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, according to the latest UK Tech Talent Tracker from Accenture.
The tracker, which analyses LinkedIn’s Professional Network data, found growth in job posts was driven by increased demand for skills in cutting-edge 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 AI (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, such as Newcastle (up 85% year-on-year), Brighton (up 40%), and Birmingham (up 25%). Nonetheless, 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, Accenture Technology, 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 upskill their existing workforce.
The findings show the number of Scotland-based quantum computing scientists on LinkedIn has risen by two thirds (up 64%) 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 increasing by more than 50%. 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%.
Stuart 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. The challenge will be for companies to work with government and education institutions to develop a world class technology workforce that can keep delivering innovation and growth in emerging areas like AI, cloud and edge computing, the metaverse and quantum.”
Developed by Accenture Research, the Accenture UK Tech Talent Tracker queried emerging technology keywords on the LinkedIn Professional Network in the last week of July 2022. The tracker assesses skills of both existing roles and open positions, querying for nine technologies: data analytics, artificial intelligence, extended reality, blockchain, quantum computing, cyber security, robotics, cloud computing, and ethical/responsible technology. The research covered all the UK, with a focus on the following cities: London, Manchester, Edinburgh, Bristol, Liverpool, Glasgow, Cardiff, Brighton, Cambridge, Birmingham, Leeds, Oxford and Newcastle.