Addressing the Demand for Cybersecurity Skills in Ireland


Globally we are dealing with a cybersecurity talent shortage. There is a huge demand currently in Ireland and across the globe for cybersecurity professionals as companies are actively looking to increase their workforce to safeguard against any potential cyber breaches.

There is a concerning gap between the demand for skilled cybersecurity professionals and the available workforce to meet that demand. The increasing sophistication of cyber threats and the growing reliance on digital technologies across various sectors have escalated the need for cybersecurity expertise. This shortage is fuelling increased salaries in the area.

A skills gap in cybersecurity within Ireland has long been a source of warning from industry professionals. The several recent incidents of high-profile cyber-attacks emphasise the need to close this gap and address these shortfalls.

The Cyber Security Skills Report 2021 published by Cyber Ireland, found Ireland to have both a serious skills shortage and a skills gap in the cybersecurity sector. Cybersecurity teams were found to be understaffed in a male-dominated industry afflicted by a “serious” skills gap. These gaps have a knock-on effect on all aspects of the economy. All sectors have digitalisation plans, including the public sector. These are all at risk.

Several factors have contributed to this shortage:

-Firstly, as I mentioned, there is a rapid evolution of cyber threats, which necessitates continuous upskilling and adaptation to new technologies and attack methods.

-Secondly, our traditional education systems have struggled to keep pace with the rapidly changing landscape of cybersecurity, leading to a lag in producing qualified professionals.

-Additionally, high competition for skilled cybersecurity talent globally makes it challenging for individual countries like Ireland to attract and retain these professionals.


That said, we are rising to the challenge and Ireland’s cyber security sector and employment is growing rapidly, reflecting global growth in the cyber security market. Various reports have identified almost 7,500 professionals currently working in the cyber security sector in Ireland, with the potential for 17,000 jobs by 2030.

The efforts being made in Ireland to address this skills shortage include:

-Public and private sector organisations are investing in cybersecurity training programs, collaborating with educational institutions to develop specialised cybersecurity courses, and promoting initiatives to upskill the existing workforce.

-Public-private partnerships are being fostered to create a talent pipeline, offering mentorship programs and internships to encourage more individuals to pursue careers in cybersecurity.

-Cybersecurity Awareness Campaigns: Public awareness campaigns aim to educate individuals about the importance of cybersecurity, encouraging more people to pursue careers in this field. Due to the nature of the work, it’s a highly dynamic “trendy” industry to be in now with many career development paths to follow.

In a recent article, Puneet Kukreja, EY’s UK and Ireland cyber leader, discusses his thoughts on digital transformation, sustainability data, and cyber talent shortages.

Stating “While technical expertise remains crucial, a more diverse skillset is essential, including effective communication and broader business acumen. This broader skillset enables them to influence decision-makers at the board level”.

Within an organisation, your role in Cybersecurity makes an impact, and the nature of this impact is evolving at a rapid pace.

In Ireland, all 3rd-level and many private schools are offering Cybersecurity courses and graduates can find themselves going straight into employment almost immediately.  Some of the main “in demand” role titles currently are Information Security Officer, Network Security, Cybersecurity Engineer & Penetration Tester to name but a few.  The main certifications in demand would be CISSP, CISM, CISA & CompTIA Security.


For the short term, the cybersecurity skills shortage remains a challenge in Ireland and globally. Continuous investment in education, training, and industry collaboration will be essential to mitigate this issue.

Author John Ryan is our recruitment expert in this area. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with John if you would like to chat with him about available opportunities in the cybersecurity field or if you would like advice on how to upskill within this highly sought-after area effectively.

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