Scotland's digital tech sector to have 70,000 IT jobs created by 2020

It is predicted that Scotland could see 70,000 new IT jobs created within the digital tech sector by 2020, according to trading body ScotlandIS.

ScotlandIS, the trade body for the digital technologies industry, are predicting a large growth of IT jobs within Scotland's digital sector after already reporting a job growth of 43.4 per cent between 2010 and 2015. Scotland already employs over 80,000 people in IT roles and has generated over £5 billion in GVA within that period.

The IT industry has seen a worldwide growth of tech jobs and Scotland is no exception with ScotlandIS expecting the industry to double in size within the next 4-5 years, but only if the Government invests wisely in its digital tech sector. The trade body explained that better connectivity for citizens and greater digital inclusion will help Scotland achieve its potential as a digital nation and also highlighted the growth of opportunities in exports, data science and cyber-security. 

“We are at the beginning of the next information revolution. Scotland has the opportunity to convert our undeniable potential into a reality by creating an effective digital economy, which could translate into an extra 70,000 jobs in five years." said Polly Purvis of Scotland IS. 

“Scotland is on the road to becoming a world class digital nation by 2020. In doing so we have the opportunity to deliver a healthier and wealthier nation, to reshape our society, to deliver highly skilled and fulfilling jobs and to drive efficiencies and productivity gains in our public services and established businesses."

ScotlandIS is hoping to achieve this by focusing on tech cluster growth within the cities of Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen to outperform successful cities like Stockholm and Berlin. The trade body is also calling for the nation's digital infrastructure to improve by introducing free Wi-Fi access within cities and better internet and mobile data speeds to encourage tech businesses to base themselves in Scotland.

The skills shortage is a potential stumbling block for Scotland's digital growth; therefore the trading body is insisting that the Government should also invest in Scotland's future by introducing various IT programmes into schools and reviewing how computer science is taught in the curriculum.