UK tech job opportunities hit a 10-year high, says new report

Tech Nation, June 15, 2022 3 min read

Tech job opportunities have hit a 10-year high with the explosion in demand for tech products and services over the past two years, according to new data by smarter job search engine Adzuna in our People and Skills Report 2022..

The research reveals that tech roles now make up 14% of all job opportunities in the UK, up from 11% in 2019. 

There were around 870,000 tech and digital job vacancies available 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.

While some tech companies have signalled plans to cut staff numbers, the tech sector as a whole continues to grow. 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. 

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.”

Skills supply and demand

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. 

The demand for senior tech positions have been increasing over the past 3 years. For every one “no experience” role advertised, there are approximately eight senior roles advertised.

With the growing demand for tech roles to be filled, in particular senior roles, we can assume the number of entry level candidates outweigh the number of entry-level roles, whereas the number of vacancies for senior tech roles outweigh the number of suitable senior candidates.

This may create a supply issue in future, with fewer prospective employees able to gain vital experience in tech, and companies struggling to hire experienced people.

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.”  

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.

There has also 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. 

Regional job growth

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.

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.

Data & research