutral roles in the IT security field, reflecting the increasing adoption of remote work. In 2023, such roles are set to increase by 25% compared to 2021, which shows not just the societal change, but the fact that in many ways, IT security is a mobile function, where fixed locations will make even less sense.

BAE Systems is on track for a 165% increase, which is in line with what we have been seeing in terms of their growth since the beginning of the war. The Ministry of Defence follows closely with a significant projected growth of 134.4% in 2023.

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