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Blog

February 25, 2016

5 Reasons Why the UK Tech Scene is Booming in 2016



The UK Tech scene has seen unprecedented growth in the last few years and there are numerous indicators that suggest 2016 will be yet another record breaking year.

New figures released by the government’s own technology research quango ‘Tech Nation’ show that the Digital Tech industry is now worth a whopping £166bn to the UK economy. This is a truly staggering figure and represents a significant leap forward, driven by expansive growth in almost all of the UK’s established digital clusters. Southampton for example has seen it’s digital turnover grow by a massive 180% in just the last four years.

Having spent the past few days pouring over the data, I have listed my top 5 reasons why everyone involved with the UK tech scene should be optimistic about the future prospects:

1 – The UK Scene has diversified away from the South-East

Despite the huge investments within the capital and the rise of Tech City, 75% of technology companies in the UK are now located outside of the M25 zone. With huge digital clusters such as Manchester, Bristol and Southampton seeing growth off the charts, the silicon landscape of Britain has evolved dramatically over the last 5 years.

2 – Average Salaries are Up Across The Board

The latest data shows that the average salary for digital tech jobs has risen to £50,000. This is a massive 36% higher than the UK average across all industries and a sign that companies are starting to fully understand the importance of investing in a world class IT function.

3 – 1.56m Jobs Now Rely on The Digital Economy

Job creation within IT as a whole is almost 3 times as high as any other industry in the UK. This is a sure sign that positions within the digital realm aren’t following the same trends as the rest of the market.

4 – Tech Clusters Across the UK are Thriving

The concept behind tech clusters is not new. Cambridge, Bristol and Leamington Spa have some of the oldest and most advanced concentrations of companies within the UK. The logic behind this is simple, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. As such, having numerous businesses in the same area working within the same industry and sharing their ideas should, the theory goes, allow all parties to thrive. Since 2010 though, new clusters have seen unprecedented investment and support from both the public and private sectors and a number of areas that less than a decade ago were seen as technological blackspots have since risen through the ranks.

The Top 5 Tech Clusters Are:

1 – London – £62.4bn

2 – Reading Region – £10bn

3 – Bristol & Bath – £8.2bn

4 – Manchester – £2.2bn

5 – Birmingham – £1.8bn

5 – The Future Is Bright

With industries such as the Oil and Gas sector seeing mass redundancies and many public sector departments shedding staff it would be easy to think that employment prospects are on a downward trajectory across the country.

The world of IT, however, is much more stable, as many companies would quickly grind to a halt without the software within its machine or the hardware powering its workforce. For this reason and many more, the Digital Tech space is a much more secure industry within which to find work. The fact that there are three times as many jobs being advertised than any other industry across the spectrum shows just how much companies can’t afford to stand still in the digital world of the future.

As a Software recruiter with a personal love of technology, I am in the privileged position of being able to speak to hundreds of developers and technology leaders across the country on a weekly basis. From those conversations you can sense, now more than ever, a genuine optimism across the industry and a feeling that the UK is slowly but surely becoming the digital powerhouse that we have worked so hard to become.

With only one technology company currently listed on the FTSE 100, we may have a long way to go before we can truly claim to be challenging the likes of Silicon Valley or the Asian superpowers, but all signs indicate that the trajectory of growth is only heading in one direction. I, for one am excited to see what we can achieve across the next decade.

Mark Williams is the Recruitment Software Team Leader at Nixor Consulting and focuses on working with the East Midlands top tech talent. He is also the founder of The East Midlands Talent Centre which aims to provide a platform for software professionals across the region to collaborate ideas and stay connected with the latest news and projects coming up within the area. Visit www.eastmidlandstalent.co.uk for more information