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The IT Sector in 2024: Cybersecurity Booming Amidst Changing Landscape

CAREERSThe IT Sector in 2024: Cybersecurity Booming Amidst Changing Landscape

The IT sector in 2024 will be: an industry dominated by the younger generation (average age 35), the highest employment change dynamics, monthly salaries ranging from 20 to even 50 thousand Polish Zlotys, and an increased importance of cybersecurity experts – these are just some of the conclusions from the “Cybersecurity. Labour Market in Poland – 2024” report.

The IT sector is in constant need of people, but they must be individuals with experience or at least the appropriate skills, as shown by the report “Cybersecurity. Labour Market in Poland – 2024”, prepared by HackerU, an expert in cybersecurity training, in cooperation with the personal consulting firm Devire. The report is the result of analysis and research aimed at deepening the dynamic changes occurring in the Cybersecurity sector.

“This is our next study on the IT market in Poland. This report not only focuses on an objective look at the job market from the sector’s perspective, but also presents the most sought-after skills, a salary overview for key positions, and the impact of various factors on candidates’ decisions when choosing an employer,” says Marek Gajewski, General Manager, HackerU Poland. “Striving to show as accurately as possible what awaits us in the coming year, we also asked for statements from experts and opinion leaders in Cybersecurity, which offer a unique insight into the present situation and forecasts for industry development,” adds Gajewski.

The IT sector has always been known for its attractive salary grid, but now, compared to the market, it seems particularly enticing. This is also a result of a series of new challenges associated with combating online crime, according to the report. Despite an overall weakening in the IT market, following a decrease in economic growth, the demand for IT security experts is not decreasing. As a result, the salaries of experienced professionals, such as Cyber Security Engineer, Cloud Security Engineer, or Network Security Engineer, range from 20 to 30 thousand zlotys per month*. Although in 2023 the number of job offers for IT experts decreased, the need for specialists in cybersecurity is still enormous. This is, among other things, a result of the increasing frequency of cyberattacks and digital wars waged by Russia and China, prompting companies to invest in this area.

The report’s authors point out that the most wanted specialists include analysts, engineers, and architects, especially those with experience in providing comprehensive protection using artificial intelligence and machine learning. The report presents unique data for this sector – analysts from HackerU and Devire collected rates for all the most popular positions in the sector, including data for 2023. They are extremely detailed – for example, a security manager on a junior level can expect a salary of around 22-28 thousand zlotys gross monthly, 29-35 thousand zlotys at the middle level, and 36-42 thousand zlotys at the highest level. In the case of B2B contracts for a mid-level position, one should expect an hourly rate of 140-180 zlotys net, and even 180-230 zlotys net per hour at the highest level. Managerial positions are correspondingly higher – an IT Director can expect a range of 38-48 thousand zlotys, with the most frequently offered rate of 44 thousand zlotys. The report provides many more similar data, presenting comprehensive pay grids for many other positions in the sector.

The publication focuses not only on looking at the job market in Poland from the sector’s perspective, but also presents the most frequently sought-after factors expected by employees. One can find out from it what are the key factors influencing the choice of employer in this area. These include, for example, transparency of salary rules (as the report shows, there is still a lot to be done in this area in Poland). Another trend is the personalization of benefits expected by potential or current employees. They must be as effective as they are positively evaluated, i.e., match the profile and expectations of the employee. Cafeteria systems, allowing flexibility of choice, are another phenomenon. As in many other industries after the pandemic, a flexible approach by the employer is obvious, such as remote or hybrid work. Similar to IT, a clear indication of B2B contracts as a more financially optimal alternative to employment contracts is typical.

Candidates for work in this innovative sector have their expectations related to access to the latest tools and technologies in the field of cybersecurity and to training. Companies offering projects related to cloud and hybrid technologies are attractive to employees, as are organizations using advanced tools for security process automation.

“A standard Cybersecurity worker must currently have room for self-improvement, often moving in an area that still has no established practices or standards. Training in various, extensive technologies is also difficult to standardize in one leading direction,” says Maciej Cieśla Head of Cybersecurity, HackerU Poland. “It requires an architectural approach and time for operational understanding of the organization. Let’s not forget that cybersecurity means threats 24/7/365, where the environment is secure on day 0 (zero), but already on day 1 it is exposed to new, unknown threats,” he adds.

Importantly, specialists from this sector have nothing to fear about being replaced by tools using artificial intelligence. In their case, the complexity of skills and decision-making tasks are key. Moreover, the report’s authors expect that in 2024, candidates for the Incident Response Specialist position can also expect an increased number of job offers. This is primarily due to the growing, nearly exponential number of cyberattacks.

“The speed of changes in the IT field requires a new approach in cybersecurity. Not only low-level knowledge of technology is necessary, but also the ability to combine different solutions and communicate with the business,” says Marcin Motylski, Founder & CEO, CloudNG.

On the other hand, Piotr Nogaś Business Development Manager, Hewlett Packard Enterprise draws attention to the legal aspect in the industry. “Changes in the regulations affect companies’ strategies and practices in the field of information security – security is the main pillar of compliance. The context of new processing models is crucial (…) It requires cybersecurity specialists to have interdisciplinary knowledge and the ability to adapt to dynamic changes in the technological environment.”

The authors of the report stress that in 2024 the demand for highly qualified specialists will still be maintained, especially cybersecurity experts and architects, who are responsible for designing global security solutions in organizations. This trend is particularly noticeable in the context of the increasing number of recruitments in this area.

* The salary analysis presented in the report is based on data from actual salaries offered by employers to new employees for specialist, managerial, and executive positions. The compilation is based on data obtained by Devire consultants in over 4 thousand recruitment processes carried out in 2023.

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