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Key statistics

  • There were over 2mn vacancies for tech roles between May 2021 and 2022, from a total 14.85mn vacancies across the economy as a whole, which includes part time and contract work
  • Nearly 5mn people now work in the digital tech economy, up from 2.18mn in 2011
  • On average, tech salaries are nearly 80% higher than salaries for non tech jobs in the UK, at £62,000 compared to £35,000 as of Q1 2022
  • London is the 2nd best place to live and work globally in tech based on salary versus cost of living data
  • Almost 80% of advertised tech roles are at the senior level potentially obstructing those at an earlier stage in their career from getting relevant experience in tech
  • The demand for a Product Manager in tech has grown by over 8x in the last year, showing the burgeoning significance of non-technical roles in the sector
  • When surveyed by YouGov and Tech Nation, 64% of tech employees believe their tech skills are essential to job security.
  • 41% of respondents say they now pay more attention to their mental wellbeing, compared to before the pandemic.


There are now just under 5mn people working in UK tech startups and scaleups and the tech economy more broadly, an increase from just under 3mn in 2019, and more than double the 2.18mn working in the tech economy in 2011.

During the uncertain times faced by most people over the last two years, technology has been an enabler for individuals, companies and communities. It has facilitated new ways of working, and kept the economy buoyant. Tech has also been an important source of job creation as we return to a sense of normality. Nevertheless, we are not returning to the economy, or the labour market that we left in 2019. 

This significant ramping up of tech economy workers has been due, in part to the permeation and transformation of tech across the economy as a whole. Over 36% of people working in the digital tech economy are in non technical roles, and a further 30% of roles are in tech roles outside of the tech sector.

On the other side of the coin, the tech sector itself has continued to grow at an astounding rate. Between 2020 and 2021 venture capital investment into UK based tech startups and scaleups increased by 130%. This surge of investment creates employment opportunities, to spearhead growth in scaling firms.

Despite efforts to shed light on labour market dynamics in, and around tech over the last few years, there remains a dearth of data around skills, progression and up-skilling opportunities and career trajectories for tech leaders. The lack of this data could be leading to less informed decisions on the part of both employers, and employees. The following report aims to address many of these gaps.

Commencing with a bird's-eye view of the labour market, we explore the jobs, vacancies and skills landscape using data from Adzuna, Dealroom and the Office for National Statistics. We then weigh this against supply, to get a sense of the ability for employers to fill vacant roles. We dive into the career journeys of those who have, and still currently work for UK based scaling tech companies, to understand how people move into leadership positions in these firms, and what the trajectory could look like for those aspiring to these roles. Finally, we think about cost of living, and wellbeing and inclusion - moving from the big picture, to the view from the ground.

Use this report to better understand the opportunities tech has to offer - and let others know that tech could be the place for them to forge a career. In providing high quality, robust information on the ecosystem, we are better able to make the right decisions for our collective tech future.

Thanks to our data partner, Adzuna, and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport for their support.


Tech jobs and vacancies

Jobs in the broader digital tech economy now account for around 14% of the UK workforce at 4.7mn people

During the uncertain times faced by most people over the last 18 months, technology has been an enabler for individuals, companies and communities. It has facilitated new ways of working, and kept the economy buoyant. Tech has also been an important source of job creation as we return to a sense of normality. Nevertheless, we are not returning to the economy, or the labour market that we left in 2019. 

(Source: Tech Nation, Dealroom, Office for National Statistics, 2022)

More than 2mn tech vacancies were advertised over the last year, more than any other area of the UK labour market

Tech jobs have reached the top spot for UK hiring from May 2021 to 2022, followed by the likes of Trade and construction, Teaching and Healthcare roles. In part, this boom in hiring is reflective of the growth seen in venture capital investment into UK tech companies in 2021, a 130% increase to just under $41bn. In addition to this, the increasing permeation of tech roles across the economy is leading to a rising tide of tech positions across the labour market.

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

Over 36% of jobs in the digital tech economy are in non tech occupations, like Product Management, User Experience, People, and Sales

There are a wide variety of roles in the tech economy, encompassing product, sales, user experience, legal, tech, and data positions. This multiplicity of opportunities is evidenced below, where it can be seen that 36.8% of roles are in non-tech positions, and a further 33% of roles are technical, but outside of the tech sector.

(Source: Tech Nation, Office for National Statistics, 2020)

Tech vacancies have increased on a month by month basis over the last year, from 145k roles advertised in May 2021 to 181k roles as of May 2022

There is, of course, noise in these figures, and the graph below shows how seasonality, and economic performance can impact on the rate at which companies are hiring for tech roles. For instance, over the winter, fewer roles tend to be hired for, whilst in the first quarter of the calendar year, there tends to be a recruitment boom.

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

In the UK, large tech and professional services companies, many of which are headquartered in the US like IBM, Oracle and Amazon, lead the way in tech job advertisement

Nevertheless, UK decacorn, Ocado is third in the UK hiring rankings with over 33,500 roles advertised last year. These roles are made up of jobs across the digital tech economy as a whole, and will therefore include non tech workers.

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

Case study

Nadine Beaton, Head of People and Culture

CoinCover, Wales

Funnily enough, I didn’t grow up thinking I’d work in Fintech – I'm old enough to remember sharing eight PCs across a whole school year and hand-writing homework essays so to find myself working at the cutting edge of crypto technology is quite the leap!

How did I get here? Well, I was lucky enough that school worked for me, I was headgirl and a superswot but my passion was always outside of the constraints of qualifications - I’ve always been creative, and I loved acting, so it seemed an obvious move to apply to Drama school. I knew I wanted to train to be an actor and not do a drama degree, it was the creativity and freedom of performing and embodying a different person I loved and not the theory.

I earned a place at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. I was all set to become an actor but I always had an element of realism and had been in part-time employment since I was sixteen and worked weekends throughout my training, even after the usual 10- 12 hour days. After an accident on stage severing a tendon in my foot (a genuine “is there a doctor in the house” moment) resulted in an operation and year out – I was back into work as soon as I was able.

Thankfully picking up work wasn’t ever a problem and several temporary contracts often ended in a permanent job offer – which I always declined, needing the flexibility to perform and audition between roles. But each of those roles built my experience and CV.

I had given myself an unwritten rule that if I wasn’t acting, I had to do at least one thing every year to further my business career. Eventually, the balance tipped and the thrill of the successes and performing became less of a reward compared to the job satisfaction I was getting in my ‘business career’ and alongside the occasional performance here and there, I had found myself a career path which always seemed to have people or tech at its core. After an introduction to finance in Corporate Banking, I moved to marketing and PR at an examinations board, completing a marketing qualification, followed by a role mapping and upskilling the Welsh digital sector, looking at the future technologies in the creative industries.

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Software developer vacancies continue to occupy the top spot for employer demand, but roles like Consultant, Business Analyst and Product Manager form a significant proportion of hired for roles

The demand has been increasing slightly, with a slight dip in the years 2018 - 2020. However, 2021 has shown the need for digital talent is becoming more important, and in H1 2021, the number of advertised tech roles was 42% higher than H1 2019. As can be seen from vacancy data, this trend continued into H2 2021, and the first few months of 2022.

Taking a longer term view, over the past 6 years, there has been a general rise in the demand for 'product' roles. As expected there was a dip in 2020 - which is reflective of the labour market as a whole during the peak times of the pandemic.

Although there has been a decline in the demand for marketing roles overall, driving the growth of tech companies alongside colleagues responsible for creating the technology product or service, the proportion of ‘digital marketing’ roles in demand have increased from 36% to 45%, from 2016 to 2021.  

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

Employer demand for Product Manager and Product Owner roles has gone up by 8x and 6x respectively, showing demand for non-technical roles in the sector

Growth in number of advertised job vacancies by proportion of tech vacancies

 2022 VacanciesProportion of job vacancies2019 vacanciesGrowth multiple of no. advertised tech vacancies since 2019
Software Developer561747.99%361051.6
Business Analyst260673.71%34797.5
Java Developer190812.71%113681.7
Devops Engineer175942.50%64662.7
Project Manager168582.40%64662.6
Data Analyst124321.77%20046.2
Product Manager119811.70%14798.1
IT System Architect108221.54%46042.4
Full Stack Developer97111.38%49782
Data Engineer95681.36%21484.5
NET Developer92011.31%104750.9
Front End Developer91551.30%82461.1
Data Scientist55730.79%18013.1
Product Owner52430.75%8526.2
Data Architect2441.39%1681.5

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

Case study

Jennifer Merritt, Product Engineer


I have a background in Geography and GIS and came to my first software development role as a career changer. Programming and associated jobs weren’t things I’d learned about or come across much in my traditional education. So I retrained via the CodeClan Professional Software Development Course and this led me to my current role as a Product Engineer. Working in tech is exciting and I genuinely enjoy my work. There are always things to learn and, certainly as a developer, there are great communities to be a part of.

Data and Architecture are the most in demand tech skills, jumping up the ranking after seeing growth in demand of over 1000% respectively from 2019 to 2021

Tech roles requiring data skills are becoming increasingly important. Over the past three years, 'data' has moved from third in demand to the most in demand skill across all tech jobs. However, people oriented skills still hold an important place in tech role profiles, we see the likes of Management, Clients, Communication within the top 10 sought after skills in tech jobs.

Case study

Kalkidan Legesse

OWNI, South West England

Tell us about your career in tech

I’ve only been in tech for about 2 years and came to it through a desire to tackle consumer waste, particularly in fashion. I realised that one solution could be via a better flow of information from brands to consumers, which led me to create a tech startup. I was completely new to the industry so I’ve had to learn it all - from basic concepts, to more detailed knowledge about what’s relevant to me and the scope of what I’m trying to achieve. As a founder, it’s taken me time to understand different roles in tech; how teams and companies grow and the different activities required to build a tech product and a functional business. I’ve also had to learn about resources, funding and investment.  

Tell us about your experience working in tech

Despite still being relatively new to tech and I whilst I wouldn’t call myself an expert, I feel quite comfortable navigating technical aspects, as well as the cultural and practical sides of it. I find it really rewarding and interesting and I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to participate in inclusive activities such as Tech Nation’s Libra growth programme. It’s great to see that tech is growing more accessible but there’s still plenty of work to do and I’m conscious of the role that I can play. Before this, I was interested in how tech influences our societies and culture but wasn’t aware of the range of activities and career paths that exist.

Top 20 skills demanded for tech jobs

Skill2021 ranking2020 ranking2019 ranking% diff growth 2019 - 2021
Business Management71321880
Software Development81110494
Unit Testing979532
Project Management10911547
Amazon AWS132530769

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

Case study

Helen Precious, Big Data Consultant


Tell us about your career in tech

Like many, my career in tech happened accidentally. Following three years in advertising sales and vowing "I'd never do sales again", I landed an Account Management role in a full-service digital agency, with a team that never managed to sell the same thing twice.

Our ambition to deliver interesting, tech solutions drew in a talented bunch of colleagues fed up with pushing out brochure website after brochure website. On day two of landing in the agency, I asked what the team in the corner were working on, and our CEO wryly smiled; "that's Wordnerds - we're teaching computers to read."

Fast forward a few years, the quiet team in the corner were drawing ever-more attention, and the pull of a career at the intersection of AI and Linguistics seemed too good to miss. Five years on, I find myself heading up the Sales Team (I know, famous last words ey?!) for this plucky, Northeast start-up, that has become far bigger than the agency it spun out of. With the lofty scaling ambitions of our team and investors, I'm now invested in the art of developing a replicable scale model, chasing PMF, and feeling fluent in the foreign language of SaaS. Navigating these challenges every day keeps us on our toes - every day really is a school day.

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As part of Tech Nation’s survey with YouGov, we asked respondents if they had picked up a new tech skill since the pandemic. Of the 164 respondents that picked up a new tech skill, 18% had developed a proficiency in coding or cloud technologies with Azure and Python being the most common choice. 5% picked up a data visualisation tool, most commonly the solution they used was Power BI.

Case study

Chis Phippen, Founder and CEO

Hatless Studios, South West England

Tell us about your career in tech

My career in tech started at university alongside my studies in Computer Science and Mathematics. Some friends and I realised that the education we were getting wasn't preparing us for the world of work and set out to develop our own skills. In the four years since, we've spent our time training up students at universities in the South West to build commercial software.

Tell us about your experience working in tech

My experience working in technology has been incredibly diverse. Some people have absolutely no idea what's possible, and some vastly overestimate what's feasible in their area. There are all kinds of people, across a litany of fields. Tech is a fundamentally applied discipline, which means it's found everywhere.

On average, tech jobs command an 80% premium on non tech jobs in the UK

From 2020 to 2021 the gap between tech, and non tech salaries opened up, but this trend has halted, with an equilibrium reached over the last year.

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

With growth in employment as we have witnessed over the last five years, on the one hand, is a good thing from an economic, and labour market perspective. Well paid jobs across the UK are being created. However, if left unchecked, this could pose a potentially problematic situation whereby tech becomes fragmented, or polarises the economy. In its own right, this is a fairly natural phenomenon, but consider that levels of gender, geographical, age and in some cases ethnic diversity remain entrenched in tech, with little movement over the last five years, and we start to see that a polarisation problem may be emerging. 

This is not a phenomenon that will inevitably occur if appropriate intervention measures are taken. We know that the tech economy is home to a variety of technical and non technical roles, offering a wide range of opportunities, and creating many new forms of work, and jobs. The message of opportunity for all must be something we collectively emphasise so that no one is left behind.

Awareness of the opportunity to earn more, and enhance security of roles for the future must be reinforced, with just 26% of people believing that developing a tech skill will allow them to earn more going forward

(Source: Tech Nation, YouGov, 2022)


Supply and demand

Whilst employer demand for jobs and skills is an important lens through which to look at growth, and opportunity in tech, we must balance this with a view on the supply of talent. In this section we use LinkedIn and Adzuna data to better understand the interplay between supply and demand, and gauge the extent to which tech companies are able to hire skilled people to accelerate their growth.

The distribution of tech salaries is skewed right, reflective of the distribution of salaries more broadly

There are a few notable salary bands, namely £25-30k, and £130-135k. These tend to be reflective of entry level, and senior management or senior technical roles respectively, where we would anticipate there are a higher concentration of people positioned in their careers.

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

South East, North West and South West England perform strongly for hiring between May 2021 and 2022

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

Outside of London, Manchester leads the field for tech vacancies from May 2021 - May 2022 with nearly 80,000 roles opened by employers

Tech vacancies by city in the UK (excluding London)

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

UK cluster (excluding London)Total number of tech vacancies (May 2021-2022)
Milton Keynes15501
Brighton and Hove6366
Newcastle upon Tyne3740

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

Case study

Ria Blagburn, Operations Director

Vanti, West Midlands

Tell us about your career in tech

My career historically has been in digital marketing and I was introduced to the tech community of Birmingham when I was working as Head of Marketing for a digital design agency based at Innovation Birmingham Campus. The campus ran a scaleup programme called E4F Inspire which my then employer gained a place on, alongside a handful of other companies including Vanti. This was where I became friends with Mike Brooman, Vanti CEO, who gave me a huge amount of support when I started my own consultancy company and went on to become a client of mine. Although I loved working with Vanti, my passion for marketing was starting to wane and that was when a role leading the Service Department came up. They needed someone really organised, good with people, and able to strategise so it felt like a really good fit. 

I supported Service for 18 months, figuring out how to empower the team and improve processes. We then looked at how my skills could be applied to the business as a whole, which is where my current role as Operations Director came from.

I definitely have my hands full, and it can be stressful to know I shoulder much of the responsibility of making us a better business, but I think it’s really important for the team to know that there is someone dedicated to fixing problems at Vanti and making everyone’s life a bit easier!

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Careers and progression

44% of UK respondents believe having tech skills are essential for job security; 64% of those working in tech agree. With the fast pace of change in tech, 26% believe upskilling themselves in a new digital/tech skill will allow them to earn more in the future.

Perceptions of tech up-skilling in the UK (all sectors)

(Source: Tech Nation, YouGov, 2022)

Case study

Dan Sodergren, Co-founder and CIO

YourFLOCK, North West England

Tell us about your career in tech

I have been very lucky as I started my own business when I was 17. Many moons ago. Not in tech. As a friend and I failed at programming my ZX Spectrum enough to make our first game. But it gave me the love of technology and its potential. 

Throughout the first few businesses I launched in my past. We brought in technology as much as possible. Be that changing how eco goods were made with, or pioneering cutting edge technologies in arts with Spearfish, to finally building tech products as marketing devices with Great Marketing Works.

I have been lucky as I have worked with some amazingly talented designers and developers. Many of whom have gone on to great things. 

Inside companies I have started as a so-called “futurist” I have had companies in augmented reality, real time bidding, social media, gaming and even tried health tech. Many of them way before the time the market was ready. 

Yet it was only when I joined forces with Michal Wisniewski with that I have had significant outside investment and the experience to create a successful team. Which is ironic as Your FLOCK is our team engagement platform which helps teams stay together for longer. 

They say business is often about timing. And Your FLOCK working in team dynamics at a time the pandemic has made this understanding a key issue in business - is simply good timing. 

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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.

Using Census data and the total number of graduates in STEM subjects from the Higher Education Statistics Agency, approximately 0.39% of the population graduated with a STEM degree, 0.24% of these were graduates from Computer Science/Engineering with over 80% male graduates. According to Adzuna labour market data, in 2021, 0.03% of jobs were advertised as “no experience”, 13% at “entry level” and 77% at “senior”.

The sticking point in this dynamic is that demand for senior roles is burgeoning, whilst demand for junior and intermediate level roles has decreased. This may create a supply issue in future, with fewer prospective employees able to gain vital experience in tech, and companies struggling to hire for experienced people. A resolution to this situation will require a reconsideration of roles being hired for by firms, and an acknowledgement that responsibility must be taken to contribute to the skills and experience development of staff.

Level of seniority demanded by employers for tech roles in the UK by year

No experience0.29%0.05%0.03%

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

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What does it take to be a tech leader?

This section explores what it takes to get into the senior leadership team of a fast-growing, early-stage technology company. To do this we used data from LinkedIn on those people who are in C-suite or director positions at tech startups and scaleups.

The highest proportion of companies from which the professionals whose profiles we analysed fall under DeepTech. This refers to R&D intensive, cutting edge technologies and examples include AI, Blockchain, AR/VR, Quantum & Robotics companies.

Sector distribution of companies from which senior professional profiles were used

(Source: Tech Nation, LinkedIn, 2022)

DeepTech’s size is a combination of the UK’s unique ability to build highly innovative businesses, and the breadth of companies which fall under this category. It is possible for a company to contribute to more than one of these emerging technology areas. An example of this is Benevolent AI who combine advanced AI with cutting edge science for more effective medical treatment and drug development. 

Using the C-Suite and Director LinkedIn URL’s available on Beauhurst we were able to extract 34,000 profiles.

The focus then turned to understanding Education and Employment Experience, of which we have 57,000 and 227,000 entries respectively.

(Source: Tech Nation, LinkedIn, 2022)

Modelling job titles into departments and levels of department was a crucial step to understanding the sentiment of an employee’s work. In fact, the time someone has spent in a particular job role explains the experience they have gained over their career, and is indicative of the skills they have acquired. Similar steps were taken with education to group the different levels of higher education. 

Dr. Aislinn Rice, Managing Director

Analytics Engines, Northern Ireland

I graduated from Queen’s University Belfast with a PhD in Chemistry after which I pivoted towards commercial roles in tech businesses.

The skills and experience I had developed throughout academia suitably prepared me for the exciting road ahead. I was Vice President for Global Sales and Business Development at Machine Vision Technology, an opportunity that culminated in a successful acquisition by Agilent Technologies.

Following this, I held the position of Sales Director with Andor Technology, responsible for sales growth across EMEA & APAC. This company was AIM listed and ultimately resulted in an acquisition by Oxford Instruments.

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Tech C-suites are highly qualified, with nearly 75% educated to Undergraduate level, and nearly 50% with a Masters degree

Educational qualifications level held by senior leaders

(Source: Tech Nation, LinkedIn, 2022)

A staggering proportion of senior leaders are highly qualified individuals. The majority of people including this information in their profile have a Bachelors degree (74.6%) and just under half have a Masters degree (46.3%). MBAs, or Masters in Business Administration, have been analysed as a separate entity due to their relevance to running a business. At 12% a similar proportion of leaders have a Doctorate degree (11%). 

Case study

Thuria Wenbar, CEO and Co-founder

E-Pharmacy, East of England

By background, I’m a medical doctor and my co-founder, Oskar, is a pharmacist.

I was in my final year at university doing a rotation in emergency medicine and Oskar was completing his PhD whilst locuming as a pharmacist. We saw a problem with the current health care system and we were delusional enough to think we could fix it. I can code but I’m self-taught, dabbling since I was 7.

These days there are so many resources to learn or to use no-code/low-code solutions so there’s no harm giving it a go. You’re acquiring a new skill and learning to learn. Even if you don’t ever become a coder, it’s good to know the lingo, the process, learn about the limitations and the functions available to you.

When we started E-Pharmacy we didn’t hire a consultant to advise us on our tech stack – we simply gave it a go. We changed systems every few months until we found something that we felt worked and would scale with us. Even something as simple as choosing our CRM system. It’s a lot easier to migrate in the early days when there are 3 employees and a few thousand records. Invest time early and speak to people who already use those system to see the level of flexibility available to you.

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The absence of quality data on higher education for a large number of profiles does not mean that these individuals did not participate in higher education. It could be a result of choosing not to fill this in or filling this in in a non-machine readable fashion. As a result we estimate the proportion of senior leaders who did not participate in higher education between 15% and 40%. The lower being derived from the graph above with 25.45% not including information about their Bachelors and taking 10% either way for inaccuracy. The upper bound looking at the total proportion of people who did not fill out this field and working under the assumption that they did not attend university. This gives a value of 30% which equals 40% when the 10% leeway is applied.  

The absence of quality data on higher education for a large number of profiles does not mean that these individuals did not participate in higher education. It could be a result of choosing not to fill this in, or filling this in in a non-machine readable fashion. As a result we estimate the proportion of senior leaders who did not participate in higher education is between 15% and 35%. The bounds were derived from the graph above. 25.45% did not include information about their Bachelors. A 10% leeway was then applied for any inaccuracy. 

World leading educational institutions top the charts for tech C-suite education - highlighting a potentially problematic position of 'tech-clusivity'

Top education institutions for senior tech professionals

(Source: Tech Nation, LinkedIn, 2022)

The University of Cambridge and The University of Oxford (Oxbridge) top the leaderboard for educational institutions making up a combined total of 4.6% of educational experiences. Comparatively, 1% of UK students get a place at Oxbridge according to a study Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government in 2012. This demonstrates the academic pedigree of leadership teams and the fact that all 25 academic institutions are highly regarded strengthens this further. 

Two international universities feature in the top 25: INSEAD or, Institut Européen d'Administration des Affaires; and Harvard Business School. Like London Business School, this is more a symptom of the large quantity of MBAs reported in a profile’s education section. Due to the relevance of this to building a business, people are more likely to include this in their profiles and so fill out the education section. As a result the figure may be proportionally higher than reality. 

Other than Oxbridge, all other educational institutions have a percentage of 1.5% or below. In fact, across all educational experiences there are 16,000 unique educational institutions. This range of educational institutions, and so education, is encouraging to see. It demonstrates senior leaders’ ingenuity to seek out the most suitable education for their needs. The Open University’s position at 13th supports this and signals the importance senior leadership put on a more flexible education system. 

Computer science and economics top the charts for field of study for tech C-suite

Field of study of senior professionals

(Source: Tech Nation, LinkedIn, 2022)

Computer Science, Economics and Law are the top 3 fields of study. It is unsurprising to see Computer Science at the top as a large proportion of emerging technology companies focus on computer based technology. All subjects, including computer science, make up a small percentage of the total. With this in mind, all fields of study can support people to C-Suite positions. 

Case study

Deirdre McGettrick, Co-founder and CEO

Tell us about your career in tech

Tech is my second career having spent a decade in Investment Banking originating and executing large debt raises for companies like Ocado and Ceva Logistics. The beauty of technology is that it's all around us and many of us are using it unbeknownst to ourselves in all guises throughout our day. I'm the founder of, a furniture search, discovery and comparison platform. It was born out of my own personal frustrations of not being able to easily find the furniture I wanted for my home. I started 3 years ago to solve a problem that myself and millions of others like me across the UK have in finding the perfect pieces of furniture for their home. Today has grown to a team of over 20 people and lists more than 170 furniture retailers as partners. 

Tell us about your experience working in tech

The enjoyment of working in technology is that it brings to the fore all the amazing uses of technology that impact our lives for the better on a day to day basis. Technology is a fast paced environment that aims to solve problems for people. What I love most about working in technology is the ability to test and learn. The acceptance to failure (so long as it's a fail fast), taking the learning and then iterating on your product to move forward at speed. At, we are constantly testing what helps our users to find the furniture they want, taking the learnings and building the insights into our future product development roadmap.

Computer science, Economics and Engineering top the education charts for C-suite tech professionals in the UK

Field of study by roles among senior professionals

(Source: Tech Nation, LinkedIn, 2022)

Similar to the top subjects for all C-Suite and Director positions, Computer Science and Economics feature highly when focusing on specific job roles. The more specialist roles, CTO and CFO, are met with more specialist degrees. For CTO this is Computer Science and STEM based subjects, and for CFO this is Financial, Mathematical and Accountancy based subjects. The Founder, CEO and COO top subjects are more broad but still include the specialist subjects outlined in the previous sentence. 

What experience is needed to make it to the C-suite of a tech company?

This section focuses on a tech leaders, with an emphasis on the C-suite of tech firms. We cover the following roles:

  • Founder
  • Chief Executive Officer (CEO)
  • Chief Technical Officer (CTO)
  • Chief Financial Officer (CFO)
  • Chief Operations Officer (COO)
  • Managing Director (MD)
  • Chief Investment Officer (CIO)
  • Chief Product Officer (CPO)
  • Chief Revenue Officer (CRO)

It analyses the collective time they have spent in different positions, departments and seniority levels to develop an idea of how they got to their position. With this we infer the skills required to get to these positions. 

Top fields of professional experience by job role

(Source: Tech Nation, LinkedIn, 2022)

For all job roles outlined, the department which contributed to the biggest time in their career is C-Suite / Founder / Managing Director. This department’s proportional times range from an average of 39.5% to 52%.

To get to these positions you need to know how to lead a team, drive the strategy of the business and make high-quality decisions. Alongside this Director Role scores highly across all (6.07% - 11.26%), reinforcing the fact that managerial qualities are needed to get to these positions and build an emerging technology business. 

The Board of Directors department makes up a large proportion of the total time people in these positions have worked. The statistic is surprising when you consider the rarity of these roles and the amount of time working in these positions. For most individuals it is rare however taking a closer look at the data showed us that the people who are on one board may be on multiple boards at any given time. Additionally due to the structure of the data we cannot accurately segment the number of days spent in these roles, but can just segment the time spanned in this position. It is still important to include because this is how these individuals perceive their experience and want to demonstrate their experience to the public (via LinkedIn). Moreover it is a great indicator of the expertise these individuals bring to these roles. 

Specialist C-Suite positions, like Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Technical Officer (CTO), are met with larger proportions of mean times being spent in their respective specialist departments. For CFOs, an average of 27.53% of their career is spent honing their financial skills. Comparatively CTO’s only spend an average of 22.53% of their time. 

Finally, the operations department is a big feeder to the selected C-Suite positions. It makes up 8.30% and 13.48% of the collective proportion of time spent in their career. This makes sense as the category includes consultancy and strategy positions, both of which provide a good foundation ahead of entering senior leadership positions.   


Cost of living

London is ranked as the second best place in the world to live and work in tech based on cost of living and salaries

Cost of living Index in tech (global)

RankCityCost of livingAverage Tech Salary
1New York100£115,679
9Hong Kong80.71£46,071

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, 2022)

The cost of living is increasing globally. With the result of the pandemic and the war on Ukraine, there have been obvious negative effects on the economy. We’ve seen the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee increase interest rates from 0.5% to 0.75% as of March 2022 in response to the rising inflation.

When comparing London on a global basis, taking into account the average salary for a tech job, although New York has the highest cost of living, given their salary offerings - they are ranked as a favourable place to live in second place, behind New York. Tokyo’s cost of living index is very similar to London’s (0.01 difference), however based on their average tech salary offerings they are ranked at the bottom of our list. 

Edinburgh, Birmingham, Southampton and Glasgow follow London as top tech destinations in the UK based on cost of living and average tech salary

Edinburgh has risen up the ranks from 2021, gaining four places from 6th to 2nd position. Whilst tech salaries have not decreased in Glasgow and Birmingham, rising cost of living in these cities has caused their drop down the rankings by two and one place respectively. Similarly, Leeds has dropped one place down the rankings, reflecting increasing cost of living in the city.

(Source: Tech Nation, Adzuna, Numbeo, 2022)


Wellbeing and inclusion

84% of those that work in Tech agree that their workplace provides flexibility for home and work life. 20% higher than the UK average of 64%.

Millions of employees' working arrangements changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, with many based at home in some capacity. Further, the evolution and emergence of technology has enabled the ease of  ‘working from home and anywhere’. Although the concept of working remotely is not new, with telecommuting present from the 1970s, this however existed in a very limited capacity. 

This sudden change has meant personal homes also became work environments forcing employees to adopt bringing their work home. Whilst there are a range of benefits associated with working from home, including increased productivity and reduced fatigue, there are often negative implications on one's physical and mental health as a result of blurring work and home boundaries. 

According to research published by the BMC Public Health in November 2020, to mitigate the negative effects of feeling isolated and longer working hours whilst working at home, regular communication between managers, their teams and colleagues is suggested.

To gain a better understanding of the value employees across sectors within the UK feel at work and the direct impact inferred on assessing their wellbeing and state of inclusion, we conducted a study with YouGov to try and measure this. We surveyed 1,000 respondents across the UK gathering their feedback.

Across the UK, 60% of respondents feel motivated and valued by their team. 

(Source: Tech Nation, YouGov, 2022)

Overall, less than 50% (49% males and 48% females agree) of respondents agree that their workplace provides them with the right level of support and resources to support their mental wellbeing. 

Of those that work in the tech industry, 84% agree they are provided with the right level of support to balance their home and work life.

(Source: Tech Nation, YouGov, 2022)

Across the UK, 41% of respondents say they now pay more attention to their mental wellbeing, compared to before the pandemic. 

(Source: Tech Nation, YouGov, 2022)



Dr. George Windsor

Data and Research Director, Tech Nation

The resounding message from this report is the continued growth of opportunities for everyone to engage in the tech economy; a driver of the UK economy, and a permeating force for productivity, innovation and change.

Raising awareness of the opportunities that exist is a natural next step - whether that's achieved by highlighting the fact that UK decacorn Ocado advertised over 33,500 roles last year, or that employer demand for Product Manager and Product Owner roles has gone up by 8x and 6x respectively, showing demand for non-technical roles in the sector, there is robust evidence for choosing a career path in tech.

That said, this report highlights that senior leaders in tech, those in C-suite and director roles, are overwhelmingly Oxbridge and red brick university educated. This leads to a potentially problematic disjunction in the messaging around opportunity for all, versus the impression leaders often from elite higher education institutions provides.

The financial rationale exists more patently than ever, to pursue a career in the tech economy. On average, tech jobs now command an 80% premium on non tech jobs in the UK, up from around 60% only a year ago.

Yet, only 26% of people surveyed believed that acquiring or developing a new tech skill would position them well to earn more in the future - highlighting an information gap. 44% of UK respondents believe having tech skills are essential for job security and 64% of those working in tech agree. With the fast pace of change in tech, it will be essential to encourage upskilling throughout all people's careers.

Demand for tech roles has never been higher, as the report points out, over 2mn vacancies last year, and ever growing employment in the tech economy has only accelerated over the last year. In parallel, 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.

This is again a potentially challenging position. If demand for senior roles is burgeoning, whilst demand for junior and intermediate level roles has decreased this may create a supply issue in future. It will lead to fewer prospective employees able to gain vital experience in tech, and companies struggling to hire for experienced people. A resolution to this situation will require a reconsideration of roles being hired for by firms, and an acknowledgement that responsibility must be taken to contribute to the skills and experience development of staff.

In conclusion, growth inevitably brings challenges - without the right mix of people, capital and innovation, we will not see realised the positive growth trajectory for UK tech we all hope . As such, it is a responsibility of employers, hiring organisations, individuals and support organisations to raise awareness, promote upskilling and in work training, and open doors to those with less experience in tech to pave the way to a brighter tech future for all.

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Adzuna is a search engine for job advertisements. We have used UK based data for this report. Where stated the average salary for vacancies have been used, as this is the mean, note that values recorded may be skewed slightly to higher paying roles. Data from the past three years were analysed: 2019 - 2022 to produce the stars within this report. 


The survey has been conducted using an online interview administered to members of the YouGov Plc UK panel of 800,000+ individuals who have agreed to take part in surveys. Emails are sent to panellists selected at random from the base sample. The email invites them to take part in a survey and provides a generic survey link. Once a panel member clicks on the link they are sent to the survey that they are most required for, according to the sample definition and quotas. (The sample definition could be "GB adult population" or a subset such as "GB adult females''). Invitations to surveys don’t expire and respondents can be sent to any available survey. The responding sample is weighted to the profile of the sample definition to provide a representative reporting sample. The profile is normally derived from census data or, if not available from the census, from industry accepted data.


Data on Leadership teams was sourced from LinkedIn profiles.

Taking LinkedIn Profile URLs known to be of interest we used a Python-based web scraping technique to obtain all the information of an individual's profile. The data was then structured into normalised tables depending on the type of data record. Types of data records associated with a profile include: Overview Information, Accomplishments, Activities, Articles (written), Certifications, Education, Experiences, and Volunteer Work. All data is securely stored in our proprietary database and its accuracy was tested using an extensive manual data verification process. Finally, statistical modelling and machine learning techniques were used to group selected fields and gauge the sentiment of the self-professed, web-based data.