According to publications such as Forbes, London has been named the Silicon Valley of Europe. This is because of its mature tech clusters, high levels of investment, and it being home to some of Europe’s top tech companies. From early-stage startups to IPOs, there is a great environment for firms to grow - attracting talent from around the world. The digital sector in the UK is a real success story as it accounts for 7.7% of the GVA - the value of goods and services produced in an area, industry or sector of an economy. It is not surprising that such a mature economy offers a wide range of opportunities for up-and-coming talent to grow and develop their careers in tech.
Over the past years the need for digital skills has made some of the top consulting firms work with the government to build initiatives and schemes that will help and encourage people to take part in the digital economy. This sector employs 2.98 million people representing 10% of all jobs in the UK. As our digital economy is accelerated by factors such as Remote working, there is the potential for more than three million jobs to be created by 2025.
From creative industries to financial services, technology is becoming a focal point to develop all over the country. London itself is a capital for fintech where most of the global financial services are located. The investment in technology keeps growing, helping new and scaling companies grow and hire more people in tech. All these factors along with the surgance of remote working have helped people from all over the country work in companies based in London, with the opportunity to develop other areas. Starting salaries range from £30K/year upwards with average salaries of £60K and above.
Supportive developer communities
London is known for its strong and supportive developer communities. There is always an event to attend and a group to join whether it’s in-person or online. Being a developer in London means being part of a bigger community. This brings opportunities for networking, career progression, entrepreneurship and innovation. In this city, a developer never gets bored and is never alone.
Leading tech companies based in London
Being the Silicon Valley of the UK, London provides access to some of the leading global tech companies - established companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft, and recent IPOs including Wise, Trustpilot, Deliveroo, and many more. Developers are at the forefront of these companies, and most of them host supportive developer advocate programmes. Being part of the London tech scene can mean being part of the future success stories in tech.
A vibrant tech scene that has reached maturity
Over the last two decades London has become a key capital for tech, investment and support for tech startups. With the rise of Silicon Roundabout back in 2012, new tech clusters began to spread to different parts of the city, as well as different regions in the country. Infrastructure allowing for tech startups to grow has been supported by government-backed organisations including Tech Nation, Tech UK and many more. A mature tech ecosystem means a consistent flow of innovation and companies needing to develop new products. Developers are at the core.
Rapid career progression and high demand for developers
As new startups rise and existing companies experience rapid growth, so do the opportunities for developers to grow. At this rate, developers are able to flourish specialising in the fields that they are most passionate about. As a developer in London, you never run out of opportunities. Competition may be high, but the need for more experienced developers is even higher. It only takes a few projects to become highly skilled.
A perfect environment for creativity and digital innovation
London is a city for creators and innovators. There is a supportive environment that easily allows people and businesses to create new products, businesses and services. With low barriers for market entry, and high consumer expectations, UX and UI designers are key to company success. There is unlimited inspiration and creativity to tap into all over the city.
Vibrant UX/UI community with active meetups, and conferences
Starting in UX/UI Design can be challenging. The good news is that you’re not alone. In London there is a high density of groups or meetups helping UX/UI professionals come together, share best practices and network with other experts. The collaborative spirit is key to success. Many have been there from zero experience and they are keen to help the next generation. As a designer, there are a lot of opportunities to work with others and build a stronger portfolio together.
Strong job market with diverse opportunities and salary options
With such a wide range of digital products and services, the UX/UI Design has multiple career paths and applications. Being the centre of these products and services, London offers multiple roles that you can apply to with the combined skills of a UX and a UI Designer. From UX research to front-end development, some of roles include product design, content design, interaction and information architecture, and many more.
A strong startup scene building digital products and apps
London is a hub for tech with a high level of investment for new startups, a supportive policy for businesses and freelancers, and a high level of government support. As a result there are thousands of new startups every year. To thrive in this fast-paced market, companies need to be innovative in the way they present themselves to the consumer. UX/UI Design is key for this ever growing scene.
A supportive environment for data professionals
The past few years have seen a remarkable change in the way we use data for business, government and technology. From the rise of Open banking to the changes in policy with GDPR, the UK has invested in the development of data as a field. There are multiple tools and resources available for data professionals, including institutions that help shape the policies and best practices around the field. From the Open Data Institute to Digital Catapults, the UK, and London in particular, are creating the perfect environment to thrive in data.
High investment in Research and Development, leading to more available data roles
In an effort to establish the UK as a leading economy for technology and innovation, the government has a positive policy on R&D. Every year millions of pounds are given to companies innovating in this space. As a result, there are more opportunities created for professionals working in data analysis and manipulation, as well as developing machine learning algorithms that keep the industry evolving.
A surgance of cloud technologies requires more data professionals
As we move to a digital economy there is an immense amount of data that needs to be stored in the cloud. Some of the world’s leading cloud companies are based in London. What we’ll find over the next few years is a growing digital skills gap as the need for data professionals grows with this trend. This is the best time to gain skills and find opportunities in this space.
London is a capital for fintech and cloud business. With that comes the need for cybersecurity
The last decade has seen London become a capital for financial technology (FinTech). This is due to geographic, economic and policy factors that have attracted most of the world’s financial services to have a presence in the city. This means that there is plenty of confidential and sensitive data that needs to be stored in a secure way. The development of cybersecurity infrastructures mean that we need more cybersecurity professionals to get appropriate skills. With jobs on the rise, it’s a great time to be trained in cybersecurity.
A growing field with diverse applications and career paths
With the diverse application of cybersecurity to safeguard online products, the industry keeps growing year on year. This growth has risen to almost 80% each year, and this has provided a wide range of areas to specialise in. Businesses and governments have different needs - from privacy protection, to protecting the population from hacking and cyberattacks - This field is part of the digital revolution that will only get bigger in years to come.
Taking part in a growing community for cybersecurity professionals
While most tech communities have matured in London and the surrounding areas, the cybersecurity cluster is still a relatively young and very exciting sector to be part of. Everyday there are new groups and meetups related to the field - with opportunities to become thought leaders and subject matter experts. London is a great space to grow, both personally and professionally when you’re part of this growing community. You can still be part of the early-days of cyber!
Over the last two years we have learned that both studying and working remotely are here to stay. In the digital sector, we can be more productive and reduce the commuting to physical spaces. Technology keeps improving the way we work and learn in the digital sector. However, there is an undeniable human aspect that helps us connect with others and grow with our communities. As part of these changes, there are new approaches to learning where students can use the best tools for online development, while being able to interact with fellow students, hiring companies, and fellow professionals.
Having trained more than 9,000 tech professionals over the last 8 years, Ironhack is now landing in London, offering fully remote bootcamps for anyone in the UK, while establishing a hub to help those in-person interactions come to life. Our first hybrid campus in the UK is now open to provide this community approach and open its doors to aspiring tech professionals. Together with our financing partners, we’re helping people access the best tools to get started. This is an exciting time to start your journey in tech.
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