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Tech Sector Shakes off Brexit Blues with 74% of Employees Positive About Prospects in 2017

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UK tech professionals are shaking 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 showed 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 yeari, a 1% increase compared to 2015 and a favourable comparison to average UK salaries of £28,200[ii].

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

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

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

Candidate Attraction

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

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

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% of tech professionals said a clear career path was a reason to commit to their existing company, compared to 16% who harboured greater salary ambitions.

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

Key takeouts

Jamie Bowler, Marketing Director, Dice, Europe, commented:

“While it is great news that the UK tech industry 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%i 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.”

Top skills in demand [i]

2016 2015
C Java
Java C
.Net SAP
SAP PHP
PHP .Net
ASP.Net Salesforce
Python Linux
JavaScript SAS
DevOps Sharepoint
SAS Analyst
Tester ASP.net
Linux Dynamics AX
Analyst Testing
Cisco iOS Developer
Hadoop Python

[ii] For the year ending 5 April 2016, annual earnings (with a median of approximately £28,200)

https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/earningsandworkinghours/bulletins/annualsurveyofhoursandearnings/2016provisionalresults#main-points