Unprecedented investment, higher-than-average salaries and rapidly growing job opportunities. There’s never been a better time to get into tech, and UK companies are constantly on the lookout for digital natives to plug the skills gap – especially straight out of university, full of fresh ideas.
Earlier this year, Tech City UK released their annual report, Tech Nation, which provided a full breakdown of the current state of the UK tech sector. We've broken down some of the key stats & facts of the industry into six digestible blog posts. Kicking the series off, here's a top-line guide to the UK tech industry.
1. Know your facts and figures
So, why do you want to join the UK tech industry? Appearing informed of the industry's benefits is key when you come to interview, so the first thing to do is clue up on the latest facts. Include recent figures like:
•Digital tech turnover at the end of 2015 was £170BN
•The UK invested £6.8BN in tech in 2016, which is 2x higher than any other European country
•The digital technology industry has contributed £97BN to the UK economy
The UK tech sector is growing faster than most other industries, and is full of exciting roles with loads of room for career progression.
2. Understand your salary prospects
One of the UK tech industry’s biggest pulls (alongside creative, growth and development opportunities) is the higher-than-average salaries. Digital salaries outstrip non-digital salaries by an impressive 44%, and the average digital advertised salary in the UK is £51K. While these aren't the figures you'll be starting on, it's important to consider the trajectory of your pay as you progress in your career.
So, who commands the highest salaries in digital? Those working in Data. As businesses rely more on the power of data, database and business intelligence architects are claiming the biggest pay cheques, with an average salary of up to £68K. This is followed closely by IT security pros; a reflection of the increasing risk of cybercrime.
3. You don’t need to be tech to get into tech
You don’t need to code to get a career in the industry. There are tonnes of non-techy jobs in technology that can offer the same above-average pay and other perks that come with the territory. Think sales, marketing and product management, and support services. It will help your cause if you can show an interest in technology at interview, of course, but no one is expecting you to break into programming language.
Sales and relationship-based roles are at the top of the list of non-technical jobs in the tech industry on job sites like Monster, which says a lot about what the industry really needs.
4. Be excited by the big opportunities
The UK is the digital epicentre of Europe, with approximately 1.64 million jobs currently available in tech, a figure which has grown by 88K since 2014-15 and shows no signs of stopping. In 2016, the UK secured £6.8BN in venture capital and private equity digital-tech investment – over 50% more than any other European country. The UK tech industry has greater investment, more jobs, higher salaries, and more opportunities for training, development and growth than ever before.
What’s more, demand for digital workers is outrunning supply. In a recent survey conducted by Tech City UK, 55% cited a shortage of highly skilled employees as a key challenge and nearly 25% described sourcing talent as a ‘major challenge’.
5. Start building relationships – now
Don’t just rely on job ads to get your feelers out for the top roles. Networking is great when it comes to getting your name out there, even when you’re at the grad level. Your university careers hub is a great place to start building relationships.
However, internships are often the best way to get your foot in the door early; in fact, many organisations are on the lookout for interns on a rolling basis. At La Fosse, we've just started taking applications for our 2018 Summer Internship Programme; get in touch for more information on how to apply.
Where to start?
If you’re ready to get stuck into the tech industry, why not start right here, at La Fosse? We can offer you immediate, hands-on experience working with the tech industry’s most exciting start-ups and biggest tech companies, and are dedicated to helping you train, develop and grow your skills.
If you have an entrepreneurial attitude, commercial ambition, and a relentless drive to succeed – we’d love to hear from you.
Lily Senior: Lily.Senior@lafosse.com.