North West a hot-bed for digital career opportunities

New research has revealed that the North West has the most available digital opportunities outside London and the South East with more than 40,000 tech job opportunities already in the North West this year

The data confirms that 12% of all available jobs in the region are in the tech sector, and 26% of people surveyed believe that upskilling themselves in new digital skills will allow them to earn more in the future.

Strong North West tech hiring is revealed as the number of tech job opportunities across the country has hit a 10-year high, following soaring demand for tech products and services over the past two years.

The data has been produced by job search engine Adzuna and was analysed by Tech Nation for the UK’s Digital Economy Council..

It showed that there were around 870,000 tech and digital job vacancies available across the whole UK between January to May 2022, the highest number ever recorded since Adzuna began collecting data in May 2012.

Since April, the number of open roles has adjusted down slightly (-1.59%) but hiring continues to remain 42% higher than in 2021. The UK is the third largest tech ecosystem in the world, with tech companies across the country raising £12.4bn in venture capital funding this year to date, more than the whole of 2020 (£12bn).

Companies that focus on on-the-job training for future developers and tech leaders such as Manchester-founded Academy, are continuing to grow to help increase the talent pipeline. Tech companies, including Amazon and Google, have also launched digital skills programmes to train employees across the UK.

The latest research also shows that software development continues to be the most in-demand tech role in the UK, increasing 56% compared with 2019’s advertised tech vacancies. Already in 2022, there have been more than 56,000 available software developer roles, making up nearly eight per cent of all available tech jobs.

This high demand comes from both tech and non-tech companies because software developers are essential to all areas of technology – they create, design and build the programmes and applications that many businesses rely on. Also, the role encompasses many verticals and languages, explaining why the demand for candidates is so high.

Other in-demand jobs include business analysts (+650% compared with 2019), data analysts (+520%) and product managers (+710%). Business analysts are now the second most in-demand tech role in the UK, having overtaken engineers.

The top 10 available UK tech jobs are: Software developer at the top of the list, followed by business analyst, Java developer, DevOps engineer, project manager, engineer, data analyst, product manager, consultant and IT system architect.

Security roles are also increasing rapidly, particularly for cyber security engineers with demand doubling compared with 2019. This suggests that companies are shoring up defences against increasing cyber threats with an 11% increase in security incidents last year compared with 2020. Security is now in the top five most in-demand skills when it comes to tech, increasing 671% since 2019.

Dr George Windsor, data and research director at Tech Nation, said: “The UK is continuing to be the leading light for tech in Europe and the scale of exciting job opportunities across the country is a reflection of that.

“It’s interesting to see how companies are responding to changing challenges, such as the rise in the demand for data skills and an increase in security skills across the board. It’s not just technical skills that can make a difference – but communication and management experience are increasingly important, too.”

Paul Lewis, chief customer officer at Adzuna, said: “UK tech has consistently been one of the fastest growing industries for job opportunities over the past few years as companies compete for skilled staff to enable them to grow in a competitive environment.

“Though we are starting to see the impact of the wider slowdown begin to affect the wider tech landscape, the rapid rise in digital tools and services since 2020 means that roles for software developers remain the most in-demand by companies across the board.

“Security specialists are also in hot demand as companies adapt to changing business challenges like increased cyber threats.”