Competent Cyber Security Talent is in Demand

Knowledge institution Global Knowledge conducted a survey with 16.200 respondents over the globe to discover the factors that influence the skills and salaries of IT professionals. The 2018 IT Skills and Salary report states that security positions in IT have the highest salary globally, on average. Yet, there is a significant gap between the skills of IT professionals and the knowledge that is required to achieve organisational goals. Security and privacy training can reduce this skill gap. 


Increased demand for cyber security

Worldwide, 50% of the respondents agreed that cyber security is a key concern for the company. Consistently with last year, cyber security, along with cloud computing, remain an area that organisations expect to invest in. But 38% of IT decision-makers said finding cybersecurity talent is also the most challenging. The difficulty of finding cybersecurity talent is also emphasised in the article ‘Expanding Job Market Demand Impacts the Security Domain’, from a different perspective and focussed on the Dutch labour market. Further research showed three cybersecurity profiles most in demand: Consultant Information Security, Information Security Officer and Cybersecurity Specialist/Engineer.


This increased demand impacts the salary of professionals in cybersecurity positions significantly. According to the report, IT professionals in a security position earn $81.564 (71.610 euros) on average globally. That is 10% more than the second-highest paying job, cloud computing. Professionals in “revenue generating” jobs, such as system integration companies or value-added resellers, earn more than in any other IT industry. 


Certifications are important

The report highlights the importance of certification for both individuals and organisations. According to the report, certification leads, on average, to a 9% higher salary for IT professionals. Additionally, individuals say that certification helps them perform their job faster and increases their attractiveness to the organisation. On the other hand, 95% of IT decision-makers agree that employees with certifications provide added value to the organisation. Reportedly, certified individuals help close organisational skills gaps and increases the ability to meet client and stakeholder requirements. An analysis of cybersecurity job postings in The Netherlands showed that 56% of the employers ask for professional certificates, with CISSP, CISM, CISA and CEH are requested most often.


But what certifications are most beneficial? For the last three years, certifications in security hold the top spots for salary. Security-certified IT professionals earn approximately 15% more than the average certified IT professional. Of the respondents, 23% held a certification by HSD partner Cisco. The certification category that pays off the most is Security and Privacy; with Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP) and Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control (CRISC) receiving the largest average salary. To find your next training or education, have a look at our overview.


Relevant skills

Seventy percent of IT decision-makers say they currently manage a team that does not possess the necessary skills. Moreover, 70% of this same group expect this trend to continue for the next two years. The area of technology where IT decision-makers notice the largest skills gap is blockchain, followed closely by artificial intelligence and cognitive computing. In the area of cybersecurity ISACA, Kaspersky and FireEye are specific methodologies and technologies that IT-decision-makers expect to invest in. Pitfalls in attracting competent professionals are described in the article ‘Puzzling Vacancy Descriptions Contribute to the Security Skills Gap’. Are you already working in security but want to move into cybersecurity? Have look at the occupations radar for safety & security to see adjacent profiles.