Cyber security looks to be a strong career choice in Northern Ireland, as the sector is on course to generate £60 million in salaries per annum.
That’s according to Queen’s University’s Professor Sir John McCanny, who highlighted that the growth of cyber security companies and the positive economic impact they bring it top of the agenda of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), the UK lead university centre for cyber security research, based at Queen’s University Belfast’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT).
“This is an exciting time for the growing cyber security business sector in Northern Ireland. The economic impact of this industry in terms of the local economy is now significant, with estimated salaries alone now being close to £60 million per annum,” said Professor McCanny.
“At CSIT we are at an inflection point in our development. The industry is seeing significant growth which we are supporting through our internationally leading research and innovation activities.
“This is also helping in the development of the next generation of industry leaders to address the widespread demand for cyber security professionals and technologies. The shortfall for this is currently estimated to be between one and two million people globally.”
So that is positive news for people with cyber security and related IT skills. However it doe highlight that there is a significant appetite for cyber security specialists, particularly given the rise of hack attacks, that the UK many not be able to satiate.
With the potential for a ‘hard Brexit’ to close the UK’s open borders to the Europe, there is a risk that some of the skilled workers the nation currently attracts from the European Union could dry up in two years.