Over 13% of all jobs in Scotland in fast-growing tech industry

Rapid digital adoption and the success of the UK tech sector over the past few years means tech hiring is at a 10-year high 

MORE than one in ten jobs (13.22%) in Scotland is in the fast-growing digital sector according to new data by smarter job search engine Adzuna analysed by Tech Nation for the UK’s Digital Economy Council. Since January 2022, there have been over 20,000 tech roles advertised in Scotland, with average advertised salaries hitting £52,893 across the country. 

The new figures are being announced as Scottish tech companies have rapidly grown following the explosion in demand for tech products. This year alone, Scottish startups and scaleups have raised £281 million in funding, more than the total raised for the whole of 2019 (£253m.) 

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: 

“The UK is enjoying a golden age in tech. Not only are we one of the best places in the world to start digital businesses, but there are countless opportunities for people to enter the sector and flourish in their career.”

“We’re working hard to open doors for people from all walks of life so that they can gain the skills and knowledge needed to make the most of our booming tech industry.”

Strong tech job growth across the UK 

Growth in Scottish tech jobs comes as the country as a whole is seeing an increase in tech roles. There were around 870,000 tech and digital job vacancies available across between January to May 2022, the highest number ever recorded since Adzuna began collecting data in May 2012. Since April, the number of open roles has adjusted down slightly (-1.59%) but hiring continues to remain 42% higher than in 2021. The increased availability of digital and tech-related roles has come as the UK tech sector continues to expand across the country. The UK is the third-largest tech ecosystem in the world, with tech companies across the country raising £12.4 billion in venture capital funding this year to date, more than the whole of 2020 (£12bn). Cities including London, Bristol and Oxford ranked in the top 20 European tech hubs for funding this year, reflecting the increased role of tech in our everyday lives.

While some tech companies have signalled plans to cut staff numbers, the tech sector as a whole continues to grow, in part due to the rapid rise of adoption of digital tools and services by organisations and enterprises that began during the pandemic. Roles for software developers continue to remain the most in-demand by companies, while there has also been a strong uptick in hiring for security roles by companies that are adapting to business challenges. 

The key to success is upskilling 

For every “no experience” tech and digital role advertised, there are approximately eight senior roles available, despite the fact there are more STEM graduates in the UK than there are entry-level roles in the industry. This demonstrates that on-the-job training and upskilling are essential to ensure businesses have the digital skills they need to succeed. 

According to a survey carried out by Tech Nation and YouGov, 64% of people who work in UK tech said that having tech skills was essential for job security. As well, 26% believe that upskilling themselves in new digital or tech skills will allow them to earn more in the future. Of the 16% of respondents who picked up a new tech skill since the pandemic, people have chosen to learn coding or cloud technologies, whilst others have learned data visualisation skills. 

Employees choosing to upskill themselves is only one part of the equation. Companies that focus on on-the-job training for future developers and tech leaders such as London-based Multiverse and Manchester-founded Academy are continuing to grow to help increase the talent pipeline. Tech companies including Amazon and Google have also launched digital skills programmes to train employees across the UK. 

Strong hiring growth across the regions

There are nearly 5 million people working in UK tech startups and scaleups, with regions across the UK enjoying strong hiring growth for tech and digital positions. The North West has more tech opportunities than any other region in the UK outside of London and the South East, with over 40,000 available jobs this year – an increase of 50% on last year’s figures. The devolved nations have been enjoying increased interest in their respective tech industries recently. Northern Ireland has seen its tech job opportunities increase to nearly 20% of all available vacancies, to 5,079 in Q1 2022, whilst Scotland has seen its tech vacancies rise to 13% of all available vacancies so far in 2022. 

RegionAverage Advertised Tech Salary, 2022No.tech vacancies in Q1 2022% of all vacancies
Northern Ireland£48,3595,07919.06%
South East England£54,18773,830711.94%
North West England£50,13442,33911.99%
North East England£43,06810,21412.32%
South West England£50,68136,08410.97%
Eastern England£51,14337,23010.66%
West Midlands£50,65030,69310.33%
Yorkshire And The Humber£47,37919,3569.06%
East Midlands£45,06215,5607.12%
Source: Regional split of tech vacancies and advertised salaries for Q1 2022, Adzuna, Tech Nation

London continues to have the highest number of tech and digital jobs available, with over 170,000 advertised in Q1 2022 and the highest average advertised salary at £75,223. Highly-paid tech jobs aren’t just available in London however: five regions across the UK have average advertised tech salaries of over £50,000 – Scotland, South East, North West, South West and West Midlands. 

Software developers and cyber professionals are the most in-demand 

Software development continues to be the most in-demand tech role in the UK, increasing 56% compared to 2019’s advertised tech vacancies. Already in 2022, there have been over 56,000 available software developer roles, making up nearly 8% of all available tech jobs. This high demand comes from both tech and non-tech companies because software developers are essential to all areas of technology – they create, design and build the programs and applications that many businesses rely on. As well, the role encompasses many verticals and languages, explaining why the demand for candidates is so high. 

Other in-demand jobs include business analysts (+650% compared to 2019), data analysts (+520%) and product managers (+710%). Business analysts are now the second most in-demand tech role in the UK, having overtaken engineers. 

Top 10 available UK tech jobs 

  1. Software developer
  2. Business analyst
  3. Java developer 
  4. DevOps engineer
  5. Project manager
  6. Engineer
  7. Data analyst
  8. Product manager
  9. Consultant 
  10. IT system architect 

Security roles are also increasing rapidly, particularly for cyber security engineers with demand  doubling compared to 2019. This suggests that companies are shoring up defences against increasing cyber threats with an 11% increase in security incidents last year compared to 2020. Security is now in the top five most demand skills when it comes to tech, increasing 671% since 2019. 

Data is king 

As the tech sector grows and evolves, so too have the main skills employers desire. Data has now become the number one skill in UK tech, rising from third position in previous years, with a 1006% increase in demand for data skills since 2019. Engineering has declined from first to third but is still an essential skill, with a 216% growth in job adverts with the skill engineering included.

Though technical skills are important, there has been a growing demand for softer skills from employees. Often management, clients and communication are within the top 10 sought-after skills in tech jobs – there has been a 602% growth in job adverts looking for management experience. Around 36.8% of people working in UK tech are in non-technical roles, including user experience, HR, sales and finance which demonstrates the diversity and opportunity across the industry. 

Dr George Windsor, Data and Research Director at Tech Nation, said: “The UK is continuing to be the leading light for tech in Europe and the scale of exciting job opportunities across the country is a reflection of that. It’s interesting to see how companies are responding to changing challenges, such as the rise in the demand for data skills and an increase in security skills across the board. It’s not just technical skills that can make a difference – but communication and management experience are increasingly important too. For anyone looking to enter this fast-paced and innovative industry, there is a role for you if you want it.” 

Paul Lewis, chief customer officer at Adzuna, said: “UK tech has consistently been one of the fastest-growing industries for job opportunities over the past few years as companies compete for skilled staff to enable them to grow in a competitive environment. Though we are starting to see the impact of the wider slowdown begin to affect the wider tech landscape, the rapid rise in digital tools and services since 2020 means that roles for software developers remain the most in-demand by companies across the board. Security specialists are also in hot demand as companies adapt to changing business challenges like increased cyber threats.”

Euan Blair, CEO and founder of Multiverse, said: “The shortage of tech skills is a huge challenge to companies everywhere, but it also means incredible opportunities are being opened up to well-paid, long-term careers. As a tech industry we’ve a duty to make sure these jobs are accessible to talented people regardless of background or financial circumstances. We’ve built an outstanding alternative to university to deliver on exactly this goal. Ultimately whether it’s a start-up or a large corporate, the companies that get their skills pipelines right will have an enormous competitive advantage.”  

The Latest Stories

The UK’s most in-demand IT roles of 2024
Entrepreneurial success at latest Startup Showcase as RGU secure future funding
Global leaders agree to launch first international network of AI Safety Institutes to boost understanding of AI
Pneumagen Presents Positive Phase 2 Influenza Human Challenge Study