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The percentage of the UK cyber workers actively seeking a new role has spiked from less than a quarter to almost a third in the past year.

Almost a third (31.5%) of the UK’s cybersecurity workforce is actively looking for a new position, a “huge” jump from the 22.4% who were in the job market a year ago.

According to Cybershark Recruitment’s latest Cybersecurity Salary Survey, a further 32% of the workforce are “not looking but would move if approached” – up from 29% in 2023.

The survey, conducted in partnership with SC Media UK, found slightly fewer employees expect to be promoted internally over the next year (10%, compared to 9% in the previous survey)

[DOWNLOAD: Cybershark Recruitment’s Cyber Security Salary Survey 2024]

“When companies freeze pay rises or reduce the opportunity for promotion/progression then people tend to look elsewhere for that opportunity,” Cybershark Recruitment managing director Daniel Murray said.

For the first time in the survey’s history, candidates rated an increase in their basic salary as the most important factor when changing roles: 25% ranked it to top consideration, compared to 22% last year.

Average time in a role drops below 2 years

The survey found that the time cybersecurity professionals were spending in each role they held was continuing to decline, from 24 months a year ago to 23.25 months.

Twenty percent of respondents said they had been in their current for four years or longer, compared to 25% in the previous survey.

Last year – with the impact of “the great resignation” in full force – 75% of those surveyed said they had changed roles over the previous 12 months. This year the number was down, but was still significant at 49%.

Career development favoured over flexibility

Murray said one of the surprising results from this year’s survey was that flexible working conditions had dropped in importance over the past year, with only 11% of employees rating it as their top priority, down from 15%.

“With the implementation of hybrid working people are finding better work/life balance with organisations who adopt this model and appreciate the human interaction on a regular basis rather than working from home exclusively,” he said.

Job hunters were also more interested in finding roles with training and development opportunities (a top priority for 11.5% of those surveyed, up from 9% last year).

“We are seeing increased candidates asking in interviews what the training and development looks like at organisations and if the company will pay for certifications so that the candidates can advance their skills and career while at said organisation,” Murray said.

“We feel this will only increase as the years go on due to candidates looking for companies who invest in career growth and the development of their skills.”

Cybershark Recruitment’s 2024 Cybersecurity Salary Survey compiled the results of a 29-part questionnaire completed by 2100 cybersecurity professionals from across the UK late last year.

[DOWNLOAD: Cybershark Recruitment’s Cyber Security Salary Survey 2024]


Written by

Simon Hendery
Senior Correspondent

Simon Hendery is a freelance IT consultant specializing in security, compliance, and enterprise workflows. With a background in technology journalism and marketing, he is a passionate storyteller who loves researching and sharing the latest industry developments.

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