The UK’s strong cybersecurity sector is good news for jobs

With the UK leading cybersecurity in Europe, we explore how tech talent looking for jobs in the space can develop their career and skills.

There are many major centres of cybersecurity excellence, and jobs. In the US, perhaps unsurprisingly it is Washington, D.C. that comes out on top, followed by the cities of San Francisco, Austin, and Boston, Massachusetts.

In Europe, the Netherlands is a strong cybersecurity contender. It is home to The Hague Security Delta, the largest security cluster in Europe, where cybersecurity businesses, government agencies, and knowledge institutions cooperate. Additionally, one of the world’s largest internet exchanges — the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), is located here.

Thanks to its firm foundations in banking, Switzerland has a high demand for cybersecurity workers, and Estonia is another leader in cybersecurity employment due to strong government support for the sector. Additionally, NATO has established its Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence in the capital city of Tallinn.

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London on top

The United Nations Global Cyber Security Index offers even more sharp-eyed insight into the sector. Analysis of each country’s strengths and weaknesses as well as legal structures, technical capabilities, organisational powers, capacity building and co-operation all form part of the index’s rankings.

In Europe, the UK leads for cybersecurity, with London at the top, according to the index. The city has a long history of financial services, which has more recently transformed into an expertise in fintech — and fintech solutions rely implicitly on security.

London boasts a burgeoning ecosystem of challenger banks, blockchain start-ups and at least 26 fintech unicorns, which include, Monzo, OakNorth Bank, SaltPay and SumUp. With regulation and security top of mind, cybersecurity is baked-in.

There are many more reasons why London is such a hub for cybersecurity roles. It is home to defence companies including BAE Systems, Thales, Lockheed Martin, and Northrop Grumman, as well as UK cyberstars such as Darktrace and Becrypt. All of these companies have leading requirements for cybersecurity professionals.

Open roles are one thing, but they need to be supported by a talent pipeline. That’s assured here too thanks to the UK’s wealth of higher education institutions offering Bachelor’s and Master’s courses. They include an MSc in Information Security at Royal Holloway. This course has been accredited by GCHQ, the intelligence and security organisation responsible for providing intelligence to the government and armed forces.

At King’s College London, there is a fully-online Global Security course that can be taken as a Master’s, postgraduate diploma, or postgraduate certificate.

Strong political support exists for the fintech industry too, and on a national level, the UK is on an upwards trajectory from its pioneering National Cyber Security Strategy of 2016, with the creation of a National Cyber Force in 2021 and a redeveloped plan for 2022 to ensure that it remains confident, capable and resilient and can continue to adapt, innovate and invest.

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Other UK hubs

There are a number of other hubs of activity across the UK which include Cambridge — 27 per cent of the UK’s cybersecurity workforce is based here — as well as Leeds and Reading, and according to Glassdoor figures, cybersecurity professionals can expect to be paid around £63,828 per year in London, but of course depending on experience and skills, the potential is there to earn far more.

For those already working in the industry, networking opportunities abound. London is a global destination and transport hub making it a great place to live and work.

Industry conferences and events that happen here include UK Sec, where cybersecurity leadership gathers annually to discuss challenges and trends. FMLS is the biggest fintech event in the city, attracting thousands of attendees, all of whom network and learn from companies and key decision makers in multiple industry verticals.

If you’d like to explore a career in cyber security in one of the world’s most vibrant cities, then discover jobs on the Information Age Job Board


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