DCMS: Cardiff one of UK’s fastest growing tech hubs, as available tech roles increase by 34%

Cardiff named one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the UK with 34% increase in digital tech job roles

  • Wales’ tech industry is thriving with an increase in high-paying job opportunities in fast-growing digital sector

  • Cardiff is one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the UK with a 34% increase in available tech jobs, second only to Preston

  • Tech jobs now make up 26% of all available roles in the city, up from 20% in 2018

  • Cardiff is ranked 7th in the UK for cost of living versus salary for tech jobs

  • 34,000 people are employed in tech startups in Wales

Wales’ tech industry is buoyant with more high-paying job opportunities in the fast-growing digital sector than ever before, according to data analysed by smarter job search engine Adzuna for the UK’s Digital Economy Council and Tech Nation. Cardiff, in particular, has been named as one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the UK with a 34% increase in available tech jobs between 2018 to 2020, second only to Preston and ahead of larger cities such as Edinburgh.

This growth in the nation’s tech industry is also leading to a rise in opportunities in other industries with total job opportunities in Wales growing 11.5% month on month throughout 2021, to 26,789 in June.

Digital Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “It’s fantastic that Cardiff has become one of the fastest-growing tech hubs in the UK with new jobs being created at great pace in the technologies of the future.

“The UK government is determined to level up the country and is supporting people right across Wales get the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in this dynamic industry.”

Growing tech wave in Wales

Across Wales, there are 34,000 people employed by startups and scale-ups according to Tech Nation. So far this year 578 startups have raised a collective £27.9 million in venture capital funding. Two notable fundraises came from SolasCure, a biotech company that is revolutionising wound care that raised £15m in Series A funding; and Coincover, the cryptocurrency protection platform, which raised £6.6m also in Series A funding.

SolasCure and Coincover are both based in Cardiff, where the majority of the nation’s tech sector is concentrated. As a result, open tech jobs make up 26% of all available opportunities in the city, up from 20% in 2018. As more job opportunities become available, employers are offering high salaries to attract skilled talent. The median digital tech salary in Cardiff is £37,500, up from £35,000 two years ago. By comparison, the median salary for all roles in the city is £30,000.

Companies in Cardiff are seeking out technical and non-technical staff to help grow their operations. In fact, over 37% of people who work in Cardiff’s tech companies carry out non-technical roles, such as sales, marketing and finance. Business analysts, in particular, can receive a higher salary than the median in Cardiff. It’s no wonder then that Cardiff has been ranked seventh in the UK for cost of living versus salary for tech roles, ahead of cities such as Newcastle, Cambridge and Manchester.

The in-demand skills to succeed in tech

Software developers are consistently one of the most in-demand roles from companies across the industry including in Cardiff where the median salary is £47,500. A junior developer can command a salary of around £27,500, which increases to £55,000 for a more senior position. The main skills employees look for in software developers include mathematical aptitude, problem-solving skills, programming languages, accuracy and attention to detail.

Data scientists also play an essential role in organisations thanks to their ability to extract, analyse and interpret large amounts of data and turn them into insights. The top data science skills that employers are looking for include machine learning, analytics, artificial intelligence, statistics and experience with Python. Data scientists have seen their average advertised salary increase by 31% over the past two years.

There is an increasing demand for senior-level employees across all areas of tech. For instance, 89% of available roles for IT System Architects in the UK are all for senior positions. System architects divide large and complex computer systems to fulfill requirements and often have higher design responsibilities than software developers, with key skills in demand including architecture, data management, and experience with Amazon Web Services (AWS). As this work is so critical to organisations, the median advertised salary for a system architect starts at £37,500 for a junior position and rises to £70,000 for a senior role.

The UK government is investing heavily into ensuring people across the country have the skills they need to succeed in the digital sector as part of a £2.5 billion National Skills Fund. This includes £43 million to expand Skills Bootcamps. The Bootcamps are providing training to people in areas such as coding, data science and digital marketing to help them advance in their current role or switch to a new profession.

Dr George Windsor, Head of Insights at Tech Nation, said: “Cardiff has nurtured a fast-growing tech scene with a mixture of startups, scaleups and corporates offering exciting and well-paying jobs to talented staff. The high proportion of non-digital roles in the sector is part of a wider trend that we’re seeing across other cities in the UK that shows you don’t need to be a coder to succeed in this fast-paced and rewarding industry.”

Andrew Hunter, co-founder of Adzuna, said: “It’s great to see how the growth in Wales’ tech industry is having an impact on the rest of the country with job opportunities up over 11% month on month this year. With high demand for technical and non-technical roles alike, those working in tech careers in Cardiff can enjoy higher than median salaries.”

David Janczewski, co-founder and CEO of Coincover, said: “Coincover is a company with customers all over the world and we’re delighted to be able to hire global talent from our HQ in Cardiff. The tech ecosystem here is incredibly welcoming and organisations such as the Development Bank of Wales have supported us from the start. We are setting the world’s safety standard for cryptocurrency and Cardiff is a great place for us to achieve this goal.”


About DEC

The Digital Economy Council is a non-statutory advisory committee of independent members set up to provide advice to the government. Its purpose is to harness the expertise of industry and the wider tech community to develop a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone.

About Tech Nation:

Tech Nation is the growth platform for tech companies and leaders. Tech Nation fuels the growth of game-changing founders, leaders, and scaling companies so they can positively transform societies and economies. We provide them with the coaching, content, and community they need for their journey in designing the future. Tech Nation has years of experience facilitating and helping UK tech companies scale, both at home and abroad. Over 20 cohorts and 600 companies have successfully graduated from Tech Nation’s growth programmes. Alumni include Skyscanner, Darktrace, and Monzo.

About Adzuna:

Adzuna is a smarter, more transparent job search engine used by tens of millions of visitors per month. We love using the awesome power of technology to bring together every job in one place, help match people to better, more fulfilling jobs and keep Britain working.

Adzuna supplies real-time data to the Number 10 Dashboard, the Cabinet Office and Office for National Statistics labour market indices. In 2018, Adzuna won the contract to run Find a job, one of the British government’s most used online services.

Adzuna.co.uk was founded in 2011 by Andrew Hunter and Doug Monro, formerly of eBay, Gumtree, Qype and Zoopla and is backed by leading Venture Capital firms Passion Capital, LocalGlobe, Index Ventures and Smedvig Capital.

We’ve spent a decade developing smarter, more transparent job search so jobseekers worldwide (we’re in 16 countries) can zero in on the right role faster.

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