Emergent technology has a tremendous impact on society, and nowhere is that influence felt more strongly than the job market. From increased productivity to cutting-edge fields born from tech innovation, the constant flow of new digital tools is reshaping every aspect of the professional realm and being at the forefront of much of the world's most exciting research and development, the UK is a particularly rich ground for high-tech careers and ground-breaking infrastructural development. In fact, London is one of the globe's undisputed champions of modern technology. Home to a thriving start-up scene, a host of powerhouse companies, and a highly skilled (and highly paid) workforce; London expanded employment by 16.6% between 2009 and 2012 as reported in the data graphic on the effects of technology in jobs. Today, that growth continues - and with technology driving job production throughout the UK it is not likely to stop any time soon.
Salaries Climbing and Technology Thriving
As technologies become ever more sophisticated, companies have an increasing demand for highly skilled workers. Of course, higher skill levels equate to higher pay so throughout the UK many industries are experiencing widespread salary hikes. The IT, Science, Manufacturing, Hospitality, Catering, and Accounting and Finance sectors have seen the most pronounced growth in the past year - with IT undergoing a 4.6% average salary hike in the past 12 months. Though the Financial sector has certainly seen setbacks of late with the Royal Bank of Scotland recently announcing widespread lay-offs - new software systems and tech-driven globalization have nonetheless fuelled job growth and salary boosts.
Measuring Decline and Innovation Driving Investment
While some sectors grow under the impetus of invention, others are bound to decline. So while high-skill employment has been on the rise, low-skill jobs have experienced decline. The worst hit sectors since 2012 have been Construction, Trade, Retail, Travel, HR, and Graduate Jobs. The last is particularly troubling for many young people, but reflects the growing desire companies have for already-trained employees with industry experience.
But even despite these lagging employment sectors, the past year has seen a significant boost in investment, signalling that businesses are optimistic about the near future of the UK's economy. With its booming tech scene, London's average salary for tech workers is over £51k. Edinburgh, Reading, Glasgow, and Bristol are also making heavy investments in their tech-based workforce; adding to the nationwide boom. Samsung recently opened its massive European Innovation Centre in London, while a variety of lucrative tech competitions are sparking innovation in Wales and the North East, and the construction of a new high-speed rail line between Bedford and Cambridge is soon to bring thousands of new jobs. Furthermore, robotics are buoying manufacturing, new energy storage technologies are helping the automotive industry, and genetic breakthroughs are creating countless new professional opportunities in the medical industry.
More Productive = More Jobs
Though some worry that increased productivity will lead to a decrease in labour demand, the truth of the situation is that increased productivity is a boon for business. When businesses grow, they need more workers and can afford to pay employees better wages. So innovative software, advancements in file management systems, and remote technologies are all great news for professionals in the UK. On the other hand, augmented reality is expected to soon bring important safety advancements to workers nationwide, while robots are vastly expanding our ability to work in extreme conditions and become more efficient in our jobs.
As we continuously develop infrastructural and informational resources, the UK is ensuring the health of industry and economy for decades to come. Coming years will undoubtedly see the world become increasingly enmeshed in the technological landscape, and so demand for the skilled experts and advanced facilities we are building today will keep us at the forefront of innovation tomorrow. This is an exciting time to be working in the UK and in technology jobs. Thanks to technological development advancing rapidly every year more Brits get great jobs that allow them to contribute to the nation's growth.