University Lists Top 10 ‘In-Demand’ Cyber Security Jobs

Over half of cyber sector businesses have tried to recruit someone in the past 18 months.

University of Gloucestershire researchers have revealed a detailed analysis of the UK’s most in-demand cyber jobs for 2023.

Among those positions on the list are Cyber Security Trainee (salary £21,500), Cyber Security Engineer Trainee (£24,500), Cyber Intelligence Analyst (£25,000), Ethical Hacker (£44,500), and Cyber Security Manager (£62,500).

These and similar roles are increasingly in demand as companies in the UK and worldwide must counter a serious rise in digital threats, spurred on by the pandemic and growing trend for remote working.

Reports suggests that 39% of UK businesses have suffered a cyber attack, costing an average £4,200 for small businesses and £19,400 for medium to large companies.

This situation has been made worse by a rapid growth in specific cyber crimes, including:

  • Phishing – which tricks, pressures or manipulates people into sending information or payment to criminals. Between 2022-2023, phishing impacted 89% of UK businesses suffering a cyber attack
  • Malware – unauthorised software that gains computer access to disrupt or damage systems – up 358% compared with 2019
  • Ransomware – malicious software that blocks computer system or network access until a fee is paid.

After the United States, the UK is now the second most ransomware-targeted country worldwide, with 163 known major incidents over the last 12 months, including the January 2023 attack on Royal Mail by ransomware ‘LockBit,’ who asked for a record-breaking £66 million.

These developments have led to a huge demand for cyber security expertise, particularly around the cloud, where so many companies now store data.

The University of Gloucestershire’s Senior Lecturer in Computing Technologies, Zayd Dawood, said there was a significant skills gap in this area of the industry.

Zayd said: “Our ongoing analysis indicates there were almost 4,500 UK cyber security jobs advertised every month in 2021, an increase of nearly 60 per cent on the previous year.

“Additionally, the trend towards remote and hybrid working has made employers less focused on where cyber employees are based, which has equalised salaries across the country.

“Over half of cyber sector businesses have tried to recruit someone in the past 18 months, and of all the vacancies over this period, 44 per cent were reported as being ‘hard to fill’ for employers.”

Buck Rogers, Professor in Cyber Security at the University, said the skills gaps presented a huge opportunity for graduates, with the most popular roles being searched for including: Security engineers (35%); security analysts (18%); security managers (14%); security architects (11%), and security consultants (9%).

With regards earning potential, starting salaries for a cyber security analyst are typically between £25,000 and £35,000, while more experienced candidates can go on to earn from between £35,000 up to £60,000, with leadership or managerial role salaries often more than £70,000.

Professor Rogers noted: “Along with what is effectively a zero per cent unemployment rate, these jobs often provide higher salaries, which increase as graduates specialise and gain more experience.

“Some cyber security professionals will also earn a higher wage by becoming consultants who support several companies.”

University of Gloucestershire’s Top 10 Cyber Jobs Hot List:

1 Cyber Security Trainee (annual pay example, £21,500): Cyber Security Trainees cover essential technology and data security tasks, such as organising digital resources, researching and reviewing a company’s IT policies and researching new security strategies.

2 Cyber Security Engineer Trainee (£24,500): Cyber Security Engineers have responsibility for designing and implementing secure network solutions that protect against potential cyber and hacking threats. They often take on technical roles in larger organisations dealing with sensitive data.

3 Cyber Intelligence Analyst (£25,000): Cyber Intelligence Analyst roles can include work like identifying common weaknesses in IT networks, using digital resources to gather information and evidence, analysing dangers facing major security systems and producing threat assessment reports and recommending actions.

4 Cyber Risk Associate (£25,000): Cyber Risk Associates focus on researching and developing cybersecurity products and cyber risk management tools that deliver vital information and measures to insurance companies, so that policies are more accurate and effective for both the insurer and business being insured.

5 Ethical Hacker (£44,500): Ethical hackers use the same tools and techniques as malicious hackers, but have permission from the owner of a system being tested. Their goal is to help organisations improve security by finding and fixing vulnerabilities.

6 Security Analyst (£46,200): A Security Analyst monitors for attacks and unusual, unauthorised or illegal activity. They can also test and evaluate security products, design new security systems or upgrade existing ones, and use advanced analytic tools to determine emerging threats and vulnerabilities.

7 Network Engineer (£57,300): Network Engineers are responsible for designing, installing and maintaining organisation’s digital communication networks. Their work include establishing wireless networks, developing digital communication networks and improving cyber security.

8 Cyber Security Consultant (£68,500): Cyber security consultants evaluate security issues, assess risk and implement solutions to defend companies’ networks and computer systems against threats. They assess varied security systems and create layers of protection that match fast-changing IT landscapes.

9 Security Architect (£79,500): A security architect creates and designs security for systems or services, maintains security documentation and develops architecture patterns and security approaches to new technologies.

10 Cyber Security Manager (£62,500): Cyber security managers monitor the channels through which information flows in and out of an organisation’s information network. They have responsibility for observing all the operations occurring across the network, and managing the infrastructure that facilitates those operations.