Tech sector among key employers in Edinburgh and Glasgow

The tech sector is one of the biggest employers in Scotland’s largest cities, with about 70,000 jobs in digital tech advertised in Edinburgh and Glasgow last year, according to a report published today.

The report found that about 113,300 digital tech jobs were advertised in Scotland in 2019. Picture: Getty Images.

New data analysed by Tech Nation for the Government’s Digital Economy Council has found that more than a fifth of both Scottish cities’ workforce is now employed in digital tech. The report found that the UK remains the undisputed leader of the tech sector in Europe with more “unicorns” – start-ups valued at $1 billion (£761m) or more – than any other country on the continent.

The authors of the report said Scotland’s tech sector has been one of the strongest in the country – outside London and the South-east – for several years now, and has been home to the formation of unicorns BrewDog, FNZ, Skyscanner and WoodMackenzie. Also highlighted were recent announcements such as Amazon unveiling plans to create hundreds of new roles in Fife and Dundee.

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Edinburgh and Glasgow are two of nine cities outside London that now have more than a fifth of the workforce employed in tech. Furthermore, last year about 113,300 vacancies were advertised in digital tech positions across Scotland.

According to Adzuna data, 16.5 per cent of advertised roles in Scotland are now in tech, and demand for particular skills such as engineers in Edinburgh has jumped by a quarter while Glasgow has seen very strong demand for devops engineers and engineers, up by 85 per cent and 84 per cent respectively. The median salary for digital tech roles was £44,938 in Edinburgh, while Glasgow’s came in at £40,000.

The UK government’s Scotland minister Iain Stewart said: “It is fantastic to see our multi-billion pound digital tech sector not only continue to thrive but make a vital contribution to economic recovery as we emerge from the coronavirus pandemic.

"We are at the forefront in pushing the boundaries in areas such as artificial intelligence, big data, cyber security, fintech and gaming. The UK Government is proud to champion the digital tech sector and will continue to support its growth in Scotland.”

Tech Nation boss Gerard Grech said: “With digital adoption accelerating in every area of our lives, it looks likely that the tech sector will continue to be one of the best sources of new jobs this year and can provide the jobs of the future, right across the country.”

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