UK IT sector enjoyed a 4.3% pay rise in 2018

IT ranks in the top 5 for both salaries and job opportunities in the UK – report

UK IT workers are enjoying a surge in the number of job opportunities available in the sector, as well as a rise in average salaries, according to job site CV-Library.

Using job market data from 2018, CV-Library found that pay was up 4.3% in IT, with an average salary in the field being a comfortable 44,100. The number of jobs emerging in the industry also surged by 19.7%, making the industry the fourth most prosperous in the UK.

The report's findings show a continuing trend from figures provided in April 2018. According to that report, job vacancies in the IT industry were up by almost 30% for Q1 2018 compared to the previous quarter.

"Throughout 2018 there was a great deal of competition for businesses to attract and secure the most talented IT professionals, hence why the sector has seen such a jump in pay," said Lee Biggins, founder and CEO of CV-Library. "As such, if you're looking to secure a pay rise in the year ahead, there's plenty of opportunity for you to do so in this influential industry."

The report brings some confidence in the UK's IT industry amid fears that there is a chronic skills shortage in certain areas, namely in cyber security. In a report published by Parliament's Joint Committee on the National Security Strategy, a cross-party group that works across both the Commons and Lords, concerns were raised that the UK's cyber security skills couldn't keep up with those of other global economic powerhouses.

The report's summary read: "During our ongoing inquiry into the cyber security of the UK's critical national infrastructure (CNI), we heard that although the UK has one of the most vibrant digital economies in the world, there is not currently the cyber security skills base to match, with both the Government and private sector affected by the shortage in skills".

In an effort to combat this, the government has started initiatives to entice new talent into the cyber security industry. The Cyber Discovery scheme, as part of the broader Cyber First government initiative, aims to attract new young talent into the industry in response to the ever increasing global cyber security threat.

The 20 million Cyber Discovery programme teaches students about subjects including digital forensics, defending against web attacks and cryptography.

As well as computer science teachers, it is also being delivered by IT security training company the SANS Institute. It's also a part of a long-term modern Industrial Strategy plan devised by the government to ensure that businesses have the skilled workers they need here in Britain.

At the start of 2018, we also reported that infosec specialists were to receive a 7% pay rise compared to 2017, given the growing number of data breaches and cyber attacks across all sectors. That's compared to a rise of just 3% for infrastructure and development roles.

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