Which IT contractor security skills are hot?

Contractor’s Question: This article on CUK about cyber security work is interesting but it doesn’t mention which IT security skills on a temporary basis are in demand in the UK, so which security skills are currently highly sought-after among outfits wanting contractors? What are the daily rates like for such skills - will they hold up in Q3-4 - or will other cyber security skills take the lead in the demand stakes, and therefore be better paid?

Expert’s Answer: The most important skill - required by the majority of clients - would be CISSP. It’s the Information and Cyber Security benchmark certification. If a client wanted complete excellence then they could demand a CLAS contractor (CESG / GCHQ Security certified) but there are very few in existence and demand very high pay rates as a result.

Generally speaking, popular skills with our own clients are the skillsets around CISSP, CLAS/CESG and ISO27001/2, CoBIT certifications. Candidates for these roles are difficult to find. I can’t foresee any issues with these types of candidates finding work in the medium to long term.

Regarding pay, the rates for these skillsets vary from £400 per day up to around £750 per day in higher-risk sectors such as banking and finance. We fully expect the pay rates to stay at this level in Q3-Q4, and regarding a value takeover by other skill sets - there’s no competition emerging in regards to IT security that we are aware of. Certainly not in the UK market.

Information Security skills have been ‘hot’ for the past few years, and demand is only going to rise. Our internal statistics suggest a continuing increase in both demand and pay rates for IT security professionals, across both our UK and continental operations.

The Expert was Sebastien Cobut, operations director and vice president of European Staffing Services at IT recruitment specialist Volt.

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