Identity And Access Management Jobs
There are plenty of reasons to consider starting a role within cyber security. Not only has the demand for professionals increased by 60 per cent since 2021, but the average salary for a job in the industry has also grown by 12 per cent in the same period.
Since the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, businesses experienced a shift to more remote operations. As a result, the volume of cyber attacks increased, forcing organisations to bolster their security provisions.
With a job market that currently favours employees over employers, there’s no better time than now to start your search. A particularly rewarding career can be found in identity and access management (IAM). It’s a fast-growing field that offers various types of roles, appealing to cyber security professionals who enjoy tackling information threats.
What is identity and access management?
IAM encompasses a system of processes, technologies and policies that support the management of digital identities. When such a framework is in place, a business can limit user access to sensitive or critical information.
The implementation of IAM means businesses can automate tasks to track user privileges, as organisations face growing pressure to safeguard their resources. You might think it sounds like something for huge corporations with infinite budgets, but actually, the tech works for companies of all sizes.
What does an IAM manager do?
As a manager, you’ll primarily be responsible for implementing and updating the IAM programme, keeping up to date with the latest trends in tech and being aware of best practices and any possible threats to your organisation.
The bulk of your time will likely be spent making sure authorised users have the correct access to business systems, data and applications. Other typical duties include:
- Administering user accounts and managing permissions
- Checking activity logs to find potential security incidents
- Developing and delivering training resources
- Monitoring user compliance with internal and external regulations
What are some of the top vacancies related to IAM jobs?
Generally, professionals will either work as a practitioner or senior practitioner. The former will often work within a team, supporting other members of the group and the wider organisation with all aspects of IAM. They’re hands-on with it, ensuring the application goes smoothly and are usually aiming to become experts in the field.
With more experience behind them, senior practitioners are often team leaders, responsible for managing and training their employees. Often, they act as a funnel, consulting and escalating any IAM issues for both the business and its clients.
Making it to the top of the IAM niche will see you become a high-level executive within your organisation, such as a chief data protection officer or a chief technical officer.
Which qualifications and skills are relevant to roles in this specialism?
Working in the cyber security sector requires a lot of specialist knowledge, which can be acquired in several different ways.
Most companies looking for IAM experts are focusing on general IT skills and qualifications. It’s not essential to have a degree, but it will only help your case to hold at least a bachelor's degree in computer science or a related field.
The following cyber security skills will be useful for pursuing a career in IAM, providing a solid basis for any given company to train you on the specifics of your day-to-day role:
- In-depth understanding of networking and system administration
- Network security control measures
- Cloud security
- Knowledge of virtual machines and operating systems
Beyond that, here are some of the key hard skills you’ll want to familiarise yourself with to stand out for an IAM role:
- Solid understanding of user provisioning, account creation and management
- Application of industry-standard protocols, such as Kerberos, OAuth and FIDO
- Application of identity and authentication solutions like Okta, Auth0 and Azure AD
- Knowledge in privileged access management
- Ability to compile reports
- Some knowledge of scriptwriting
Is identity and access management part of cyber security?
IAM is one of the essential components of a cyber security provision that any organisation will need, but identity and access management wasn’t always considered to be a separate area. Until recently, most IT professionals had to know their way around IAM as the responsibilities would fall within their remit, rather than experts specific to that sector of cyber security.
Now, IAM is in high demand. With a global increase in mobile devices and additional access points for employees, there are plenty of opportunities for corporate data to fall through the cracks. The job market still lacks highly skilled IAM professionals, but that’s good news for anyone looking to get into this role within cyber security.
Identity and access management jobs in the UK
If you're looking for IAM jobs in the UK, there are a few things you should be aware of before making an application. This includes an understanding of the personal qualities you’ll have to bring to the table, how much you'll be likely to earn and where to look for these jobs in the first place.
What personal attributes might you need?
While cyber security is an industry that demands a specialist skill set, don’t overlook the importance of your own attributes, or soft skills. Here are some of the qualities you’ll need to thrive in a career within the sector:
- Strong communication and interpersonal skills
- Ability to work independently and within a team
- An eye for detail, with a pragmatic approach
- Great organisation and a motivated outlook
- Analytical mind and comfortable working with datasets
As you progress in your IAM career, some additional proficiencies you should pick up through experience are managing external agencies, providing expert consulting and a firm grasp of all relevant regulations.
Working in this specialism, what might you earn?
IAM is a lucrative area of work, with practitioners earning from £30,000 to £60,000 and an average salary of £33,491 according to statistics from 2021. As a senior practitioner, you can expect to earn compensation in the region of £70,000 to £120,000 per year, with the median earnings being £82,500.
Where can you find IAM jobs in the United Kingdom?
To find your next IAM role, the best place to start is on a dedicated cyber security jobs board. You can upload your CV to the site and simply let employers find you through your relevant skills and experience, or directly contact recruiters in the field.
You can also sign up to attend a cyber security jobs fair near you. These events take place several times a year throughout the UK and provide a fantastic opportunity to network with some of the biggest employers in the country.