If you were in any doubt that the UK tech sector is thriving these numbers will convince you.
In 2021, STEM job vacancies hit record highs. A report led by vacancysoft confirmed that the year saw the numbers of tech job vacancies soar by 12,800. This was a rise of 105% year-on-year and 57.3% more compared to the previous annual high set in 2018.
Unsurprisingly, the growth was led by London. London’s tech jobs are up 121%. However, London is not the only hotbed of UK tech opportunities.
So, if you are a tech or STEM professional looking to relocate for your next tech job, where should you direct your attention?
Here are some UK tech hotspots that you may wish to consider as part of your relocation prospects.
UK tech hotspots.
Let’s start with the big one.
The tech sector accounts for more than 20% of London’s jobs and almost one third of tech businesses are HQd in the capital. Not only this. Jobs in the tech sector make up over 11% of all vacancies in key London districts such as Southwark, Camden and Croydon.
London is the key destination for cryptocurrency professionals; it has the second-highest number of such roles in the world. In April this year, 954 cryptocurrency jobs were listed in the UK. Most of these digital asset jobs were in London, however, there are other UK destinations proving to be Crypto job hot spots. According to Glassdoor, Bristol, Cambridge, Glasgow, Belfast, Birmingham, Liverpool and Manchester were also thriving blockchain hubs.
Capital in the capital.
It is not only job vacancies in London that are thriving. So too, is its investment portfolio.
Over 2021, the UK tech sector raised more than £29.4 billion with much of this figure directed toward start-ups and scaleups in London and the South East. In fact, only £9 billion of this landed outside this region.
London has also been the chosen destination for the expansion projects of large global tech firms. For example, Google has recently spent $1billion to purchase a London office in the Central Saint Giles development in London’s West End.
It’s undeniable that the capital is a key tech hotspot for tech jobs. High investment means high opportunity and it’s for this reason that those seeking a new tech job naturally look to London.
We have been shouting about Bristol’s impressive tech credentials for ages. Within the startup space, the South West, and Bristol in particular have amassed a powerhouse of progressive organisations. This cohort has led the region to be dubbed “Silicon Gorge” by locals thanks to a resonance with the famous Californian Valley.
Bristol tech companies account for 36% of the city’s high-growth businesses, and along with nearby Bath, Bristol is home to 4,894 (and growing) of the 17,500 tech companies in the West of England.
Bristol’s startups and scaleups achieved a combined turnover of £4.69b in their latest financials. Between them, they employ over 13,000 people. Following this, in 2022 Bristol was named the 2nd best city in the UK for tech recruitment.
Bristol’s key tech strengths lie in areas such as Fintech, Cybersecurity, LegalTech, Life Sciences, MedTech, Quantum, Robotics, and SpaceTech.
Organisations such as Clearbank and Moneyhub are disrupting the financial services market. Alongside them, MedTech organisation, Okko Health is transforming the lives of people across the world living with Macular disease; the leading cause of sight loss in developed nations.
Investment in South West tech.
Bristol is also a hotbed for investment, with local businesses raising £308m in 2020. This figure makes it the third largest UK city for tech investment.
And it’s not surprising. Bristol has an impressive list of partners that nurture its growth and development.
The Engine Shed.
Situated within the Enterprise Zone is The Engine Shed, home to SETsquared , a startup incubator affiliated with the University of Bristol. The Engine Shed commits to supporting young businesses at every stage of their journey. It provides a modern, dynamic and supportive business space…everything you would need to grow a high-tech enterprise.
In a further demonstration of Bristol’s supportive culture are Oracle, which has introduced an accelerator program to support startups within the city. A partnership of cloud computer resources and mentoring by Oracle executives contribute to a scheme which provides selected startups with a spring-board to success.
On top of this, local
Aids such as these, have allowed many young projects to call this opportunistic venue home, and have made trading from this hub of innovation a realistic aspiration and not just an ambitious pipe dream.
An impressive alumni.
Bristol doesn’t only have an impressive fledgling ecosystem. It can also boast an alumnus that includes some of THE most prominent tech organisations and aspirational entrepreneurs.
Perhaps one of the South West’s better-known giants is technology pioneers, Dyson.
Excitingly, Dyson has announced that it plans to invest £100m in a new research and development hub in central Bristol. This hub would be home to hundreds of software and artificial intelligence (AI) engineers. Dyson said it had chosen Bristol because it was an “international hub for software and digital skills”.
For a full history of Bristol’s incredible tech journey, you’ll find all the details in our blog.
200 miles north lies Manchester. A great alternative for those tech professionals who wish to avoid the hustle and bustle of London.
Jobs in the tech sector now account for 28% of the jobs market in Manchester. Across 2020, there were 26,844 new tech openings in Manchester. This puts it second only to the capital in terms of total new openings over the year. It has only grown since then. Since the start of 2022, more than 40,000 tech job opportunities have been advertised in the region.
The city’s tech prowess has been pushed along by several initiatives, such as the one with the region’s tech cluster, Enterprise City,
The Exchange programme.
This project had the direct intention to draw in STEM candidates and nurture the next gen of tech game changers. The programme offers access to both the tools and experience of other entrepreneurial business leaders. In the first 12 months of being the programme supported 227 individuals across 44 businesses and created 74 new jobs. This is a blooming initiative that’s now in its 3rd year of intake.
The city’s Media City is home to some big names in broadcasting and telecommunications, including BBC, ITV, and Ericsson. These giants and their smaller neighbours require a host of tech talent to support their work. Alongside them, Manchester hosts two crucial NHS trusts, both of which offer another facet of STEM work to candidates.
With a smaller candidate pool than London, Manchester has become the choice of many tech candidates, especially those just starting out. If you are at the start of your tech career, vibrant and diverse Manchester is a great place to begin.
Cambridge has recently been named the best city in the UK if you are a woman looking for a job in tech.
One study has analysed the gender pay gap against the average pay across several UK cities. It found that Cambridge has the smallest gender pay gap of those investigated coming in at 9.6%.
Cambridge also has some of the highest tech salaries on offer across the UK. It offers an average salary of £62,500.
However, the availability of tech jobs in Cambridge is fewer than some. Its smaller population means that there are fewer STEM jobs on offer.
Cambridge is on the rise.
Companies are noticing Cambridge’s appeal. CleanTech company Levidian has recently signed a new £700m export deal creating 100 new jobs in Cambridge. In March 2022, Apple also opened a research office that has a capacity for 900 new tech jobs in the city.
An incredible talent pool.
We can’t talk about Cambridge without mentioning its world-class academic credentials. Cambridge University is ranked as the third best higher education institution in the world.
Every year it graduates another ream of the best scientific minds; a cohort who will undoubtedly play a massive part in the continued growth of the UK’s tech scene.
Cambridge also houses Cambridge Science Park. This is the oldest science park in the UK and a hub for STEM businesses. It has over 7500 employees across more than 100 businesses.
Edinburgh is seeing a dramatic increase in STEM role openings. In 2021, the UK government released a report outlining Scotland as an emerging hotspot for tech with 30% of available vacancies within the tech sector in Edinburgh. This was the highest percentage across any UK city.
It’s not only Edinburgh that is enjoying tech potential. Glasgow came in not far behind; 28% of its open job roles are in tech.
Innovation and investment are also crossing the border into Scottish cities. Behavioural science and tech specialist, KultraLab is set to open a hub in Edinburgh after securing more than £2m in investment.
Already established in Edinburgh, companies such as Skyscanner, Amazon, and Nationwide are continuously evolving and offering more roles to candidates based in and around the Scottish capital.
The remote opportunities.
Of course, relocating for the right tech role is not always necessary. The covid pandemic has seen a massive surge in remote and hybrid tech jobs.
Location and geographical proximity are no longer the restricting forces they were. However, for hybrid roles, many companies are asking for 2-3 days in the office. For these tech and STEM professionals, location and the commute may still be a factor in your decision-making.
We hope this little snapshot into the UK tech jobs landscape helps to direct you toward your next tech, digital, or data job.
Perhaps we can help. Reach out today.