More than 1.7m new jobs for tech specialists in the next decade, says Tech Partnership

Tech Partnership analysis of ONS data, released today, paints a detailed picture of the current tech workforce; while its forecasts, carried out with global information services company Experian, offer a strongly positive vision of future growth.

Technology moves at a rapid pace, but the data shows that one aspect of the workforce is slower to change: the gender balance. Only 16% of tech specialists are women – a figure that falls to only 1 in 10 for Programmers and Software Development Professionals.

Other notable characteristics of tech specialists: they are more likely than the average worker to be aged 35 – 44 – a third fall into this group, against 22% of the working population – and more likely to be working in London and the South East. 43% of tech specialists work in this corner of the UK, against 29% of all workers.

Tech specialists tend to be highly educated – 57% of tech specialists have a degree – and well paid. At £850 / week, their mean earnings are 41% higher than the UK norm. Belying the popular stereotype of lone entrepreneurs, 39% of tech specialists work in large firms, against 27% of the working population as a whole. They are equally likely to be working in a tech business (49%), or to be providing tech expertise in another sector (51%).

Where female tech specialists exist, they are likely to be exercising their skills as IT project and programme managers, where they make up nearly a third of workers. They are also likely to be concentrated in mid and lower level occupations: only 11% of Tech Directors are women.

The 1.3m tech specialists in the UK represent just over 4% of the total workforce, and their numbers have grown by 31% over the ten years to 2015. This is nearly four times the growth of the UK workforce as a whole (7.8% over the same period). Growth is most pronounced at the most senior levels: for example, tech specialists classified as Directors / Professionals have grown by 41%.

Looking forward, the Tech Partnership predicts nearly 28% growth over the 2015 – 2025 period, substantially outstripping the expected growth for the workforce as a whole. While every occupational group will see an increase, the areas of greatest growth are in Web Design and Development (+55% predicted) and Programming and Software Development (+47% predicted). In practice, this means around 171,000 new recruits are needed into tech specialist careers every year between now and 2025.

“The strong growth of tech employment in the UK sends a clear message to anyone considering career opportunities: there are a multitude of exciting openings for you.  Tech employers are keen to welcome talented people, and particularly women, whether they join us as apprentices, graduates or via other routes,” said Tech Partnership board member Michel Van der Bel, MD of Microsoft UK and VP of Microsoft International.

“The Tech Partnership is working with schools, colleges and universities to ensure that as many people as possible can benefit from the strong demand for tech professionals, and that the UK can maintain and build on its position as a leading digital nation.”

Download the full data sheet