Digital transformation pushes UK tech job openings up 12 percent

Posted Jan 29, 2018 by James Walker
The number of open job postings for UK technology positions rose by 12 percent last year as more companies push to digitally transform. The digital talent shortfall is continuing to impact the market, with average salaries also rising by nine percent.
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The Computing news site reports the data was analysed by Reed Technology in the firm's third annual look at UK tech openings. It said the "race for the best talent" is noticeably affecting salaries in the field. The drive to digitally transform is also impacting the kind of expert firms are looking for, with some tech specialisms experiencing particularly high demand.
Skilled Java developers are currently being sought after, with advertisements up 9 percent year-over-year. Demand for business intelligence specialists, network engineers and support staff is also rapidly growing, with open positions up 7 percent. Acquiring individuals skilled in these fields is of importance to successful digital transformation strategies.
Businesses are also looking for people knowledgeable in AI, machine learning and other emerging technologies. According to Reed Technology, digital investment by UK firms is growing as companies look to ensure their future success. There's a general sense of optimism that digital transformation will help firms to thrive.
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"The AI and robotics revolution will be front and centre of the work that is completed within tech in the coming years," said Andy Gardner, senior divisional director of Reed Technology. "Within the UK tech industry there is a climate of innovation and candidates know that where there is change there is always opportunity. Many companies are looking to invest in people with the skills needed to influence and adapt to this new order."
The rising salaries attached to tech positions could help attract more individuals into the field. However, the current shortfall of tech talent is currently expected to continue over the next few years. Experts in emerging fields of technology will find themselves in even higher demand as the fourth phase of industry takes hold.
Businesses are coming to recognise the potential benefits of digital transformation but often have no prior experience themselves. This has led to a rush to hire skilled experts to lead fledgling digital departments, a trend set to grow as even more firms expand their digital presence.
Individuals too are having to adapt – Reed tech noted that companies increasingly want tech staff who can give advice from a financial perspective, extending the role of a regular tech professional. This is creating new market dynamics where firms increasingly want individuals with skillsets that currently aren't available, placing pressures on businesses and individuals who are retraining.