Edinburgh workers command some of the highest technology salaries in the UK, according to a new report.
The Tech Nation study, published by publicly-funded organisation Tech City UK and innovation charity Nesta, also revealed that the sector employs more than 101,000 people north of the Border and contributes £1.5 billion to the Scottish economy.
Compiled in partnership with data partner GrowthIntel, the report shows that digital technology workers in Edinburgh – home to tech “unicorns” FanDuel and Skyscanner as well as fast-growing start-ups like Administrate – enjoy an average salary of £51,227 – behind only London and the Reading and Bracknell area.
The report – which also found that digital businesses are growing 32 per cent faster than the rest of the UK economy – said incubators such as CodeBase, headed by managing director Jamie Coleman, “have helped to support the start-up community” in Edinburgh.
John Peebles, chief executive of CodeBase tenant Administrate, said: “Edinburgh’s got an amazing quality of life, a good university base, it’s not prohibitively expensive, there’s a really active angel community – all of those things boil down to a pretty unique platform for launching companies.”
In Glasgow, the average advertised salary for the digital technology sector was £46,854, while in Dundee the figure was £38,069.
Although salaries in Dundee lagged behind Scotland’s two biggest cities, turnover in the local sector soared 129 per cent between 2010 and 2014 – that compares with growth of 48 per cent in Edinburgh and 42 per cent in Glasgow.
“Dundee, the birthplace of iconic games Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto, continues to punch above its weight as a digital tech cluster,” said the Tech Nation report.
It added that, in Glasgow, the city’s universities “are central to providing a strong supply of talent, while the University of Strathclyde particularly excels in supporting home-grown start-ups, ranking seventh in the UK for company spin-outs”.
The Tech Nation report found the tech economy accounts for 1.56 million jobs across the UK, 41 per cent of which are in what are thought of as traditionally non-digital industries such as the public sector and financial services.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Britain’s world-leading tech sector gives us a competitive edge that is not just transforming our daily lives but also our economy. Tech is transforming the way we do all kinds of business.
“Indeed, more than half of all digital jobs now aren’t in high-tech hubs of London or Leeds – they are in businesses of every description, in every sector. This government will continue to back, with all levers at our disposal, the innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship that is redefining and strengthening the modern British economy.”