Is the Cyber Jobs Market set to Erupt?
Identifying the number of cyber security roles in Ireland is tricky. No body officially counts and tracks these. The CSO census does not capture data for cyber security and compounding this cyber security responsibilities are often integrated into other IT roles. However, Cyber Ireland estimate 7,000 people are working in the cyber security industry within Ireland, showing that it is a sizeable and growing profession within IT (e.g. 2016 census data counts 20,000 software programmers in Ireland). The World Economic Forum’s research place Information Security Analysts as 8th on its lists of top 20 in demand roles. i
Cyber Ireland’s mapping of the cyber security ecosystem found over 40 MNCs with operations in Ireland as well as a notable number of indigenous Irish cyber firms. The biggest cyber cluster is in Dublin followed by Cork but with small pockets in other cities and towns as well. Investment in cyber security is set to grow significantly over the next decade with expected rates of up to 11% per annum until 2028ii, so Ireland is potentially well placed to benefit from this key economic growth area, and we see this in the State Street announcement of 400 cyber jobs for Kilkenny iii.
So what job growth can we expect in Ireland? In terms of hiring intentions, Cyber Ireland’s survey found 62% of responding organisations planned to hire in 2021 with 46% saying they are understaffed iv. And the HSE ransomware attack has now created a widespread sense of urgency to ensure cyber teams are fully staff. Research by it@cork Skillnet indicate that cyber security job postings have increased significantly over the past year, almost doubling in size. This may reflect built up demand from the pandemic but also the anticipated increase in investment in cyber security generally to counter the growing threats organisations are facing. However, this research also found that entry level positions in Ireland were fairly limited and were coupled with significant experience requirements, making entry to the field very difficult for new starters. v
To help ensure Ireland fully capitalises on this growth area a more concerted effort is required to nurture and develop the new talent within this field. Organisations need a more balanced hiring policy taking on both new and experienced hires to help foster and grow a strong Irish talent pool to which we will all benefit from. We have a unique opportunity right now to make Ireland a leading centre for cyber security, we must seize this opportunity together before others do.
To start exploring cyber security careers with us, go to www.cyberquest.ie.
i World Economic Forum Future of Jobs Report 2020
ii Grand View Market Analysis Report – Cyber Security Market Size, 2021
iv Cyber Security Skiills Report 2021 by CyberIreland v Cybersecurity Skills Development Strategy, May 2021 by it@cork Skillnet