People who want a well-paid job on leaving school or university should consider a career in the tech sector as average salaries are 44 per cent higher than those in the wider economy, a major new report has found.
Tech Nation 2017, the latest edition of the annual report from Tech City UK, found that the average advertised salary for digital-tech jobs has now reached £50,663 a year, compared with £35,155 for the average non-digital salary.
It said the UK digital tech sector is growing twice as fast as the wider economy and creating highly skilled and well-paid jobs. More than 1.6 million people now work in the sector.
In a foreword for the report, Prime Minister Theresa May said the Government is putting the digital sector at the heart of its modern industrial strategy.
“Today more than 1.5 million people are already working within the digital sector, or in digital tech roles across other sectors, while the number of digital tech jobs across the UK has grown at more than twice the rate of non-digital tech sectors,” she said.
“From analysts to web developers to software architects, these pioneers of our digital economy are at the forefront of a great British success story.
“As Prime Minister I am determined that we will build on this success as we seize the opportunities that arise from leaving the EU and seek to build a bold new future for our country.
“That is why support for the digital tech sector is an important element of the government’s modern industrial strategy, helping to deliver a high-skilled, high-paid Britain where opportunity is spread across every community, not just the traditional areas of London and the South East.
“Through close co-operation between government and our tech industry we will help to ensure that Britain remains one of the most competitive places in the world to start and grow a tech business.
“We will expand the scope of our digital tech industries, funding Artificial Intelligence, robotics, 5G, smart energy and more. We will broaden their reach across the UK, create new Institutes of Technology, and reinvigorate STEM and digital education to equip young people for the workplaces of the future.
“In doing so, we will also take an important step in helping to build a future in which everyone – from every background and every part of the country – has the skills and support to reach their full potential.”
The report found that since 2012 there has been a 13 per cent increase in the advertised salaries of digital tech posts, compared with only a four per cent rise in those of non-digital jobs.
Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Karen Bradley said: “This Tech Nation report highlights the fantastic performance of the UK’s digital sectors which are driving growth across the whole country and creating well-paid and highly skilled jobs at twice the rate of other industries.
“Earlier this month Government published the UK Digital Strategy which will help secure the UK’s place as a world-leading digital economy, attracting the best and brightest of global talent and making Britain the best place to start and grow a digital business.”
Gerard Grech, CEO of Tech City UK, said: “Tech Nation 2017 shows how rapidly the UK’s tech innovation and productivity are gathering momentum.
“There are now significant tech hubs all over the UK, attracting both international investment and overseas talent.
“Tech careers now pay 44 per cent more than the national average wage. These foundations will be crucial as we prepare to leave the EU.
“We need to maintain access to skilled workers while doubling down on home grown tech talent. And we need to think big.
“This report is all about working together on a common vision: the UK as a global leader in tech.”
The report underlined how significant the sector is to generating economic growth nationwide.
The publication also demonstrated how the UK’s digital economy is now at the epicentre of Europe and attracting more new investment than any other continental country.
In 2016, the UK continued to lead Europe in terms of the size and value of its tech sector. Investors from around the world ploughed £6.8 billion into the UK digital sector, significantly more than its closest rival, France, which secured £2.4bn and Germany £1.4bn.
For young people with the right digital tech skills, there is a wealth of opportunity across the country. While the sector’s highest salaries are achieved in the capital, London does not have a monopoly on earning power.
According to the report, most tech clusters have seen strong growth in digital tech salaries, while Newcastle, Sheffield and Leeds have experienced particularly impressive growth with salaries rising by over 25 per cent in just five years.