Research and analysis

Cyber security skills in the UK labour market 2023

Research detailing skills needs and job vacancies across the UK cyber security sector.



This research into the UK cyber security labour market explores the nature and extent of cyber security skills gaps (people lacking appropriate skills) and skills shortages (a lack of people available to work in cyber security job roles) using a mixture of:

  • representative surveys with cyber sector businesses and the wider population of UK organisations (businesses, charities and public sector organisations – with this summary focusing on businesses)
  • qualitative research with recruitment agents, cyber firms and large organisations in various sectors
  • a secondary analysis of cyber security job postings on the Burning Glass Technologies database, as well as recruitment pool data originating from the Higher Education Statistics Authority (HESA).

This year’s report finds:

  • 50% of all UK businesses have a basic cyber security skills gap, while 33% have an advanced cyber security skills gap. These figures are similar to 2022 and 2021.
  • There were 160,035 cyber security job postings in the last year. This is an increase of 30% on the previous year. 37% of vacancies were reported as hard-to-fill (down from 44% in 2022, but same as 2021).
  • Only 17% of the cyber sector workforce is female (down from 22% last year, but similar to 2021 and 2020) and 14% of senior roles are filled by women.
  • There is an estimated shortfall of 11,200 people to meet the demand of the cyber workforce (down from 14,100 last year, largely due to slower growth of the sector).

Through the £2.6 billion National Cyber Strategy the government is working to increase the number and diversity of skilled people in the cyber security profession. This includes encouraging young people to develop their cyber and tech skills, and take subjects such as computer science which help develop the skills needed for cyber and tech careers.

This is the fifth iteration of the research, which has been carried out on an approximately annual basis. You can see the previous versions of this report below:

This work is part of the government’s £2.6 billion National Cyber Strategy to protect and promote the UK online. In particular it informs the government’s work to strengthen the UK’s cyber ecosystem by enhancing and expanding the nation’s cyber security skills at every level.

Published 24 July 2023