Demand for technology professionals in Scotland increased by more than 200% in 12 months, despite the technology jobs market easing in the first half of 2022.
The latest UK Tech Talent Tracker from Accenture, which analyses LinkedIn’s Professional Network data, found growth in job posts was driven by increased demand for skills in technologies such as quantum computing (up 1175% year-on-year) and blockchain (up 571%), as well as cloud (up 213%), data analytics (up 152%) and artificial intelligence (up 103%).
As these technologies evolve, demand for digital ethics professionals has also increased considerably (up 253%), while companies also seek to invest in cyber security (up 268%).
Much of the rate of growth year-on-year exceeded job vacancy trends in other UK centres, but the rapid rise in hiring has shown signs of easing across the UK, with open technology roles declining by 4% in both Scotland and across the UK during the first six months of 2022.
While the pool of UK technology professionals on LinkedIn grew during the pandemic – from 730,000 in early 2020 to nearly 935,000 professionals in July 2022 – the current availability of technology professionals continues to be outpaced by demand.
Stuart Glen, service delivery lead at Accenture Technology in Scotland, said: “While demand for technology has remained resilient across the UK over the course of a turbulent year, here in Scotland companies are working particularly hard to recruit the best talent to help transform their operations through technologies like cloud, data analytics and AI.
“Despite a recent easing in demand, Scotland must still focus on competing effectively with London and other UK regions to fill vacancies and ensure technology roles are filled at the pace companies need.
“Our key tech hub cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow offer a great quality of life to professionals coming to work here and organisations need to make the most of showcasing this to potential recruits, while also working proactively to develop and up-skill their existing workforce.“
The findings also showed that the number of Scotland-based quantum computing scientists on LinkedIn has risen by two thirds in 12 months, to 689 professionals, reflecting a growing focus on quantum-related businesses and investment across the UK.
In the first half of 2022, quantum computing was the only technology discipline to see significant growth in hiring UK-wide, with job vacancies doubling.
In Scotland, quantum-related growth in the first half of 2022 was slower than that of the UK overall, but still positive (up 9%).
Demand for skills in Metaverse-related technologies also rose. Extended reality job opportunities increased by 27% year-on-year in the UK – with Scotland seeing growth of 218%.
Glen added: “The UK has been an early leader in quantum computing and it’s good to see Scotland getting in the act, producing a robust share of quantum computing talent that should help grow its prominence in the field of supercomputing.”