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Tech job adverts increasing outside London bubble

The need for skilled tech workers has increased throughout the UK, with many cities seeing a growth in adverts for tech or digital roles

Demand for tech workers outside of the London bubble is increasing, with many cities across the UK seeing a rise in listings for digital roles over the past year.

Research by Tech Nation and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Digital Economy Council found that advertised jobs in digital and tech roles now make up 13% of all job vacancies in the UK.

In Edinburgh, 30% of job vacancies are for technology roles, closely followed by Reading, where 29% of advertised roles are in tech, and Glasgow, where 28% of job vacancies are for digital roles.

“It’s been yet another record-breaking year for UK tech – and that means thousands of high-quality jobs for people across the entire country,” said digital secretary Nadine Dorries. “The jobs are there. We’re working tirelessly to make sure people who want to start careers and businesses in tech are supported with the skills they need to fill them, and to thrive.”

Although the pandemic caused widespread uncertainty in the tech jobs market, demand for tech roles quickly recovered, and now companies face the same issues they always have – more demand for skilled tech workers than the UK’s talent pipeline can fill.

Until recently, the country’s tech talent and demand for it had been centred around the London bubble, but working from home during the pandemic has proven there is less need to gather in and around the capital. Even before the pandemic research found around 40% of tech talent resided outside of the London bubble.

While demand for tech roles in London has increased by 25% in the past two years, the number of advertised tech roles in Preston has increased by 53% since 2018, and Cardiff, Edinburgh and Liverpool have each seen a 30% increase in demand for tech roles in the same timeframe.

But the pool of talent to fill these roles is small. Tech Nation and the Digital Economy Council found there were 42,000 startups and 10,000 tech firms in the UK currently looking for tech talent.

Almost 10% of the UK’s workforce is employed in tech across the UK, but Tech Nation and the Digital Economy Council found companies aiming to grow and expand were pushing up demand for tech workers, with the number of advertised roles in tech increasing by 42% when compared to 2019’s pre-pandemic demand.

Many believe one of the best ways to ensure there are enough skilled workers to fill the increasing demand for such roles is by tackling the diversity gap in tech to increase the pool of workers firms can choose from.

It is great to see global tech companies and startups alike recruiting from right across the UK,” said Suranga Chandratillake, general partner at venture capital firm Balderton Capital. “As the sector continues to grow, creating desirable, well-paid roles, we must ensure we are providing access to those roles for everyone, regardless of class, race, gender or age. Only then can we build a strong, sustainable industry that represents our communities.”

Most in demand are software developers, with employers asking for skills in mathematics, problem solving, programming languages and attention to detail when advertising for these roles.

Data science has also increased in popularity, with machine learning, analytics, artificial intelligence, statistics and Python skills often featuring in data science job descriptions.

Senior-level IT roles of all types are also in high demand, such as senior IT system architects with skills in data management and Amazon Web Services.

Alongside tech roles, supporting roles have also seen an increase in demand, with advertisements for project managers, business analysts and consultants appearing among the top 10 most asked for in the UK between 2018 and 2020.

Average tech salaries outstrip the average remuneration for other roles and, in many cases, companies are using higher salaries to win over potential candidates.

Average salaries for technology roles have increased in the past nine months, despite average salaries for all roles across the UK falling over the same time period.

Advertised tech salaries can be up to 50% higher than other job vacancies in the UK, with an average salary of £55,061 in the tech sector compared with £36,442 elsewhere.

For junior developers, a starting salary will be approximately £27,500, with senior developers averaging around £55,000. The average data scientist and front-end developer salary has increased by 31% over the past two years as the role grows in importance.

Salaries for IT system architects range from £37,500 to £70,000 depending on seniority.

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