Software engineers and cyber security specialists are in line for some of the biggest pay packages if they decide to move jobs this year, new exclusive analysis shows.
As the Great Resignation is set to continue into 2022 and the majority of employers are planning to recruit staff, professionals who are looking for a new challenge are likely to see plenty of opportunities.
Skills-short areas such as technology, marketing, construction and engineering are set to continue to be in high demand in the new year, and generally command above-average salaries, according to research by recruitment firm Hays.
Tech jobs like cyber security specialists and software engineers can command high salaries
As the world increasingly moves online and such roles become ever more in demand, tech jobs top the list for the highest average salaries.
A cyber security specialist would look at £61,590 a year on average, while a mid-level software engineer can expect to make some £48,272, with more senior positions paying even more.
Those are well above the 2021 median annual pay for full-time employees in the UK, which according to official figures stood at £31,285 in the financial year to the end of April.
Simon Winfield, managing director of Hays UK & Ireland, said: ‘As tech professionals continue to play such a key role in the transformation of the working world, roles such as data analysts and software engineers are highly sought after by employers.
‘Cyber security specialists remain in demand as organisations work in a hybrid way, requiring shifts to cloud-based work environments as staff work in different ways across multiple locations.’
Management accountants are also in great demand and can command a salary of over £46,600 a year on average.
Maintenance engineers can also earn an above-average annual salary of £42,250
Maintenance engineers, those who look after equipment and machinery in factories and industrial plants, can also earn an above-average annual salary of £42,250, followed by electricals engineers, whose average pay is over £41,000.
With data being the ‘new oil’, those who can crunch vast set of numbers and other data can also make some decent money.
The average salary for a data analyst is £39,636, according to research, while research scientists can look at around £38,000 a year on average.
At the bottom of the top ten list are credit controllers, who are responsible for collecting invoices for companies among other duties, with an average annual salary of £24,833.
With data being the new oil, data analysts can also make some decent money
It comes as over 80 per cent of employers are planning on recruiting staff over the next 12 months – the highest recruitment intentions in eight years reported by Hays.
Its survey of over 22,700 professionals from the UK working across a range of sectors also found that the main reason for looking for a new job was salary, and/or benefits package, as admitted by 27 per cent.
More than one in ten also said they would search a new job due to a lack of future opportunities in their current one.
Winfield added: ‘If you are considering a move in 2022, consider not only how your skillset can meet the current demand, but think about what really matters to you in a career.
‘Whether that’s work-life balance, colleagues, organisational purpose, training or career development, making smart choices for the long-term will be critical if you want to thrive in a rapidly evolving jobs market.’
James Hallahan, director of Hays technology in the UK, says there are some cyber security degrees across the UK, but that is not the most common route.
‘Generally, we find that people who want to work in cyber are the types of people that have learnt to hack from 14 or 15 years old,’ he says.
‘Often, these people won’t go to university to study, but these will probably be the best Penetration Testers, as they’ve been learning about the sector from such a young age.
‘Alternatively, there are some cyber apprenticeships available. These are limited, but tend to be run by either GCHQ or specific organisations who look for leavers from top schools and universities.
‘Cyber security is incredibly diverse and very varied – so there’s a place for all skillsets and types of people in cyber security.
‘For those looking to get into the industry, the main thing employers are looking for is someone that is enthusiastic and willing to learn. At this stage, soft skills might vary; you could be confident and have strong communication skills, or more reserved with quiet attention to detail. It really doesn’t matter, because there’s an avenue for all types of people within cyber.’
When it comes to software development and engineering, again you can be self-taught, or you can progress through education.
‘There are a wealth of certifications you can get for each different language or technology, such as Microsoft Certified, or AWS Certified,’ Hallahan says.
‘The best advice for anyone looking to get into software development/engineering would be to enhance your coding skills as much as possible, because you will need to demonstrate to an employer that you have the skills needed to do the job.’
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