Staff shortage

Scotland facing digital skills gap as vacancies rise

Scotland needs more digital workers

Demand for digital skills in Scotland is highlighted by new research revealing that one in ten (13.22%) of all job vacancies is now in the tech sector.

Only London and Northern Ireland have a digital jobs vacancy rate higher than Scotland.

Since January there have been more than 20,000 tech roles advertised north of the border, with average advertised salaries hitting £52,893.

The new figures from job search engine Adzuna, analysed by Tech Nation for the UK’s Digital Economy Council, emerge as the UK tech sector continues to expand across the country.

The UK is the third-largest tech ecosystem in the world, with tech companies across the country raising £12.4 billion in venture capital funding this year to date, more than the whole of 2020 (£12bn). Cities including London, Bristol and Oxford ranked in the top 20 European tech hubs for funding this year.

RegionAverage Advertised Tech Salary, vacancies in Q1 2022% of all vacancies
Northern Ireland£48,3595,07919.06%
South East England£54,18773,830711.94%
North West England£50,13442,33911.99%
North East England£43,06810,21412.32%
South West England£50,68136,08410.97%
Eastern England£51,14337,23010.66%
West Midlands£50,65030,69310.33%
Yorkshire And The Humber£47,37919,3569.06%
East Midlands£45,06215,5607.12%

Source: Adzuna, Tech Nation 

Strong tech job growth across the UK 

There were around 870,000 tech and digital job vacancies available across the UK between January and May, the highest number recorded since Adzuna began collecting data in May 2012.

Since April, the number of open roles has adjusted down slightly (-1.59%) but hiring remains 42% higher than in 2021.

Software developers and cyber professionals are the most in-demand 

Software development continues to be the most in-demand tech role in the UK, increasing 56% compared to 2019’s advertised tech vacancies.

Already in 2022, there have been over 56,000 available software developer roles, making up nearly 8% of all available tech jobs. This high demand comes from both tech and non-tech companies because software developers are essential to all areas of technology – they create, design and build the programs and applications that many businesses rely on. As well, the role encompasses many verticals and languages, explaining why the demand for candidates is so high. 

Other in-demand jobs include business analysts (+650% compared to 2019), data analysts (+520%) and product managers (+710%). Business analysts are now the second most in-demand tech role in the UK, having overtaken engineers. 

Top 10 available UK tech jobs 

  1. Software developer
  2. Business analyst
  3. Java developer 
  4. DevOps engineer
  5. Project manager
  6. Engineer
  7. Data analyst
  8. Product manager
  9. Consultant 
  10. IT system architect 

Security roles are also increasing rapidly, particularly for cyber security engineers with demand  doubling compared to 2019. This suggests that companies are shoring up defences against increasing cyber threats with an 11% increase in security incidents last year compared to 2020. Security is now in the top five most demand skills when it comes to tech, increasing 671% since 2019. 

Data is king 

As the tech sector grows and evolves, so too have the main skills employers desire. 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.

Euan Blair, CEO and founder of Multiverse, and son of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, 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.

UK 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.”

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