Digital and Tech Salaries Jump 15 Per Cent
· Salaries across all roles at all levels up 15% in digital and technology
· 3 million digital roles currently available (compared to 1.9m in construction and 1.2m in financial services)
· Most skilled candidates have 3 to 4 good offers to choose between
· More than 6,000 new cyber jobs added to the UK’s 50,000-strong cyber workforce in 2021.
Salaries in technology, digital, cyber and data soared during 2021 compared to the previous year as UK businesses scrambled to secure talent, according to new research by Xcede.
Technology and digital jobs saw average salaries rise by 15 per cent with cyber roles increasing by 13 per cent and data by 7 per cent.
The UK has one of the largest digital economies in the world and demand for digital skills is currently outweighing supply, the salary survey shows.
This is reflected in the 3 million roles presently available in the digital sector, compared to the 1.9 million open jobs in construction and 1.2 million in financial services4.
· Technology: The tech industry showed the biggest increase year-on-year. Overall, salaries across all roles at all levels were up 15%.
· Digital: 3 million roles are presently available in the digital sector, and, as such, salaries in the digital space are rising as employers seek to secure the skills they need. Overall average salaries increased by 15% across all digital roles in 2021 compared to the previous year.
· Cyber: Employment across the industry rose by 13% last year, with more than 6,000 new jobs added to the UK’s 50,000-strong cyber workforce.
· Data: The rapid growth of the data market means demand for skilled professionals has hit an all-time high. The results reflect this, with average data salaries rising by 7% overall on the previous year.
Julian Vecchio, Managing Director of Xcede, said: “Salaries in technology, digital, cyber and data are on the rise because businesses are being smart, competing for talent by offering salaries that go above and beyond the current averages.
“Most active job seekers are likely to have three to four attractive offers under consideration,” he added.
The skills shortage has been compounded by the impact of IR35 on the contractor market.
Julian said: “As people developed an understanding of being inside and outside of IR35, we saw contractors approach us with new rates.
“Those inside IR35 charged more and, with companies still not comfortable with outside IR35, contracting rates increased.
“Of course, those companies exempt from IR35 due to their size have been able to continue hiring contractors on outside IR35 contracts, and we have helped many clients do this over the last year.”
Despite IR35, the survey found that the contracting world is thriving.
“Good contractors have a lot of choices, with companies increasingly depending on them to plug skills gaps in several key areas,” said Julian.
“On the permanent side, skills gaps mean companies must think outside of the box when hiring and understand that certain demographics have been neglected in technology for decades.
“Now is the chance to entice a broader group of people to pursue a career in this fast- moving and exciting field.”
Ongoing skills shortages across all areas of technology coupled with Brexit rules made it harder for UK businesses to hire European talent only exacerbated the issue.
These skills gaps coincided with the growth of opportunities in the technology market. Many of the historically high investment industries, like travel, food, and events, were no longer viable due to Covid. The shift saw venture capitalists turn to technology, leading to a boom.
“Employers know that the candidate is king right now, with many investing in faster recruitment processes and elevating roles to make them more attractive,” Julian explained.
The Xcede salary survey highlighted a need for entry level jobs to create a talent pipeline for the future. It also found that hiring managers have updated their recruitment and retention practices to adapt to skills shortages and salary expectations.
Hybrid working has proven to be an effective tool in talent acquisitions, with digital candidates searching for hybrid work set-ups where they can divide their time between the office and home.
Digital summary by Andrew Barnett, Sales Manager, Digital – Xcede
· Due to increased movement last year, we expect it will become harder to find digital candidates in 2022 as those who recently changed roles may be unwilling to uproot again so soon.
· The pandemic accelerated digital adoption across the globe, with people dependent on digital platforms and services for day-to-day functioning.
· Salaries in the digital space are rising as employers seek to secure the skills they need.
· Overall average salaries increased by 15% across all digital roles in 2021 compared to the previous year.
· The position that saw the most considerable leap was junior level UX Design, with a year-on-year increase of 38%, from £29,000 to £40,000.
· Junior level Product Design and Visual Design roles are also highlighted, with remuneration rising by 36% and 33%, respectively.
· Such data highlights the gaps in entry-level digital skills and the steps employers are taking to encourage people to take their first steps in the sector.
· Visual Design saw the most significant growth across all seniority levels, averaging a 24% increase overall. At the other end of the spectrum, Project Management achieved just a 1% average increase.
· The largest growth in Project Management salaries was at mid-level (9%), with seniors and leads actually decreasing 3% year-on-year. It indicates that employers are more concerned about development and succession planning than about enticing top-level talent to the business.
· For contractors, UX Designer pay rates increased, with top-end rates for senior-level professionals around £520, rising to £650 and £800 for outside and inside of IR35, respectively. Service Design contractors command the highest digital contractor rates of up to £850 (outside) and £950 (inside).
Tech Summary by Dan Norris, Contract Sales Manager, Technology – Xcede
· E-commerce has changed exponentially with a renewed focus on tech, and clients are coming to us to help them hire a range of roles, including Front and Back End Developers.
· Organisations have the greatest need for mid-senior level candidates, particularly on the contract side. They need professionals who can hit the ground running and deliver ROI from the outside.
· The pandemic did little to derail the sector, with demand for tech jobs 42% higher in June 2021 than at the same time in 2019.
· The average tech salary is up to 50% higher than the average for all vacancies in the UK, whilst the average salary for jobs across the UK decreased in 20217. Data from our Salary Guide backs this up. By far, tech showed the biggest increase year-on-year.
· Overall, salaries across all roles at all levels were up 15%, with key growth areas. Infrastructure pay rates skyrocketed by 54% overall.
· The most significant increase was seen at lead level, up 69% from £65,000 to £110,000. Entry-level Infrastructure pay increased by 43% (£35,000 to £50,000), and senior salaries rose by 64% from £55,000 in 2020 to £90,000 in 2021.
· The next highest increase areas were seen in Front End Development/UI, Mobile Development and DevOps – all increasing between 14-15% overall.
· Technology also saw the highest year-on-year salary drop. Junior Back-End Software Development salaries sat at £45,000 in 2020, falling by 11% this year to £40,000.
· There was little movement in contracting rates. The most significant increase comes from Full Stack Development, with top-end rates hitting £575 in 2020 and rising to £600 and £675 for outside and inside IR35 respectively.
Cyber Summary by Matthew O’Hare, Associate Director, Cyber – Xcede
· The most in-demand skills in Cyber are anything that is prefixed or suffixed by ‘Cloud’. As a result, there is a battle to secure Cloud Security expertise, with an even balance of contract and permanent opportunities within this space.
· DFIR (Digital Forensic Instant Response) is another huge growth area that’s seeing a lot of recruitment activity. Salaries in this area vary massively depending on the remit of the work and the sector. Analysts can earn around £50,000, with Senior Strategists taking home up
· to five times that amount.
· Application Security has morphed into DevSecOps, which has become the go-to phrase to talk about agile application security. Over the last two years, it’s become a key driver due to a global move to cloud-based operations, with skilled professionals highly sought after.
· Microsoft remains the dominant player in the Cloud space, which is driving the need for security expertise that we don’t see slowing down any time soon.
· The need for cyber security products and services has never been greater. The UK’s tech sector continues to break records as more than 1,800 cyber security firms generated a total of £10.1 billion in revenue in the most recent financial year, a 14% increase from the previous year. The sector contributed around £5.3 billion to the UK economy in 2021, rising by a third on last year from £4 billion9.
· Employment across the industry rose by 13% last year, with more than 6,000 new jobs added to the UK’s 50,000-strong cyber workforce10.
Data Summary by Niall Wharton – Team Lead – Data Science, ML & Big Data Engineering
· In 2021, the market was challenged by not having access to enough Data Engineers to enable Machine Learning Engineers and Data Scientists to implement their ideas. It meant that while organisations had ambitious plans, they lacked the talent infrastructure required to turn them into action.
· 2021 saw a massive leap in salaries offered to mid-level and senior talent, namely for Data Engineering and Product Analytics roles.
· The rapid expansion of cloud-service providers, triggered by technological advancements and the Covid-19 pandemic, had a significant impact on the global data market in 2021.
· The data science market is expected to grow from $95.3 billion in 2021 to $322.9 billion in 2026, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.7% during the forecast period1.
· The rapid growth of the data market means demand for skilled professionals has hit an all-time high. Our results reflect this, with average data salaries rising by 7% overall on the previous year. Junior Data Scientists saw the most significant leap in remuneration, with an increase of 32.4%, taking them to an average salary of £60,000 in 2021, suggesting a distinct shortage of mid-level talent.
· Another considerable change came for Senior Data Engineers. The previous year, they could expect to earn in the region of £62,000, whereas they can now command around £80,000, an increase of 29%.
· Data also sees some of the highest contracting rates. Machine Learning & AI contractors can earn up to £1,000 per day, depending on experience. Senior Data Scientists could expect a top-end day rate of £665 last year, whereas organisations are willing to pay up to £850, even for those outside of IR35.