Tech workers should head north to get more for their money
London may be the UK’s biggest tech hub, but new data reveals that the average IT wage goes more than twice as far in cities such as Birmingham and Manchester.
London is seen as the centre of the UK’s tech scene, but spiralling property prices are making the city increasingly unattractive, both for tech workers and new startups. London wages have traditionally been higher in order to compensate for this, but the sharp increases in rents and house prices have not been proportional to pay rises.
The study, conducted by recruitment site Indeed, examined the affordability of the UK’s major tech hubs based on the average cost of a flat in comparison with the average IT income. It found that in London, the average flat costs in excess of £432,000 – more than eight times the average tech industry salary of £51,070.
In areas such as Cardiff, Manchester and Birmingham, meanwhile, the average flat costs less than four times the average annual wage, despite the fact that salaries in these cities are lower than in London. Birmingham emerged as the most cost-effective tech hub to live in, with the average flat going for just £120,856, with the average tech salary standing at £42,268.
Moreover, a Spiceworks survey showed that despite the fact that IT jobs generally pay at least £10,000 more than the average wage, 59% of IT professionals feel that they’re underpaid, with less that 25% expecting a pay rise of more than 5% in 2017.
In order to cope with the growing disconnect between wages and property in the capital, many tech experts may be driven to accept jobs with companies based in more affordable cities, and Indeed’s VP of product, Terence Chiu, noted that they would not have a hard time finding work.
“It is increasingly competitive for companies to find the technical talent they need as companies ramp up their demand for these professionals,” he said. “Our data shows this is a jobseeker’s market, with huge demand for tech talent and simply not enough of the right candidates to fill those open roles.”