Tech jobs in Glasgow and Edinburgh have increased by more than a quarter in the past two years – some of the highest growth in the whole of the UK.
That’s according to data analysed by job search engine Adzuna for the UK’s Digital Economy Council and Tech Nation, which found that in Scotland’s two largest cities, tech jobs make up 30% of all advertised roles.
Strong employee demand for jobs isn’t only confined to the tech sector, with general vacancies increasing by 11.2% on average in Scotland month-on-month throughout 2021 to 46,990 in June.
Scottish tech start-ups and scale-ups collectively employ 135,000 people, the third-highest in the UK after the South East and London.
The strength of the sector in Scotland is also translating into high salary offers, with Edinburgh boasting 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.
Meanwhile, Glasgow is ranked third in the UK for the cost of living versus salary for tech roles. The median digital tech salary in Glasgow is £38,500 compared to £29,000 for all industries, and around 33% of all tech jobs in the city are in non-technical roles.
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.
System architects divide large and complex computer systems to fulfil requirements and often have higher design responsibilities than software developers. As this work is so critical to organisations, the median advertised salary for a system architect starts at £37,500 for a junior position and rises to £70,000 for a senior role.
The report is backed up by findings from Accenture, which revealed that Edinburgh saw the biggest growth of all UK cities, with open roles growing by more than half (51%), followed by Bristol (48%) and then Glasgow (at 33%).
The tracker, which analysed LinkedIn’s Professional Network data, recorded more than 93,000 tech jobs openings across the UK in July, up from 85,000 in January. However, tech job listings are still well below pre-pandemic levels and are 76% lower than 2019.
Despite the significant decline, demand for skills in emerging technology is now driving regrowth in the tech job market. In Scotland, demand is driven principally by job openings for artificial intelligence (up 84%), blockchain (up 125%) and cloud (up 44%).
As organisations focus on governance and respond to data privacy regulations, jobs in digital ethics and responsibility also shown a significant increase, with the Scottish data demonstrating a 74% rise in demand for governance roles compared to a 27% average across the UK.
Tech companies in the UK have raised £13.5bn in the first half of this year, overtaking 2020’s investment of £11 billion. In Scotland, tech companies have raised £446m – 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 this year so far was for the Kirkcaldy-based fintech Paysend, which bagged £90.5m in Series B funding.
Amphista Therapeutics, a biotech firm based in Motherwell, also raised £38m earlier this year.
Scotland has created three unicorn tech companies so far – Skyscanner, FanDuel and Interactive Investor – with the latter expected to make its stock exchange debut later this year.
Dr George Windsor, head of insights at Tech Nation, said: “Edinburgh is proving to be one of the fastest-growing tech cities in the UK, with a higher number of opportunities and salaries compared to other cities.
“Glasgow is also making a name for itself as a destination for tech workers, with some of the best cost of living standards compared to the median tech salary of the whole UK.
“With scaling companies in sectors such as fintech and health tech, Scotland’s tech sector is only expected to grow in the next few years.”
Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries added: “Scottish tech is booming and this thriving sector is creating exciting opportunities up and down the country.
“The UK Government is determined to see this success continue and is investing heavily to help people in Scotland get the skills they need to seize the opportunities on offer and build back better from the pandemic.”