Scotland business

Report highlights digital tech growth in Scotland

Tech Nation website Image copyright Tech City UK

Digital technology workers in Edinburgh are among the highest paid in the sector in the UK, according to a major study.

The average salary last year has been estimated at more than £51,000 - behind only London and Reading and Bracknell.

The city also saw the fifth highest growth in digital jobs across the UK's tech clusters between 2010 and 2014.

More than 21,300 people are now estimated to work in digital tech in the capital.

The overall estimate for tech jobs in Scotland is almost 101,400.

The figures were included in a report produced by UK government-backed Tech City UK in partnership with innovation charity Nesta.

Tech Nation 2016 estimated digital GVA (Gross Value Added) in Edinburgh last year at £378m - a rise of 58% between 2010 and 2014.

The report said that Edinburgh's strengths in academia and software, along with excellent local networks, had "created a stimulating environment" for start-ups to grow.

The city is already home to two billion-dollar tech companies, Skyscanner and Fanduel, as well as leading UK incubator Codebase.

However, the report warned that Edinburgh's rapid digital growth had led to skills shortages, despite the capital having access to top universities and colleges.

UK digital clusters estimated by Tech Nation 2016 to have the highest average salaries were:

Image copyright Tech City
Image caption Source: Tech Nation 2016

Glasgow, meanwhile, was estimated to have 26,350 tech economy jobs, with an average digital salary of more than £46,850. Its digital GVA was estimated at £480m - a rise of 45% between 2010 and 2014.

Tech Nation said the city had benefited from strong local networks that had created a "talent pipeline" for companies.

The report also found that Dundee - birthplace of iconic games Lemmings and Grand Theft Auto - continued to "punch above its weight".

At 129%, it had the third highest growth in turnover in the UK between 2010 and 2014, while GVA grew by 42% to £61.4m.

The study found that the strength of the cluster was underpinned by education, with the University of Abertay - the UK's first centre of excellence for computer games education - and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design.

The report said: "With a thriving community, great talent, and continued growth, Edinburgh leads as Scotland's digital tech centre.

"Glasgow's growing pool of software developers continues to draw major corporates, while Dundee has consolidated its position as a leader in the UK's games sector."

Overall, Tech Nation 2016 estimated that the UK's digital tech industries grew 32% faster than the rest of the UK economy between 2010 and 2014, with turnover reaching £161bn in 2014.

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