The UK technology sector is thriving. In fact, it is growing so fast that the workforce can’t keep up. Driven up by a surge in artificial intelligence and data science (in particular) more than 10 per cent of all jobs created in the UK so far this year have been within the technology industry, according to a new survey by recruitment company Indeed.
Based on hundreds of thousands of job searches and vacancy listings conducted on its website, Indeed concluded that the technology sector is creating jobs at such a rate that it is struggling to find people qualified to fill the rolls.
“The software economy is driving significant new employment opportunities in London, and this is showing up in the tech talent shortage, especially where developer and more senior roles are concerned,” said Raj Mukherjee, a senior vice president at Indeed.
Demand for software engineers within fields such as machine learning and data science were two of the five fastest-growing categories within tech this year, with a 191 per cent growth and 136 per cent increase in both fields respectively since 2015. However, despite the high demand, matching the job listings with available talent was tough for many employers. According to Indeed, of the 50 most difficult roles to fill on the site, 44 per cent were for software and tech developers.
“The salaries and prestige associated with the most in-demand specialisms—AI, data science and software developer—are turning them into the rock stars of the business world,” said Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates, an industry body. “The opportunities are there for the right people to get involved.’
And the figures reflect many market analysts predictions that the UK tech sector is booming. In March, a new report from research firm KPMG, that ranked the UK as the fourth most promising market for technology breakthroughs that have a global impact, trailing slightly behind the US, China and India. The report says that the UK is seen by the global business executive respondents (the firm surveyed 841 of them) as progressing with innovative tech hubs, showing progress in the development of products and services that can break through in developed and emerging markets.
Tudor Aw, head of technology sector at KPMG UK said: “The research shows the UK’s technology sector drew more investment than that of any other European country in 2016 and that London is seen as a major hub for big data, fintech and a variety of digital technologies. Despite the uncertainty presented by Brexit and other economic factors, the UK and London has not lost its shine when it comes to its technology pedigree.”