Industry News | 12.06.2019
Edinburgh is providing some of the best paid jobs in the technology sector, according to a new report showing cities across the UK sharing the skills boom.
The city now employs 48,118 people in the digital tech sector on salaries almost 15% higher than average as the UK’s fast-growing clusters, particularly Edinburgh, Glasgow and Belfast, compete with London and the South East for people with high-level skills – and are paying to get them.
Analysis by Tech Nation for the UK government’s Digital Economy Council reveals that the tech economy is now bigger than sectors like hospitality and construction with 2.1 million workers, and these fast-growing tech hubs are adding jobs at a rapid rate.
Almost 1.7m positions were advertised during 2018 across the 12 biggest tech centres. Outside London, the cities with the most tech openings were Manchester, where digital commerce and marketing is strong, with 164,000 roles and Leeds, with 88,000 jobs.
For those looking for work as an analyst, Edinburgh is the best place to work; while a Python developer is best paid in Glasgow and an IT system architect would get the best deal in Cardiff.
However, while Edinburgh has emerged as a tech hub, it employs just 4% of its workforce in technology while 11% of Newcastle’s labour force is in the sector, 20% of the workers in Belfast, 25% in Oxford, 33% in Reading and half (50%) in Cambridge.
When cost of living is taken into account, cities including Leeds and Belfast are better places to be looking for work than London. A data scientist would be better off working in Leeds than in London and the best place in the country to find a job as a software developer. The best place for a full stack developer is in Belfast where demand for tech roles has risen by 120% in the past four years.
Companies of all sizes are hiring staff with broader business skills including consultants, accountants, PRs and marketeers. The report reveals a strong need for HR and legal professionals across the digital tech sector. In some cities, as many as a third of those jobs advertised in the tech sector are for people in non-tech roles, which gives an indication of how fast-growing tech companies are rapidly becoming larger organisations that require many different roles and professionals.
Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech Nation, said: “With over 2.1 million people working in digital technology in 2018, the tech economy is bigger than sectors like hospitality and construction. However, increasingly, those lines are getting blurred, with technology jobs crossing over into the mainstream sectors like financial services and health, helping them evolve and stay competitive and productive.
“As countries transition to network based economies in a globalised future, the need for tech jobs and skills is reaching a generational high point, which is why this report is so timely and important in highlighting how the demand for tech skills continues to evolve and grow over time across the UK.”
Scottish Secretary David Mundell said: “Scotland’s tech sector is thriving, with numerous innovative companies that are based here making major contributions in artificial intelligence, fintech and gaming. I am pleased to see Edinburgh is one of only two places in the UK that can command higher salaries than the London average, with the median salary for tech roles more than £40,000. The UK Government continues to champion Scotland’s booming tech sector, supporting its growth and ensuring it continues to offer high quality jobs.”
Stuart Lunn, CEO and Founder of LendingCrowd, said: “LendingCrowd has grown rapidly and we are proud to be part of Edinburgh’s thriving tech ecosystem. But as we grow, we need access to a greater range of skills that will complement the tech talent we already have. Tech sector roles are not just for people with coding or engineering skills but can provide great jobs for people with all sorts of creative and problem-solving skills.”
Bryan Dove, CEO, Skyscanner: “It’s never been a more exciting time to be a technology company in the UK. We are seeing more and more great businesses and that’s a testament to the quality and diversity of talented people living and moving to the UK. While Skyscanner is a global company, our roots are in the UK with 60% of our team based between Edinburgh, Glasgow and London. We’re lucky to be part of a thriving tech community in each of these cities: communities which demonstrate the strength of the sector across the nation.”
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