Security IT technical skills in demand

According to the most recent salary survey conducted by Acumin Consulting Ltd. in partnership with, IT technical skills are in demand when it comes to information security.

In this video interview, Chris Batten, managing director of Acumin, discusses the trends, including pay for recent M.Sc. graduates and public-sector cuts.

Read the full text transcript from this video below. Please note the full transcript is for reference only and may include limited inaccuracies. To suggest a transcript correction, contact   

Security IT technical skills in demand

Chris Batten: Some up, some down, nothing significant in
terms of those movements, though. Having said that, I think
we can certainly highlight some trends and some ongoing
trends, as well, that will reinforce our ideas from last quarter.
In terms of the overall market, we are seeing a continued
increase in demand across the board, some areas less so
than others, of course, and they will, therefore, influence
the salaries.

I think in the last video update we had, we did identify
technology as becoming increasingly more important within
the skill set of particularly end-users who are recruiting
permanent heads, and that continues, and has indeed
escalated, during this quarter. What do I read into it? That
is an interesting question. I suppose that the end-users that
we speak to are trying to consolidate their technology or look
more deeply into how they can benefit from the technology
they have. They have turned around and looked at the fires
internally, without so much budget now, and therefore, that
has driven the efficiencies internally, from a technical point
of view. The technical skill set within security is definitely on the up.

If not vendors, then certainly suppliers, whether or not that means
they are asking their existing systems integrators or consultancy for
help to rationalize as well, but again, it is certainly technically focused,
even from a risk management perspective, the controls of it in that
framework, so the IT controls seem to be a skill sets that are on the

If you look at the results we have there, you will notice that
there is a decrease in the medium to high-ish end consultancy
practices or consultancy skill sets within consultancies. That
indicates, from what we see, a decreasing budget within the
local authorities, and local government. I would say central
government is still in demand, not necessarily growth pace,
but certainly stable-ish.

You have spotted in there, the increase in the salary rates for
channel managers, effectively. That means new business
channel acquisition, as well as existing, that is as a consequence
of the consolidation of the end-user space, of course, everything
is driven by that demand. They’re consolidating their suppliers,
and as they ask their channel for more input, it will always get the
vendor’s attention, when channels start to ask questions. I think
previously, we mentioned that the vendors are taking their future
into their own hands somewhat and engage directly. Things are
swinging around a little bit now, back to the favor of the channel,
whether or not that is valuated resell or systems integrator. The
channel needs to be warned, it needs to be understood that
vendors have a proposition, and they need to take that
proposition to the resellers.

I don't know if it is just because of the time of year, there are
no grudges around, but there really has been a decrease at
the lower end of the recriminate cycle, within security. Maybe
there is a dearth of skill sets within that that can be picked up,
but we have noticed at the bottom end, maybe it seems to do
with training budgets, who knows what? Those end-users do
not have the training budgets now, to invest in the skill sets at
the low level. They need some kind of competency, whether
that is, I certainly do not want to talk in years, but let us say
two to five years competency until they have some groundwork.
If they have zero, or next to zero, experience, they are not so
keen on taking them on.

We have seen an increase in recruitment. It is been quite slow,
certainly for us anyway, over the course of the two years, at a
very senior level. I am talking within an enterprise of regional
director of security, if not, then a global seizer. We have found
an increase in that, and with it, a slight increase in the salaries
that are being offered, better than what I think, they did dip for a
while. The increase maybe is driven by the technology, maybe
they think, ‘We are looking closely at the technology, and how we
can better that technology, and while we do that, is a good
opportunity to look at our control mechanisms to, perhaps,
make some changes strategically.’

I said earlier, across the board, there is an increase in demand,
and I still think that is the case. I do think that employers are still
picky, they are not making quick decisions. I do perceive that
starting to change, so when we next sit down, perhaps I will be
say, 'Oh my goodness, everyone is desperate for skill sets in
security, irrelevant of what they are.’


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