Tech Nation 2018

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On 17 May 2018 Tech Nation published their 2018 report on the “strength, depth and breadth of digital tech activity in the UK.” Tech Nation was founded in 2011 to support the East London tech cluster known as London Tech City — or Silicon Roundabout. They now support activities across the UK. The report provides information on the state of the main tech clusters across the UK as well as information on skills supply.

Skills supply

In order to explore the current state of tech skills across the UK, the report uses LinkedIn.  Tech skills are defined as:

“the ability to do something productive using digital technology…with reference to work rather than everyday life. Examples of tech skills range from Java Development and Application Packaging to Computing.”

Analysis of LinkedIn profiles allow for granular analysis of skills profile defined directly by users. However not everyone uses LinkedIn. Users may not accurately represent their skills in their profile, or their profile may not have an exhaustive list of their skills. Tech Nation states that the findings based on their LinkedIn analysis should be treated as approximations.

According to their analysis, just under 10% of the UK’s 23 million LinkedIn users have tech skills listed in their profile.  This encompasses a wide range of skills, from creative designers to software developers. However, of LinkedIn profiles in Scotland, only 7% have tech skills, which is a long way behind the 30% in London. They also found that tech skills are used across a wide range of sectors, from oil and gas to financial services. Tech skills are also highly transferable, with 36% of those with tech skills having previously worked in non-tech jobs.

Skills in Scotland

Across the UK, 54% of LinkedIn members with tech skills have Bachelor’s degrees, while almost 30% have a Masters. In Scotland this is slightly lower with 52% having Bachelor’s degrees and 28% having Masters.  However, this is the second highest proportion of Masters of all the nations and regions of the UK, with London at 34%. Scotland also has the joint highest proportion of profiles with Doctorate’s along with the East of England at 7%.

Scotland is also good at retaining graduates. 69% of LinkedIn members with tech skills graduating in Scotland have remained in Scotland. This is second only to Northern Ireland and is higher than the London figure of 68%.

The “talent” section of the report also provides information on international talent, based on their analysis of official statistics. Scotland has the third highest proportion of its digital tech workforce from EU and non-EU countries at 10%. London is top with 31% and the South East is second with 12%.

Scotland’s Tech Clusters

What is a tech cluster? These are areas with a critical mass of digital technology businesses, which work together formally – trading or forming partnerships – and informally – socialising and networking

The report has identified three tech clusters within Scotland: Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The following infographics provide a breakdown of the key information on each of the three tech clusters in Scotland.

BLOGImageTemplate_Tech report Dundee

BLOGImageTemplate_Tech report Edinburgh

BLOGImageTemplate_Tech report Glasgow

Community perception

The report also looks at community perceptions, exploring how the tech communities view the areas they are based in using a number of criteria:

  • perception of lifestyle – for example cost of living, quality of life and cultural amenities
  • perceptions of people – for example ethnic diversity, quality of schools and quality of tech training
  • perceptions of doing business – for example digital infrastructure, accessing finance or recruiting skilled workers
  • perceptions of future business growth – for example growth prospects for the number and scale of businesses.
Dundee Edinburgh Glasgow Score out of
Lifestyle 7.88 7.99 7.19 10
People 5.58 6.01 5.08 10
Doing Business 4.90 6.22 5.14 10
Future business Growth 3.23 4.20 3.75 5

Source: Tech Nation Report 2018

The data for each cluster is based on a range of statistics. If you are interested in finding out more, check out the methodology section of the Tech Nation report.

Andrew Aiton, Data Manager, Financial Scrutiny Unit