Want to launch a career in Tech? Try Glasgow!

Loral Quinn (Codeclan CEO)

by Killian McAleese, Marketing Manager at Codeclan

INTERESTED in a tech career? Perhaps you already know the sort of job you’d like. But what are your employability prospects, and where should you live to improve your chances of employment?

Glasgow’s tech industry is quickly growing. In 2022, Glasgow tech companies attracted a combined £100m in private investments. That’s up from £43m in 2020, itself a 153% increase from 2019. 

And that growth is good for would-be tech professionals. More investment leads to greater innovation, leading to more jobs. The digital sector in Glasgow employs just under 34,000 people, making a move to the city an appealing one for those hoping to develop their tech careers.

Investment

In addition to the millions of pounds secured through private investments, corporations and developers are investing their resources into the city. 

Global finance firm JPMorgan Chase will soon open its Northern European Hub in Glasgow city centre- a £400m undertaking. The Hub will be responsible for the company’s technology, functions and operations, according to Insider.

Elsewhere in the city, an extensive redevelopment of The Met Tower as an office and co-working space is underway. A portion of the building is expected to host several companies from across the tech space, creating a hive of innovation.

Impressive tech companies

Glasgow is home to major international tech firms, including Siemens, Dell, Cisco and SAS, with focuses on data science, research and development, and customer intelligence.

Smaller growing companies based in Glasgow include cloud software company Bellrock Technology, online sports betting company FanDuel and flight comparison website Skyscanner.

With a wealth of exciting tech companies in Glasgow, the opportunities for tech professionals of all levels are extensive.

Cost of living

Unlike many other cities known for their tech industries, Glasgow is a comparably affordable city. Glasgow was recently named as the city with the second best cost of living in the UK. 

The average house price in Glasgow is approximately £193,600 compared with £523,666in London and £274,246 in Edinburgh. In tech cities where it is more common to rent, like Paris and Berlin, prices are also significantly more expensive than in Glasgow.

Meanwhile, tech salaries in Glasgow remain competitive. 

Tech communities

The tech community in Glasgow is a particularly passionate one. There are several Meetup groups to explore, including Glasgow Tech Meetups, Glasgow Tech Social and Women in Tech Scotland.

Academic communities

The Glasgow tech space has strong ties to the academic community. The University of Strathclyde and The University of Glasgow both work alongside the Glasgow tech industry to support with research and technology. 

The University of Strathclyde’s Innovation District – Scotland’s first – unites some of Scotland’s leading tech businesses and supports them with access to resources that promote acceleration and growth.

How to start out in tech

If you’d like to get involved in tech, there are a couple of principal routes into the industry. 

The first is studying for a degree, which you can do on campus or online. This route takes between 3-6 years to complete, depending on your method of learning. 

The other main route, which is fast increasing in popularity, is studying through an immersive ‘bootcamp’ programme.

Organisations such as CodeClan in Glasgow provide immersive training in tech skills over 14 to 16 weeks, and often offer career support as well. This training model is designed to make graduates industry-ready and is often the most efficient way to join the tech industry. 

Loral Quinn, Chief Executive Officer at Codeclan, has commented:

“Recent industry reports including Savilles and Tech Nation have consistently found that Glasgow is one of the top tech cities in the UK outside of London, with investment increasing through 2021 and again in 2022, with venture capital raised increasing by 281% this year according to Savilles. But digital skills are critical for managing that growth, and that’s where CodeClan can make an impact.

“Regarding Scotland as a whole, The Logan Report said Scotland could create a ‘world-class’ technology sector and called for more opportunities for entrepreneurs to learn from their peers and more experienced businesspeople. CodeClan is on that trajectory as a participant in the TechScalers programme, and as a scaling business, we want to play our part in that success.”

Killian McAleese is an Edinburgh-based marketing professional with more than ten years of experience. He has worked with digital technology businesses, digital agencies, and the education sector.

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