Tech sector shakes off Brexit blues

The UK tech sector is confident about prospects in 2017 despite Brexit, Trump and fluctuating economic headwinds.

The UK tech sector shake off the Brexit blues and remain confident about prospects for jobs and sector growth in 2017, according to the annual Job Market Report by Dice, the online career site for the technology community.

Dice surveyed over 1,100 tech professionals and 170 tech recruiters to create the annual report, which shows that despite fluctuating economic conditions, three-quarters of tech professionals are positive about their career prospects in the coming year.

The analysis shows that UK tech professionals continue to draw above average salaries for the work they do. Half of technology professionals earn over £40k a year, a one per cent increase compared to 2015 and a favourable comparison to average UK salaries of £28,200.

During their last review, 59 per cent of permanent employees received an increase in their annual salary, a small increase on 2015 (58 per cent). Also, 62 per cent expect an increase during their next review, the same level as 2015, showing how the industry is able to reward talent.

When asked how tech professionals were planning to develop their skills, both permanent (38 per cent) and contractors (53 per cent) say they would fund their own training and development, outstripping those permanent tech pros (29 per cent) who said their employers are funding training and technical skills development.

Of those surveyed, which included 670 permanent employees and 390 contractors, 42 are actively looking for a new role and 44 per cent looking to change in the next three months.

Candidate Attraction

The survey found that 94 of tech professionals research a company online before applying for a job, and 79 per cent say this research influences their decision to submit an application.

Although 31 of tech professionals said that salary is the most important factor when choosing a new job, a quarter (26 per cent) were looking for career development within a new role and a further 26 per cent say they needed a more challenging role.

This points to the importance of employer branding in helping to acquire the best talent, salary is important but not the deciding factor for many tech professionals.

Retention

For employers looking to retain staff, 27 per cent of tech professionals say a clear career path was a reason to commit to their existing company, compared to 16 per cent who harboured greater salary ambitions.

It is equally important for employers to offer a range of benefits. The most popular are pension contribution (17 per cent), laptop (13 per cent), private healthcare (12 per cent) and flexible working hours (11 per cent).

Key takeouts

Jamie Bowler, marketing director, Dice, Europe, comments, ‘While it is great news that the UK tech sector is shaking off the Brexit blues and that tech professionals are confident about prospects and looking to further their careers, employers need to start looking at alternate ways to attract and retain the best tech talent.

‘Our report found that only 29 per cent of employers are offering training and technical skills development to their employees. We believe this low percentage showcases an ‘aspiration gap’ where tech employees want positions that offer the chance to learn and develop new skills over those which offer more money – but many employers have yet to capitalise on this.

‘Overall, the sector is strong, with strong pay levels and a self-starting workforce who are happy to invest in their own development.’

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