New data released today by the World’s biggest job site, Indeed, has found that Ireland’s reputation as a leading Global tech hub could be under threat because of the severe shortage of cyber security expertise.
Ireland has the second highest share of cyber security roles advertised in the world, coming only second to Israel. The research reveals that employer demand for cyber security professionals far exceeds candidate interest, pointing to a worrying shortage of talent available to fill specialist roles.
Of the ten countries analysed, Ireland made the largest strides towards closing the skills gap, beating France, Germany and the UK, which shows that efforts to attract talent are working.
In 2014, jobseeker interest in cyber security positions only met 25% of the employer demand whereas now it meets 39% of demand (2016) - an improvement of 14%.
By contrast, the skills gap worsened in the UK, Brazil and Canada. The increasing threat posed by hackers and cybercriminals led the rate of cyber security job vacancies in Ireland to increase by 41.2% between 2014 and 2016, but candidate numbers have failed to keep pace with this demand.
While Ireland has seen an overall reduction in the skills gap, severe skills shortages persist within certain fields. Jobseeker interest in cloud security in Ireland only meets 9% of demand, while in the US it’s somewhat better at 22.9%. Likewise, Ireland has a severe shortage for application security with supply only meeting 20.6% of demand.
Among Ireland's employers, the field with the highest employer demand was network security. This accounted for 175.6% more demand than application security which is in second place. This shows that despite the increase in cloud technology, hiring patterns indicate that much sensitive information remains behind network firewalls.
Commenting on the analysis, Indeed EMEA economist, Mariano Mamertino said, "The threat of cyber attack is a significant risk for Ireland, given it is one of the most dynamic technology and business hubs in Europe. As cyber attacks increase in scale and sophistication, Ireland employers are racing to recruit the right staff to protect their business."
He added, "Ireland has made some progress in closing its skills gap, but addressing the chronic shortage of IT professionals is a major priority in order to continue to attract business and investment."