Edinburgh Surges Ahead for Tech Job Opportunities

“Scottish tech is booming right now with more roles than many other parts of the country available."

Life is sweet in Scotland as the UK government is promoting more positive vibes with news that the number of tech job vacancies in Edinburgh is the “highest of any UK city”.

According to data analysed by job search engine Adzuna for the UK’s Digital Economy Council and Tech Nation, IT-related vacancies now make up 13% of all UK job vacancies.

In Edinburgh and Glasgow, tech jobs make up an even higher proportion of roles – up 30% and 28% respectively. In fact, both cities have enjoyed an increase by more than a quarter in the past two years.

Clearly this is not limited to B2B tech or enterprise IT, but the positive aspects cannot be overlooked.

Digital secretary Nadine Dorries states: “Scottish tech is booming right now with more roles than many other parts of the country available. It’s fantastic to see how confidence in UK tech is translating into exciting opportunities nationwide.”

According to the government, Scottish tech startups and scaleups collectively employ 135,000 people, the third-highest in the UK after the South East and London.

Edinburgh has some of the highest salaries for the UK tech industry. The median digital tech salary in the city is £41,250, second only to London’s top range of £55,000. (Which isn’t that great as London is so expensive.) The average salary for roles including IT system architects and project managers is higher in Edinburgh than across the UK.

As reported this week at eWeek UK, tech investment in the UK bounced back from COVID-19 in the first half of 2021 to achieve a record-breaking year of £13.5 billion.

This overtook 2020’s investment of £11 billion. In Scotland, tech companies have raised £446 million, the highest number so far.

Fintech and healthtech continue to be the biggest sectors for fundraising in the UK, and it’s no different in Scotland. The biggest fundraising round in 2021 so far was for the Kirkcaldy-based fintech Paysend, which raised £90.5 million in Series B funding.

Amphista Therapeutics, a biotech company based in Motherwell, also raised £38 million earlier this year. Both companies are considered to be futurecorns – high-growth tech companies that are expected to be worth $1 billion (£730 million) or more in the next few years.

Scotland has created three unicorn tech companies so far, Skyscanner, FanDuel and Interactive Investor.

Interactive Investor, the consumer investment platform, is expected to IPO later this year following in the footsteps of other UK tech companies such as Deliveroo, Darktrace and Wise that have listed on public markets in 2021.

The top data science skills that employers are looking for in Scotland include machine learning, analytics, artificial intelligence, statistics and experience with Python. Data scientists have seen their average advertised salary increase by 31% over the past two years.

There is an increasing demand for senior-level employees across all areas of Scottish tech. For instance, 89% of available roles for IT system architects are all for senior positions.

The government notes that the key skills in demand for system architects include architecture, data management, and experience with Amazon Web Services.

In other news this week, the UK launched its first National Artificial Intelligence Strategy as it seeks to be a “global science superpower”.

The government is looking to seize the potential of modern technology to improve people’s lives and solve global challenges such as climate change and public health.

On top of that, last week the UK Office for Investment revealed that the UAE has committed £10 billion investment into the nation’s technology, infrastructure and energy transition sectors.

Antony Peyton
Antony Peyton is the Editor of eWeek UK and has 17 years' journalism and writing experience. His career has taken him to China, Japan and the UK - covering tech, fintech and business. Follow on Twitter @TonyFintech.

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