"If youre considering a career move away from the capital, or even just looking to break into the tech sector, then the West Midlands is a fantastic place to start looking."
So you are a rising star in the tech sector, where do you look to go if you are looking to propel yourself in your career? London may seem the obvious choice, but the West Midlands is in the running to challenge the capital’s tech crown.
According to the latest figures, the West Midlands is demonstrating itself to be a digital heavyweight, with a recent study valuing the region’s tech sector at over £5 billion. It is not just valuable, it is big too! The area is home to over 13,500tech businesses and is the number one location in the UK for new start-ups outside of the capital. Together, this diverse group of companies employs over 80,000 people.
If you’re considering a move away from the capital, or even just looking to break into the sector, then the West Midlands is a fantastic place to start looking. Not only will you be joining a large, growing community of professionals working in the industry, but there are some terrific opportunities to be at the heart of some of the most exciting tech disciplines. Coventry and Leamington is home to 20% of the gaming workforce in the UK, and the wider region plays host to the largest number of software developers outside of London.
This flourishing sector is attracting significant attention from investors, too. The West Midlands is to become home to the UK’s rollout of 5G network infrastructure, with over £75 million pledged from government and private investment. It was announced last month that the former head of Nokia, Igor Ledprince is to become Chairman of WM5G Ltd, the company set up to drive this initiative, ensuring the area will be at the bleeding edge of this latest network technology.
It isn’t just home-grown investors that are keen on the Midlands’ burgeoning tech sector either. According to the Department for International Trade, a total of 155 Foreign Direct Investment projects were recorded during 2018/19, which in total created over 5,000 new jobs across the region. An encouraging statistic with the UK’s current uncertainty around the effect of Brexit on the confidence of foreign investors. These latest investments in the sector are part of a strategy outlined by the West Midlands Growth Company to support the area’s diverse portfolio of automotive, manufacturing, fintech, energy, and health businesses.
For those already working in the Midlands, salaries have been steadily increasing over the past two years. The West Midlands Growth Company recorded a steady 2.6% increase, a figure which is more than the National average. Your money goes further in the region, too. The cost of living across Birmingham, Leicester and Nottingham is, on average, around 39%cheaper than in London. As salaries in the Midlands continue to grow, the cost of living in many of the area’s major cities remains relatively affordable.
With such a broad range of tech roles available across a dizzying array of industries, there has never been a better time to consider the Midlands for your next career step. As the amount of interest from investors around the world proves, the region is a terrific place to do business right now. If you are looking to make your next move, then considering roles in this neck of the woods is a must. At the very least, if you are relocating from London, a move the Midlands will see the days of paying £7 for your pint behind you!
Start Up Britain