The Growth of IT Jobs in Scotland

The growth of IT jobs in Scotland

Scotland is a fantastic place to work and is an ideal location for those seeking new IT career opportunities as well as a change of scenery.

From the bustling and vibrant social life to the beautiful scenic landscapes that delight any eye, Scotland boasts some terrific settings as well as a range of historic towns and cities.

Scotland’s economy is growing each day, and is not only an excellent area for electronic technologies but is also the fourth largest financial services centre in Europe. Scotland is breaking grounds in many different mediums from producing some of the most successful computer games in history to excelling in literature, textiles, music and animation.

Scotland had the highest employment rate in the UK at the beginning of 2015 with their unemployment rate at 5.5%, just below the rate of 5.6% for the whole of the UK. The working practises are highly regulated with high staff retention rates and rewards for motivation and hard work.

Edinburgh is considered to be one of the fastest growing and most productive cities in the UK. Not only does it attract established businesses but it is also encouraging many young companies, start-ups and entrepreneurs which can only increase and improve the economy and attribute to the growth of IT job opportunities in Scotland. Even if a company doesn’t directly involve IT, the need for web developers and individuals in digital marketing are likely to be sought after for a company to market itself and its products.  

Financial and Business Services in Scotland

Scotland has a proud and successful 300 year history within the financial sector and is Europe’s fourth largest asset management centre, with over 95,000 employed directly and 70,000 indirectly. Many bank headquarters are based in Scotland including RBS, Standard Life, Aberdeen Asset Management and Aegon. Scotland’s financial sector includes a vast range of services including global custody, asset servicing, investment management, corporate finance, general or life assurance and pensions.

The financial services industry accounts for 11% of the Scottish economy and generates around £7 billion for it too. This contribution to the local economy made by financial services is larger in Scotland than any other area outside London.

Computer Gaming in Scotland

Scotland is one of the top computer game development locations in the world, rivalling the development environment of London, Vancouver and L.A. Rockstar North, based in Edinburgh is responsible for one of the best-selling games series of all time, Grand Theft Auto. The open world action-adventure video game series has sold 220 million units since its inception in 1997 with the latest game, Grand Theft Auto V, making £1.3 billion alone.  

The computer games industry is one of Scotland’s best exports and it’s not just big budget games having success but mobile games have also become a profitable business with companies like Outplay Entertainment and 4J Studios highlighting this. With this success means the demand for programmers and developers continues to grow making Scotland an ideal destination for people interested in developing computer games.

It’s not all about computer games though as Scotland’s software development scene for both desktop and mobile is just as influential and ambitious. Demand for individual programmers and developers skilled in Java, Agile and C++ remain evident through the listings available on Technojobs.

Military, Defence and Security in Scotland

The British Armed Forces still incorporates traditional Scottish regiments including the Scots Guards and the Royal Regiment of Foot. As with any army, the front line infantry requires support and top IT skills to provide intelligence and operational communication. Some of these roles include Geo Support Technicians, Intelligence Operatives and Comms Systems Engineers. There are several defence establishments in Scotland including the Dreghorn Barracks in Edinburgh and the HM Naval Base Clyde in Glasgow.

The arms industry employs over 30,000 people in Scotland and is an important part of the economy. The companies that defence contractors operate within include BAE Systems, Raytheon, Thales and Babcock. Anyone contracted to work within the Armed Forces or Defence are usually granted a security clearance status which is a formal process to vet employees who have access to sensitive information.

Top Skills in Scotland

According to Technojobs data, the most popular skills in Scotland are:

  • Agile Development
  • SQL
  • Banking
  • Analyst
  • Java
  • Developer
  • C#

IT Salaries in Scotland

Like most places, working in industrial cities like Edinburgh and Glasgow are likely to pay more than working in the more remote parts of Scotland. Here is a comparison of how much IT employees are earning in different parts of Scotland.

  Edinburgh Glasgow Average Scotland Salary
Software Developer £40,000 £40,000 £40,000
Business Analyst £48,000 £37,000 £38,000
Programmer £43,000 £40,000 £40,000

All information and figures are provided by Technojobs data.