Why should you get security cleared to be a full stack developer?

Published on: 31 Aug 2022

Full stack developer jobs are in high demand among employers of all sizes and across all sectors of the economy. But as more than half of web developer professionals class themselves as full stack developers, there may often be a lot of competition for the best positions.

Therefore, you need to stand out from the crowd. And one way to do that is to apply for roles that require a security clearance. Not everyone is capable of passing the in-depth vetting needed for these positions, so if you already have such a qualification, or have a background that would make it easier to obtain the right clearance, such as working in sectors where high levels of trust are needed, you could find there are many more choices available.

Which employers would require security clearances for full stack developer jobs?

Amongst the biggest employers of IT professionals and developers with security clearance in the UK is the public sector. With 23 ministerial departments and hundreds of other agencies and public bodies, central government roles may offer some of the biggest opportunities for security cleared IT positions. 

As well as basic background screening checks, most jobs in this sector will require a level of vetting called Security Check, which includes a full security questionnaire, criminal record check and an investigation into financial and work history.

In addition to government roles, there are plenty of opportunities available in the private sector for those who have both IT skills and the personal qualities to pass a security clearance process. Sectors such as aerospace, defence contractors, communication and critical energy infrastructure all frequently require new employees to be security cleared before they can have access to confidential systems and facilities.

For those looking for the most sensitive roles, the most intensive level of security clearance typically required for IT developer jobs in the UK is Developed Vetting. This is reserved for those with access to the most highly-classified materials, such as those considered vital to national security. There may not be many of these roles available, but they require the highest levels of integrity and trustworthiness.

The benefits of being security cleared

Obtaining a security clearance can be a long and involved process, especially for high-level clearances such as Developed Vetting. In some cases, it may take months for an application to be processed and this could involve a rigorous look into your life, including a deep dive into your financial and personal history and a lengthy interview.

Therefore, you may be wondering whether this will be worth the effort. Often, the answer is 'absolutely!' Having security clearance not only increases the range of roles open to you right now, it also makes you more desirable to employers in the future.

Some of the key benefits of obtaining a security clearance for IT professionals such as full stack developers include:

  • Potential for increased salary - In recognition of the level of trust and responsibility that often comes with security cleared positions, many jobs offer a higher level of compensation than equivalent roles outside this sector. On average, having a security clearance offers a salary premium of between ten and 20 per cent, with higher clearances commanding the largest increases.
  • Exclusive hiring opportunities - Having a security clearance opens up new doors for jobs in most of the country's most high-profile and sensitive businesses. This offers the promise of interesting work in exclusive roles not available to the general public.
  • Increased chances for advancement - If you already have a low or mid-level security clearance, then you're already a step ahead if you're aiming for high-level clearances like DV. While you'll still have to go through the vetting process, potential employers and sponsors may look more favourably on your application and it means you've already demonstrated the integrity needed to pass these processes.

If you're looking for full stack developer jobs that require security clearances, browse our range of opportunities today.