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UK tech jobs rebound after lockdown freeze

Over the last three months, recruitment for tech jobs has quickly recovered from the inevitable slump during lockdown. In fact, according to Tech Nation’s new Jobs and Skills Report 2020, the number of advertised tech job vacancies increased by 36% between June and August. Only the healthcare sector recruited for more jobs in this period, suggesting that tech jobs and skills continue to be a high national priority even as recession hits.

Data analysed from job website Adzuna also found that salaries for the most in-demand digital and tech jobs increased by up to 15% between 2017 and 2019. The varying levels of salary increase reflect fluctuations in which specific skills and specialisms within tech are most highly valued. While the role of Java developer came behind software developer and engineer based on number of job vacancies, it experienced the highest salary increase (15%).

Tech Nation Digital Jobs

Regional jobs

The report revealed the significant role that the tech sector plays across the UK. Of all job vacancies in 2019, 19% were digital and tech roles. But by looking at the proportional contribution of the tech sector by city and region, it becomes clear that the role of the tech sector is even greater outside of tech hubs like London and Manchester, which have the highest number of job openings.

In Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh, Reading and Belfast, jobs in the tech sector account for 23% – 26% of all vacancies. Regionally, Northern Ireland has the highest ratio of tech to non-tech vacancies (23%).

UK city Job ads 2019 % dig tech jobs 2019 Ave. dig tech salary 2019
London 658,275 19% £55,000
Manchester 108,859 18% £37,500
Bristol 76,267 24% £40,000
Cambridge 58,678 26% £40,000
Leeds 56,149 22% £36,500
Birmingham 46,723 19% £40,000
Oxford 44,979 19% £38,000
Edinburgh 35,786 23% £44,938
Glasgow 33,378 22% £40,000
Reading 28,033 23% £42,500
Cardiff 23,334 21% £37,500
Sheffield 22,000 20% £32,500
Newcastle 18,501 21% £35,000
Belfast 13,687 26% £40,000
Bath 9,680 19% £37,500

Cost of living

Combining job advertisement data with Numbeo’s cost of living rating for UK cities, Tech Nation also produced a new ranking of the most favourable cities for tech professionals to live in. While London is, unsurprisingly, the most expensive city to live in, it also pays the highest salary for tech jobs, on average, putting in the top spot. Reading also has a relatively high cost of living (second only to London) but ranks fairly high at number 6 for cost of living to tech salary due to its high average tech salaries (£42,000).

UK city 2020 Cost of living rating Average salary across digital tech roles Tech salary to cost of living rank
London 80 £55,000 1
Belfast 61 £40,000 2
Edinburgh 69 £44,938 3
Glasgow 65 £40,000 4
Birmingham 66 £40,000 5
Reading 72 £42,500 6
Cardiff 65 £37,500 7
Leeds 64 £36,500 8
Bristol 71 £40,000 9
Cambridge 71 £40,000 10
Manchester 67 £37,500 11
Newcastle 65 £35,000 12

For specific tech roles, the best city to live in varies. Data scientists in Sheffield are paid on average £10,000 more than the national average, and in Edinburgh, Infrastructure Engineers can expect around £11,000 more than the national average.

Best city to work based on salary and cost of living UK median salary Median Salary for the best city
Software Developer London £45,000 £62,500
Data Scientist Sheffield £55,000 £65,000
Front End Developer London £45,000 £60,000
Infrastructure Engineer Edinburgh £43,500 £54,534
IT System Architect Newcastle £75,000 £78,000
NET Developer Belfast £42,500 £45,000


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