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A BRIGHT
TECH FUTURE

The nationwide jobs and skills building the UK tech sector

 

Executive summary

The UK is a hotbed of tech talent, and there are opportunities nationwide. Digital jobs and skills are underpinning the growth of the UK's thriving tech sector, which in turn is creating high-productivity jobs at scale.

With over 2.1 million people working in UK digital tech in 2018, the tech economy is a bigger employer than sectors like Hospitality (1.3m), Construction (1.9m) and Financial Services (1.2m). In addition, the UK is one of the top destinations for attracting global tech talent, home to the world's first technology visa, with a world-leading migration system that includes the Tier 1 Exceptional Talent, Startup and Innovator visas.

Large tech corporates, as well as startup and scaleup businesses are providing inclusive and accessible jobs. And you don’t have to be a ‘Developer’ to work in a tech company. Sales, Account Management, HR, Legal and Finance are some examples of the type of roles that are in high demand in tech companies.

This report shows the changes in the demands in the digital technology employment market over time, but also, how sought-after skills have evolved due to the changing nature of this digital world.

First, we looked at Digital tech jobs in the UK as we currently stand, to provide insight on salary levels and productivity.

Second, we looked at UK tech vacancies, using data from Adzuna. Job adverts can help us to measure the demand for digital jobs and skills. When we refer to digital tech roles, we mean digital tech roles in digital tech companies (like a data scientist in a software development company); non digital tech roles in a tech company (like an accountant in that same software firm); and digital tech roles outside the digital tech sector (like a software developer in a car manufacturing company). Our analysis captures all three groups of jobs - under the digital economy.

We are able to offer fine grained regional, and city based insights. We found that Belfast, for example, is specialised in digital technology from an employer demand perspective. Tech vacancies account for 24% of total vacancies and over the period 2015 - 2018, they grew by 120%.

Online job advertisements are a source of timely information on the labour market. In addition to high volumes of data (we look at over 70 million UK adverts), job adverts also offer more granular data than other ways of capturing skills, like surveys, as they allow employers to describe their skill needs precisely, without generalisation.

In this section we look at seniority, salaries, and model cost of living dynamics in UK tech clusters for digital tech roles. Because earning are all relative to the location in which the role is based, or where the prospective employee will be resident.

Finally, we get under the skin of digital tech roles to determine the skills required for these jobs. This allows a practical focus on what people in the labour market, or about to enter the world of work, to assist with skills development. We will be exploring this further throughout 2019 and 2020.

Sponsor


Partners

We would like to thank The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and the Digital Economy Council.

In creating this report, the Tech Nation Insights team used data from Adzuna and the Office for National Statistics.

 

Key statistics

Tech is growing job opportunities across the UK

2.1mjobs in the UK digital tech economy
UK widetech jobs are being advertised strongly across the country, and offer well paid, opportunities for all
+150%increase in demand for roles within the digital technology sector has grown by 150% over the past 4 years (2015 - 2018).
20%Across 29 job categories, the demand for roles within the digital technology field accounts for almost 20% of all job roles listed.
3xOver the past 4 years, demand for jobs in the digital and tech industry in the UK has grown almost 3x as much as the Financial services industry.
A broad tech economyTech roles are spread over the UK and across the economy - and non technical roles, like HR and accountants are playing an important role in the sector
130kSoftware developer vacancies in 2018 means that the role is still
the most in demand tech position across all clusters
in the UK
230kNon tech jobs in
the tech sector,
like accountants,
HR, and legal
professionals
Over 3xThe demand for a Full Stack Developer has more than tripled between 2015 - 2018 (4910 to 16753)
Over 20%Digital density is highest in Cambridge, Bristol, Leeds, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Reading and Belfast , over 1/5 of vacancies were digital tech
9xmore
digital tech
job vacancies
than
manufacturing
20xmore
digital tech
job vacancies
than creative job
vacancies


 

UK tech jobs

There are 2.1 million jobs in the digital tech economy


To measure the total number of digital tech jobs across the economy, we used data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Population Survey (APS).

This is a survey-based sample of the UK population – on individual people rather than businesses. To get UK-wide data on people working in tech jobs from the survey, we have to make sure that the sample of people reflects the broader UK population – so we have to use multipliers from the ONS.

But this kind of analysis does not measure the number of direct jobs created by digital tech companies. To understand the impact and benefits of digital tech we need to have reliable data not only on the number of tech jobs across the economy but also jobs, performance and productivity indicators for the sector itself.

To do this, we use official data from the ONS Business Structure Database (BSD), which we also use to look at the performance of tech companies. This allows us to have refined data that can be relied upon as the most accurate count of direct jobs created by the digital tech companies across the country.

We looked at all UK businesses

This analysis is based on a comprehensive look at all UK businesses that are PAYE or VAT registered. This means that using BDS data will provide us not only with the number of direct jobs created by tech companies but also helps us understand the performance of these companies. Viewed together, the two sets of data will help us understand all people working in digital tech.

The data on digital tech companies also contains financial information, as well as employment. This means that we can have reliable data on productivity. To get a true picture of jobs in digital tech, we need to look at performance, as well as quantity of jobs – this cannot be obtained from the APS alone.

As well as a UK wide understanding of digital tech jobs, it is important to break the 2.1 million jobs figure down to a regional, cluster based view on jobs.

This table gives a run down of the jobs statistics for some of key UK clusters, including salaries and productivity.

Digital tech jobs in UK tech clusters

UK ClusterDigital economy employment (2017)Digital tech jobs across the economy (2017) i.e. software developerNon digital tech jobs in tech companies (2017) e.g. HRDigital tech
job openings
created (2018)
Digital economy
jobs to city population, ratio (as of 2019)
Median salary
across all digital
tech roles (2018)
Median salary across all type of roles
Cambridge52,19636,69321,19085,67950%£39,000£38,000
Reading100,50742,39815,71148,74233%£40,000£37,000
Oxford37,45825,63713,81672,84425%£36,000£34,000
Belfast60,04151,07142,10116,85320%£40,000£34,000
Newcastle35,67425,41615,15829,76011%£35,000£33,000
London574,562256,08262,398915,4716%£53,296£42,000
Leeds46,84534,74222,63988,0426%£35,000£32,000
Bristol51,75326,9992,24586,2475%£35,520£34,000
Manchester100,52069,83739,154164,0434%£35,000£34,000
Edinburgh48,11838,41428,71044,8794%£42,500£37,000
Birmingham59,13141,55023,96975,4012%£37,500£35,000
Sheffield28,24322,03415,82526,0592%£32,500£30,000
Cardiff26,14821,50816,86824,9232%£35,000£33,000

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Digital tech job roles and salaries

RoleDigital
job openings
(2018)
Median SalaryCost of living
adjusted –
best place to work
Median salary
(London)
Software Developer130,158£39,430Belfast£55,000
Front End Developer32,431£35,286London£50,000
Project Manager31,721£47,500Glasgow£56,000
Consultant23,879£55,000Sheffield£60,000
Devops Engineer23,690£50,500London£67,500
IT System Architect17,340£63,857Cardiff£77,500
Full Stack Developer16,753£40,964Belfast£55,000
Analyst10,452£33,929Edinburgh£45,000
Python Developer10,100£43,893Glasgow£60,000
Data Engineer6,950£35,553London£60,000
Data Scientist6,287£45,714Leeds£60,000

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna; Numbeo

 

UK tech vacancies

Roles are rising

According to analysis carried out by the ONS, the UK employment rate has increased since Q1 last year. Employment is up 76.1% from 75.3%.

The jobless rate of 3.9% is well below the EU average of 6.5%.

The demand for jobs in the UK has been increasing, this is reflected in the figure below (ONS data) :

Vacancies in the UK (2001-2018)

Source: Tech Nation 2019; ONS

With growth, comes jobs

The tech industry is expanding 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK economy. In 2016, the digital tech sector was worth £170 billion, and is now worth nearly £184 billion to the UK economy. Tech scaleups have achieved record investment, and this is being translated into jobs and growth. UK scaleups are punching above their weight, with 5% of global high growth tech employment.

We see this reflected in the increase of job vacancies within the UK.

As well as technically focused roles, like Software developers and Data scientists, tech companies are advertising and therefore employing Accountants, Lawyers, HR and Sales to name a few are all roles needed within any company to facilitate growth.

Top ten non-dig tech roles demanded by employers within digital technology firms (excluding digital tech focused jobs)

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Consultancy jobs are the most popular, followed by accounting and finance jobs.

When looking at the type of roles in demand within digital technology companies, we see the likes of Procurement and Management consultants, Accountants and Category managers.

Project Manager and Consultant roles are within the top ten roles across the UK clusters for Digital Technology roles. There is a demand for skills such as SAP, Prince2, resource planning which encompasses more of the organisational side of a business or project.

Project management roles top skills in demand are Prince2, the ability to understand data and work with clients. But to also manage budgets, have good communication skills and coordinate a team to produce great results.

The top skills required for Consultant roles are the ability to use business operational and resource planning tools such as Sap, Microsoft dynamics and Oracle.

Top skills demanded for Project manager and Consultant roles in digital tech

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Digital tech demand dominates

In the UK and this ever increasing digital world, we see this reflected with the demand of roles required within the UK.

Vacancies on a whole have been on the rise. We see in 2018, the demand has increased across sectors over the past 4 years.

Whilst Accounting and Finance, Manufacturing, legal, creative and design roles are increasing, digital technology roles still play a major part in the UK jobs ecosystem and is 20x more in demand than creative design roles.

The demand for roles within the digital technology sector has grown by 1.5x over the past 4 years (2015 - 2018). This is shown in the figure below:

Demand for advertised roles in digital tech compared to other UK sectors

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Growing Roles

Across the UK, Data scientist, Data engineer, analyst and full stack engineer have been in higher demand over the last year in comparison to 2015-2017. Employer demand for Software Developers has risen by >1% in the past 4 years. As of 2018, Software Developer role accounts for almost 6% of all digital and tech roles.

Given the nature of this role, and SAAS type businesses growing, we would expect an increasing continuation of demand for this role.

Change in demand for tech roles (2015-2018)

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Moreover, Software Development is a global interest, being one of the top 3 Meetup topics globally (TNR 2019)

We see the likes of Devops Engineer and Full Stack Developer growing and on the other hand, roles such as Web Developer and C# Developer decreasing. With the demand for devops engineer more than doubling over the past 4 years. (9818 to 23690)

Top 10 advertised digital technology roles in 2018 across the UK

RolePercentage
Software Developer19%
Engineer9%
Java Developer8%
Maintenance Engineer7%
NET Developer5%
Front End Developer5%
Project Manager5%
Consultant3%
Devops Engineer3%
Mechanical Design Engineer3%

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Software Developer has remained the top role in demand across the UK and when looking at the clusters separately.

Most in demand roles per cluster

Full Stack Developer, Devops Engineer and Data Scientist are the three biggest growing and in demand roles across the clusters in the UK.

Employer demand for tech roles in UK clusters

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

In the figure above, the numbers represent the increase in demand of role per cluster from 2015 to 2018. So for example, if we look at London we see that the demand for Full Stack Developer has increased 3.8x from 2015. (2152 roles in 2015 to 8191 roles in 2018).

Although there seems to be high demand for Python Developers in Cardiff, we must note that, this was scarce in 2015 (2 vacancies). This has grown to 68 vacancies in 2018. Whilst in London the demand Python Developers have grown from 3517 to 7046.

Engineer and IT System Architect roles have decreased on a whole across clusters in 2018 since 2015, with the exception of London, Edinburgh and Belfast.

Moreover, Belfast has stood out overall in terms of the demand for digital technology roles. This has grown from 12435 in 2015 to 15404 in 2018.

Top roles per cluster

London accounts for about 21% of the UK population, this is reflected in the proportion of job vacancies available within London. However, 18.5% of roles within London represent digital technology. This is considerably lower than some of the other key UK clusters, and indicates the economic diversity of the capital.

Belfast, on the other hand, is specialised in digital technology from an employer demand perspective. Tech vacancies account for 24% of total vacancies and over the period 2015 - 2018, they grew by 120%.

We explore each UK cluster, to understand 1) the most popular roles, 2) which ones are growing and 3) which seem to be on the decline.

The following charts show the top roles in demand per UK cluster, as you might expect, within these clusters not all the same roles are present. There are similar as well as different demands within the clusters.

The rate of growth represents the comparison of the number of advertised jobs in 2018 compared to 2015. A rate of growth below 1 shows the number of advertised roles in 2018 is lower than that of 2015. Whereas, a rate of growth above 1 shows the number of advertised roles in 2018 is higher than that of 2015.

We see roles such as Consultants and Project Managers within the top roles (in terms of number of vacancies), however, they have not been generally increasing. The most in demand non digital technology role present in the digital technology sector is a Project Manager, this is present in all clusters except Bath and Cardiff.

London

The chart below shows demand for most popular roles within London and how much the role has grown over the past 4 years (2015 - 2018).

The demand for Full Stack Developer and Devops Engineer has grown the most, followed by Data Scientist. Whilst the demand for Project Managers have decreased in 2018. Only 0.4 of the number of roles offered in 2015, were offered in 2018.

The number of advertised job vacancies in London's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Birmingham

In Birmingham, Full Stack Developers and Devops Engineers are in high demand, and the two have seen a recent increase in demand concentration, compared to the other top roles in demand. The demand for Project Manager roles have decreased by a rate of 0.5.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Birmingham's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Bath

Engineering roles such as Maintenance, IT Network and Devops have all seen an increase over the 4 years.

We see a big spike in the demand for Data Scientists, however this role has only emerged mainly in 2018, whereas in 2015, this role seemed to be non-existent.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Bath's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Belfast

We see that the growth and demand of the top roles within Belfast have increased in 2018, with the exception of It System Architect.

The demand for Data Scientists, Python Developers and Devops Engineers have grown over the past 4 years and the demand for Full Stack Developers have emerged in 2018 - although the numbers are not as high as the other roles, the rate of growth is high considering the demand for this role in 2015.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Belfast's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Bristol

IT System developers, Devops Engineers, Data Scientists, and Full Stack developers demand has increased in 2018. When we look at the growth rate of the latter two, we see these roles have started to emerge over the last year and will perhaps continue to grow in the near future.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Bristol's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Cambridge

Devops engineer and Data scientist roles have the highest rate of growth. Data Scientist role in Cambridge seems to have emerged over the last year, where employer demand for this role has risen.

The demand for C++ Developer has also increased over the last year, suggesting expertise in single specialised programming languages as well as multi programming skills required in the likes of a full stack developer.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Birmingham's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Cardiff

In Cardiff, demand for Python Developer has grown by a rate of 34 (from 2 roles in 2015 to 68 roles in 2018) in 2018.

Devops engineer, IT system developer Data Scientist and Full Stack Developer are in increasing demand, whilst the likes of specialised developer roles such as Java Developer and NET Developer have decreased in demand.

Furthermore, employers seem to be looking for an umbrella of skills. The specialised programming/declarative languages such as Java, PHP, SQL and html5 are some of the top skills required from employers for a Full Stack Developer, is this why we see a decrease in these singular specialised roles.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Cardiff's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Leeds

Python Developer and Full Stack Developer roles have the highest growth rate, this is expected as the demand for these roles in 2015 were very small.

NET Developer and Project manager roles have decreased in demand.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Leeds' tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Edinburgh

The increase in demand for a Full Stack developer role is reflected in the high growth rate. This has gone from 32 roles in 2015 to 556 roles in 2018.

Project manager, Business Analyst and Test analyst roles have seen a decline in demand.

Software developer - role with the most vacancies has also seen an increase in demand.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Edinburgh's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Glasgow

Software and Java developer roles are the top two most in demand roles within the digital technology sector and have also seen an increase in employer demand.

Although Project manager and Business analyst roles are within the top in demand roles for digital technology roles. The growth rate of these roles have more than halved.

In terms of employer demand, we see roles such as IT System Architect, Devops Engineers, Data scientists and Full Stack developers at least doubling in their growth rate.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Glasgow's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Manchester

The demand for Software developers, Front end developers in Manchester have increased, nevertheless these roles were in considerably high demand in 2015.

Devops Engineer, Data Scientist and Full Stack developers have grown considerably in 2018.

Whilst Project manager roles were more in demand in 2015, there only appears to be less than half the demand for this role in 2018. (growth rate of 0.4).

The number of advertised job vacancies in Manchester's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Newcastle

The demand for Devops engineer, Mechanical design engineer, Data scientist and Full Stack developer have increased in 2018, when comparing to 2015. All of these roles except Mechanical design engineer seem to have emerged within 2018, this is reflected in the high growth rate.

We see the likes of singular programming language roles decreasing (Java, NET, PHP, C# developer roles).

The number of advertised job vacancies in Newcastle's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Reading

Of the top roles in Reading, the demand for Devops engineer, Data Scientist and Full Stack developer roles in 2018 have seen the highest growth rate, all other top roles seem to have taken decreased in terms of employer demand.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Reading's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

Sheffield

The demand for Full Stack developers and Data Scientists seem to be new emerging roles within Sheffield, and as a result the growth rate is considerably high.

On a whole, other roles such as NET developer, Project Managers, and Design Engineers have seen a decline in demand in 2018, compared to a much higher demand in 2015.

The number of advertised job vacancies in Sheffield's tech economy by role and growth in employer demand for roles

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

 

Salaries

As the demand for digital technology roles are increasing, we see this generally reflected in the growth of salary offerings over the past 4 years.

Salary offering for digital and technology roles within London is increasing. London has the highest median salary offerings. Although London offers the highest median salaries, it appears Belfast has seen the most growth in terms of salary offerings over the past 4 years in digital technology roles. It has increased 1.2x.

Click on a cluster to see top Dig/Tech jobs and skills

More over after London; Edinburgh and Reading offer the highest salary for digital technology roles overall.

Median salary for digital tech roles from 2015-2018 roles across UK clusters

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

The salary offered for a role is usually a main talking point. When we looked at the most in demand roles in the digital technology sector, we see London offers the highest salary overall and compared to other clusters for Software Developer roles, Data Scientist roles, Analyst, Front End Developer.

Across the clusters, the roles offering the highest salaries are:

  • IT System Architect
  • Devops Engineer
  • Data Scientist

Median salary across digital technology roles across UK clusters

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

We then looked at comparing the salaries offered for each role per cluster in relation to the average salary per role. This is shown in the figure below.

Salaries for roles compared to average median salaries across UK clusters

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

London offers well above the average salary for each role.  For example, London offers almost £25K above the average median salary for a Data Engineer and £17K for a Devops Engineer.

Apart from Reading’s salary offering for a Data Engineer role which was below the average, the salary offerings here are all above the average.

Overall Sheffield’s salary offerings for each of these roles are all below the average.

 

Cost of living

The table below displays the cost of living index for the UK clusters we have focused on in this report. It also includes an overall rank, based on the cost of living and salaries across digital technology roles.

These indexes have been calculated in comparison to New York (which is the benchmark). London tops the UK clusters - having the highest cost of living, effectively the most expensive.

Belfast has the lowest cost of living, but is ranked second overall when salary for dig tech roles offered in Belfast is taken into account.

Cost of living index for UK clusters

ClusterCost of living IndexAggregate Ratio rank across popular dig/tech roles
London84700
Belfast61666
Leeds67663
Edinburgh70641
Reading76640
Glasgow66637
Manchester69622
Birmingham66622
Cambridge73620
Cardiff63615
Sheffield64609
Bristol73573
Newcastle70533
Bath74533

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Numbeo

Taking salary and cost of Living into account, there is evidence that some places with the highest salaries are not necessarily the most cost efficient locations to be based.

However, when looking specifically into individual roles, this does differ.

What effect does this have on the salary earned for particular roles in digital tech?

Earning a higher salary does not necessarily mean a better way of life- this is dependent on the part of the UK you live in.

We explored several digital tech roles across the UK to assess where you may be better off according to your role and salary relative to the cost of living Index across these clusters.

Compare the cost of living index of different tech roles by city

Comparison tables
UK ClusterRanked cost of living vs salary
London
Birmingham
Glasgow
Edinburgh
Belfast
Manchester
Cardiff
Newcastle
Leeds
Sheffield
Cambridge
Bristol
Bath
Reading
UK clusterRanked cost of living vs salary
London
Birmingham
Glasgow
Edinburgh
Belfast
Manchester
Cardiff
Newcastle
Leeds
Sheffield
Cambridge
Bristol
Bath
Reading

Using the drop down table above, we identified:

London, Cambridge and Reading provide the highest salaries for Software Developers, whilst Cardiff, Sheffield and Newcastle offer the lowest salaries.

However, how do these salaries reflect the cost of living within these locations?

Although Belfast offers a salary within the bottom half for Software Developer, when looking at the cost of living with respect to the salary offered, they rank 3rd. In fact the cost of living in Belfast is the lowest compared to all clusters, whilst London has the highest.

So as a Software Developer, from a cost of living point of view, you would be better off earning £37.5K in Belfast than £45K in Bristol. The difference between Cambridge and Belfast in relation to salary and cost of living is small (4.77), whereas the difference between salary is £7.5K.

What about as a Data Scientist?

As a Data Scientist you could live more efficiently in Leeds, although London offers the highest salary.

This analysis was also carried out for a Front End Developer, where London and Reading rank the top two for salary offerings out of the UK clusters we explored. This was also relative to the cost of living.

For a Full Stack Developer, Belfast ranked 7th in terms of salary offering, but in terms of relative cost of living, came out on top.

 

Demand for skills

We looked at the digital technology category of jobs using data from Adzuna. Of all digital technology roles, Engineering is the most in demand skill employers are looking for from candidates in the UK, looking from 2015 to 2018. Data is the third top skill mentioned, this is no surprise as data has been coined the ‘new oil’. More and more, businesses are working to harness their data to create and provide actionable insights. So, to be data literate within a digital technology role is now a top requirement.

But there are specific programming languages, and skills associated with software development that also emerged as key tech skills. They include Java, PHP, SQL and Javascript, which are in high demand from employers.

To understand the skills required by employers for Data and Technology roles, we used a technique called ‘Term frequency - inverse document frequency’ (TF-IDF). Weighting was used to ensure that we were not just counting skills terms, but looking at their distribution through the job advertisements. This weight is a statistical measure to understand and evaluate how important a word is to a job vacancy in a collection of job vacancies.  

Looking specifically at the top skills required within job roles, we can see, for example that a Data Scientist requires Big data, Machine learning, Python, SAS, SQL, and automation.

This is important for people across the UK. With disruption caused by the increasing pervasiveness of digital technologies, there is an opportunity for employees in uncertain or prospectively smaller occupation groups to improve their prospects by investing in the right skills.

Skills required for roles across the clusters do differ at times. For example, Python is listed as one of the top ten skill requirements for a software developer role in London, Edinburgh, Cambridge, Bristol and Reading.

VB.net is a top ten skill exclusive to Birmingham, whilst the programming language Erlang is a top skill requirement in Bath.

 

What next?

What skills do employees need for career progression or upskilling opportunities?

This report is the start of a journey deep into digital tech economy jobs and skills in the UK.

Throughout the year, we will be curating a series of events, and insights reports to shed new light on the labour market.

One of our next steps is to make this research very practical. For example, as an aspiring Data Scientist, if an employer were to ask for Machine Learning skills, what other skills should I be expected to have?

Complementary skills demanded by employers for Data science roles

Correlation of skillsMachine Learning
Engineering0.61
Deep Learning0.40
NLP0.33
Artificial Intelligence0.31
Python0.28
C++0.23
Distributed systems0.23

Source: Tech Nation 2019; Adzuna

This table provides a limited insight into the complementary skills needed in data science. But this is just the start. We will be putting together an open skills tool to enable people in the UK to explore their professional development paths in new ways. Get in touch if you would like to be involved as a sponsor, or partner.

Comment from our sponsor

Joel Farrow, Managing Director, UK - Hibob

Most of us have been historically aware of how fast the tech industry is growing and expanding, but the jobs and skills report has now confirmed that competition to attract and retain talent is tougher than ever.

As a wider scope of roles and higher volume of jobs become available, HR and talent acquisition are now even more essential for tech companies.

The report highlights that not all roles within the tech sector require a tech heavy skill set, industry vacancies cover everything from admin through to development, but regardless as to whether you are looking for a software developer or an accountant, people who thrive in the tech industry are those who have a tech-centric mindset.

Offering the right employee experience, culture, and benefits is the only way to compete with the other roles that these forward thinking, innovators and game changers are undoubtedly applying for.

With 4.2 million tech vacancies in the UK (a number which is set to continue rising) ensuring that your job vacancy appears in front of the right person is no longer enough to fill the role, and certainly not enough to ensure that your new recruit will still be with you in 12 months time.

Today’s workforce change roles much more frequently than previous generations, meaning employee churn and retention are topics that need to be present every board meeting, not just for the sake of employee well being and productivity, but for company growth and profits!

At Hibob we champion the combination of external data, such as the jobs and skills report, along with your own internal, people focused data and systems to create the perfect environment for finding and retaining best of breed employees. Without this level of insight, it has become almost impossible for companies to build the teams they need to succeed.

 

Methodology

Adzuna

On the ad counts,  the trend is being skewed by the amount of time that ads are live on site for.

We see within this dataset, there ‘appears’ to be a declining trend in the number of job vacancies. This is due to the length of time a job vacancy appears on the site for. So for example, “in 2015, ads may have been live for a shorter period of time, with more ads in total over the year but not necessarily more adverts live at any point in time.” (Adzuna)

We used an aggregated dataset supplied by Adzuna, for the years 2015 - 2018. This consisted of just under 70million (69,847,491) job vacancies across 29 categories. The dataset had information on the date the job vacancy was posted, the job title, description, Seniority, category of the job, location, company and skills.

Digital Tech jobs were defined using the categories of each job vacancy. In case it was IT Jobs or Engineering jobs, which captured jobs with any kind of IT or Engineering skills.

Text mining methods were used to understand the most important skills associated with a particular role.

The variable ‘Skills’ was transformed to a corpus - this is a collection of documents.

This was then transformed to all lowercase, to ensure all words would be counted the same. Stopwords such as “and, the, if” for example were removed. Phrases and buzzwords used to describe skills within digital technology roles were accounted for to ensure something like “computer science” or “machine learning” was not split into two words.

This cleaned corpus is now transformed to a document term matrix, In this which essentially shows for each vacancy and a list of words present across all vacancies. So for each vacancy, which word is present. I specify which word weighting I’d like to use, in this case it was Term Frequency - Inverse Document Frequency.

“Term Frequency - Inverse Document Frequency” (TF-IDF) calculates values for each word in a job vacancy to the percentage of job vacancies the word appears in.

Words with high TF-IDF numbers imply a strong relationship with the document they appear in, suggesting that if that word was to appear in a job vacancy, this may be of interest to the person.

Numbeo

Numbeo’s cost of living index was used to put salary offerings relative to the City it was being offered.

Their methodology is here: https://www.numbeo.com/common/motivation_and_methodology.jsp

As the method used by Numbeo is a linear rank, I was able to calculate overall ranking scores for clusters we focused on in this report and for roles.

To get an overall rank of the respective clusters and for each role, I divided the average salary offered for digital technology roles by the cost of living index.

For each role, I divided the salary by the cost of living index to provide a rank.

Office for National Statistics (ONS)

The Adzuna data was adjusted to reflect the trend of UK job vacancies using the ONS data. Proportion and split of job vacancies from 2015 -2018 was applied to Adzuna data.

To measure the total number of tech and tech-enabled jobs across the economy, we used data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) Annual Population Survey (APS). This is a survey-based sample of the UK population – on individual people rather than businesses. To get UK-wide data on people working in tech jobs from the survey, we have to make sure that the sample of people reflects the broader UK population – so we have to use multipliers from the ONS.

But this kind of analysis does not measure the number of direct jobs created by digital tech companies. To understand the impact and benefits of digital tech we need to have reliable data not only on the number of tech jobs across the economy but also performance and productivity indicators for the sector itself.

To do this, we use official data from the ONS Business Structure Database (BSD), which we also use to look at the performance of tech companies. This methodology allows us to have refined data that can be relied upon as the most accurate count of direct jobs created by the digital tech companies across the country.

The numbers are quite different in some cases. This is because one analysis looks exclusively at people working for digital tech companies, while the other looks at people working in tech jobs across the economy.

This report presents two different sets of stats on employment. This means that the economy-wide numbers should not be compared to the sector-wide ones. But we have used this year’s method to look back over time.  If you want to compare employment in your local area, all the data you need is in the 2018 report.

The new 2018 analysis is based on a comprehensive look at all UK businesses that are PAYE or VAT registered.This means that using BDS data will provide us not only with the number of direct jobs created by tech companies but also helps us understand the performance of these companies. Viewed together, the two sets of data will help us understand all people working in digital tech.

The data on digital tech companies also contains financial information, as well as employment. This means that we can have reliable data on productivity. To get a true picture of jobs in digital tech, we need to look at performance, as well as quantity of jobs – this cannot be obtained from the APS alone.

Digital tech jobs – includes all people working in digital tech occupations, irrespective of the industry. For example, a software developer working in a retail company. (Source: ONS Annual Population Survey, Wave 4 2016, Waves 1-3 2017)

Digital tech jobs in digital tech – includes only people working in digital tech occupations in the digital tech industries. For example, a software developer working in a web development firm. (Source: ONS Annual Population Survey, Wave 4 2016, Waves 1-3 2017)

Jobs in digital tech – includes all people working in digital tech industries, including non-digital jobs. For example, an accountant working in a web development firm. (Source: ONS Business Structure Database 2017)

 

Glossary

MVC

Model-view-controller is an architectural pattern commonly used for developing user interfaces that divides an application into three interconnected parts.

Scrum

Is an agile way to manage a project. Typically known for use within software development teams, but can be used within any team.

ITIL

An acronym for Information Technology Infrastructure Library, is a set of detailed practices for IT service management that focuses on aligning IT services with the needs of business

SAP/ERP

These are enterprise resource planning software.

Enterprise resource planning is the integrated management of the main business processes, often in real-time and mediated by software and technology.

CTI

Computer telephony integration, also called computer–telephone integration or CTI, is a common name for any technology that allows interactions on a telephone and a computer to be integrated or coordinated.

TCP

The Transmission Control Protocol is one of the main protocols of the Internet protocol suite.

DCS

Distributed control system

MCS

Mobile cloud service