High-value tech jobs boom in Oxford and Reading – tech life outside London

Tech Nation

Analysis by Tech Nation, the national network for technology entrepreneur, has revealed that  2.1 million people are employed in the UK’s digital tech sector, and in five UK cities – Oxford, Cambridge, Reading, Belfast and Newcastle – more than 10 per cent of the population are employed in digital tech.

Using data from the ONS, jobs website Adzuna, and cost of living database Numbeo, the report sheds light on the opportunities the digital economy is creating across the country.

  • 1.7m digital tech economy job openings across the UK in 2018.
  • Tech is becoming a major employer across sectors in UK’s biggest cities.
  • 230,000 non-tech jobs in the tech sector advertised in 2018
  • Tech provides roles with salaries on average 10% higher

The Government’s Digital Secretary Jeremy Wright said: “We are one of the best places in the world to start and grow a tech business and this new data shows the success is bringing good jobs and helping spread prosperity across the country. We are determined to seize the future opportunities for technology to improve people’s lives by investing heavily to boost the nation’s digital skills.

“Alongside the fantastic talent coming from our world-leading universities, we have revamped the computer science curriculum, announced new funding to support thousands of AI and data science training courses, are rolling out a new National Retraining Scheme, and are investing £84 million in a new centre for computing education led by tech experts.”

In five UK cities – Oxford, Cambridge, Reading, Belfast and Newcastle – more than 10 per cent of the population are now employed in the digital tech sector. In Cambridge, half the working population are employed in digital tech, while in Reading it is a third.

In Edinburgh, 48,118 people are employed in the digital tech sector on salaries almost 15 per cent higher than average, while in Reading there are 100,507 people employed in the digital tech sector on salaries that are 8.11% higher. In Belfast the rapidly growing digital tech sector now employs 60,000 people, with salaries that are 17% higher than the national average.

Gerard Grech, CEO, Tech Nation, said: “With over 2.1 million people working in digital technology in 2018, the tech economy is bigger than sectors like hospitality and construction. However, increasingly, those lines are getting blurred, with technology jobs crossing over into the mainstream sectors like financial services and health, helping them evolve and stay competitive and productive. As countries transition to network based economies in a globalised future, the need for tech jobs and skills is reaching a generational high point, which is why this report is so timely and important in highlighting how the demand for tech skills continues to evolve and grow over time across the UK.”

This research backs up the findings of the recent Tech Nation Report 2019 which revealed that the UK digital tech sector was punching well above its weight. This report found that the total venture capital invested in UK tech last year reached £6.3bn – higher than any other European country – with a third of the continent’s unicorn companies originating in Britain.