In 2022, there were more than two million people working in the UK’s tech sector, accounting for 6.3% of people in employment in the UK, according to CompTIA’s State of the tech workforce UK report.
Research by the non-profit found the number of people in tech roles increased by 75,280 in the past five years, reaching 2,043,622 workers by 2022, and contributing £82.6bn to the UK economy.
The world of tech work has been in flux in recent times, initially seeing increases in tech hiring as the pandemic highlighted the importance of technology adoption. However, in the past year, threats of redundancies have left people uncertain about the safety of their jobs – although this was not necessarily reflected in job numbers or hiring patterns.
Over the next year, the number of tech jobs in the UK is expected to grow even more, with CompTIA predicting 17,000 new roles in 2023.
“New employment opportunities continue to emerge as our reliance on technology grows,” said Jason Moss, CompTIA’s vice-president of global business development for Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
But Moss pointed out that the diversity landscape of the industry hasn’t improved, and with women making up a large proportion of the UK’s working population, the industry is missing out on much-needed talent – CompTIA’s research found women account for 17% of people in tech roles, despite accounting for 49% of the working population in the UK.
“We need to lower barriers to access by making sure job specs don’t contain cumbersome ‘requirements’ that are surplus to the role, and getting them in front of a wider audience than simply those on LinkedIn,” he said.
Widening the talent pool
Getting more women and underrepresented groups into the technology sector, and therefore widening the pool of talent firms can fish from, is a complex issue, with many barriers to success including a lack of inclusive culture in the industry, a lack of accessible role models, and fewer people from underrepresented groups choosing these avenues during education as a result.
Estelle Johannes, senior director of member communities for CompTIA, said: “Narrowing this gender gap is critical if we are to meet the growing demand for technology workers.
“The same is true for individuals from other groups currently underrepresented in the tech workforce,” she added. “By making hiring practices more inclusive, offering mentorship programmes and providing proper measures of encouragement, these individuals are more than able to work in cyber security, software development, IT infrastructure and other tech occupations.”
When it comes to pay, tech salaries have always been slightly higher than the national average, especially as technology skills shortages leave firms battling for the same talent, making salary one of the main ways firms can compete for skilled workers.
When looking into tech roles in the UK, CompTIA found there are a few ways to categorise tech workers – the first is people who work in technology roles in any company or industry, 51% of which are in tech companies and 49% of which are in other industries, and the other is workers in other roles employed by technology companies, making up around 31% of tech employees.
CompTIA found the median wage for technology workers in England is £42,758 – 55% higher than the national median wage for the region.
In Northern Ireland, median tech salaries were 46% higher than the national median wage, at £34,524; in Wales, they were 49% higher than national median wage, at £39,937; and for Scotland, a median wage of £35,244 for tech workers was 43% higher than the national median.
London used to be the biggest technology hub in the UK, with a large concentration of technology workers and businesses residing in the city, but the concentration of tech employment in the UK has spread since the pandemic introduced more flexibility into working life.
While London still has the highest concentration of tech workers, making up 9% of the working population of the city, there are now four other metropolitan hubs for tech in the UK – tech workers in Leeds make up 8.5% of workers in the city, while Edinburgh has 8.2%, Birmingham has 6.7% and Bristol has 6.4%.