Three people standing together holding the cybersecurity skills report for the North West in Ireland.
Tim Kelley, Tata Consultancy Services; Hilary McPartland, North West Regional Skills; and Paul Brady, Optum. Image: Clive Wasson

Cybersecurity jobs in North West could quadruple by 2030, says report

8 May 2023

With the right level of support and investment from local stakeholders and Government, the North West of Ireland could be a cybersecurity jobs hub.

Cyber Ireland and Regional Skills North West, a government skills forum, estimate that the North West region in Ireland has potential to be a cybersecurity hub.

In a report released today (8 May), the organisations predict that the region could see growth in cybersecurity-related jobs from 250 this year to 830 by 2030. However, that prediction is dependant on continued investment and provision of supports from both regional stakeholders and the Government.

The Cybersecurity Skills Audit report involved a broad overview of cybersecurity activity in the North West. It also looked at some of the challenges faced by cybersecurity businesses as well as the trends they could be capitalising on.

A small number of cybersecurity professionals and stakeholders were interviewed. The report’s authors acknowledge that 26 interviewees did not provide an accurate sample of the population.

Local tech employers Tata Consultancy Services and Optum also provided input to the report. Both have tech hubs based in Letterkenny with cybersecurity operations.

In terms of tech skills employers in the region require, cloud cybersecurity, network security, vulnerability management, penetration testing and DevSecOps came out on top. For non-tech businesses in the region, cybersecurity awareness needs to be promoted, especially for remote employees.

The report identified that the North West is an attractive location for workers due to its relatively low rental costs in relation to the rest of the country and Atlantic Technological University offers a number of tech and cybersecurity-related courses which it says will be helpful in establishing a pipeline of new talent.

Currently, just 30pc of cybersecurity employees are recruited from within the region. In comparison to the rest of Ireland, there is a relatively low demand for cybersecurity services in the North West. With support, awareness and efforts to connect with other national cybersecurity clusters, this could change.

Hilary McPartland, manager of the North West Regional Skills Forum, said that overall the report found a “vibrant ecosystem with great potential to grow”.

“It’s the first step in our journey to build this sector to be one of the leaders in our region. I look forward to helping develop the talent and skills needed to support this dynamic sector that is vital to our economy and future success.”

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Blathnaid O’Dea
By Blathnaid O’Dea

Blathnaid O’Dea worked as a Careers reporter until 2024, coming from a background in the Humanities. She likes people, pranking, pictures of puffins – and apparently alliteration.

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