Since Alexander Graham Bell (the inventor of the telephone) was first on the scene, Edinburgh has a long history of tech. Innovation. We’ve invented the logarithms for modern computing, improved the steam engine, set the groundwork for the television and much more. So, it’s really not very surprising that Edinburgh continues to be among the best of the best when it comes to the modern technology industry.

Edinburgh’s Current Technology Industry

Our tech industry boasts some pretty impressive awards and recognition. European Business Magazine has named Edinburgh Europe’s most attractive destination for technology businesses, and with companies like Skyscanner and RockStar North, it’s hard to argue otherwise.

While technology makes up 4.5% or £184 billion of the UK’s GDP, Edinburgh is a growing part of this industry. According to Tech Nation UK 2018, digital tech businesses in Edinburgh contributed £1.14 billion and employed 38,414 people. Within the space of three very short years, Edinburgh’s technology sector has nearly doubled.

Further growth is expected as Edinburgh institutions actively strive to continue the tech sectors important development. After all, Edinburgh is home to CodeBase, the UK’s largest tech incubator and home to over 100 tech companies, and CivTech, Scotland’s initiative to help startups engage and solve public sector challenges.

Technology Jobs in Edinburgh

As Tech Nation’s report shows, there’s been significant growth in the number of digital tech jobs. Since 2014, local tech companies have created an additional 2,890 jobs, which is more than three times the UK average.

According to InvestEdinburgh, the number of developers grew by 8% in the second half of 2017 and as such now makes up nearly 7% of the city’s entire workforce. Our number of local data scientists has also seen a significant rise in numbers with a 19% growth in 2017. So, as home to one of Europe’s fastest growing communities of developers and data scientists, Edinburgh is undoubtedly leading the way in attracting new tech talent and businesses.

These efforts all play a pivotal part in pursuing Edinburgh’s goal of becoming the Data Capital of Europe. As part of this mission, Edinburgh University researchers were recently awarded £60 million to investigate how data could shape Edinburgh's future. We’re certainly not slowing down when it comes to pushing digital innovation.

Technology Skills Training

Edinburgh University’s acclaimed School of Informatics and Heriot-Watt’s new Discovery and Innovation Centre are helping to spearhead this movement by training the next generation of computer and data scientists. Together, local universities plan to educate more than 100,000 people in the data across Scotland’s major industries over the next 15 years.

In addition to local universities’ great work, other organisations, like CodeClan and The Data Lab, are also helping to hone and increase Scotland’s local IT talent. CodeClan is the UK’s first and Scotland’s only SQA accredited digital skills academy and aims to bridge the skills gap to further support Scotland’s growing technology industry. And, The Data Lab, a joint venture between local universities, public sector and private companies, also provides skills training to boost local data scientists numbers.

Big brands and corporations like Craneware, Amazon and Microsoft are also setting up training and development centres. Amazon’s Development Centre Scotland and Microsoft’s UK Technology Centre, both based in Edinburgh, not only help to train and develop the corporation’s employees but also attracts data and computer scientists from across the globe.

Companies to Watch Out For

As home to over 213 digital tech businesses and counting, Edinburgh is already becoming well-known on the technology scene. Tech companies choose Edinburgh for many reasons. But, the city’s helpful tech community, beauty and the local universities are some of its most attractive features.

Most of us, even tech novices, know the big local companies like Skyscanner, Rockstar North and Mashable. What about some of the lesser known, but still very important companies? Here’s a small sample of tech companies that call Edinburgh home:

FanDuel. FanDuel is an online platform that allows enthusiasts to create fantasy leagues and bet real money on US professional sports games. Since being founded in 2009, it’s raised £315.41 million.

TravelNest. Based on George Street, TravelNest is leading the way on holiday rental bookings. Its central digital platform makes it easier for hosts to advertise their lets across a range of platforms, like Airbnb and Booking, and quickly view data and property performance on one central dashboard. Since its conception three years ago, the company has raised £3 million in seed funding.

PureLiFi. A product of the University of Edinburgh, PureLife offers an alternative to WiFi or 4G networks. Known as Li-Fi (light fidelity), the network uses visible light communication to offer a faster, more reliable service. PureLife has raised close to £20 million in investments.

FreeAgent. Another rising superstar in the technology industry, FreeAgent has created an online accounting and money management software for SMEs and freelancers. Making these services accessible to everyone, even freelancers, has proven successful and allowed them to raise almost £8 million to date.

Mallzee. Mallzee helps B2B and B2C retailers to leverage and understand consumer preference data. Companies can conduct trial runs and analyse product sales before making an order, which allows them to maximise floor space and know what will sell. To date, they’ve raised over £5 million.

Apply and Recruit with Change

As a specialist in IT and technology recruitment, we have insight into the latest recruitment trends and upcoming vacancies. We have close connections with some of the city’s leading universities and development centres to give our clients access to some of Edinburgh’s best and brightest. Likewise, we also work closely with many exciting tech companies to place talented individuals.

So, whether you’re looking to hire your next data scientist or are seeking an exciting employment opportunity, our dedicated IT recruitment consultants can make it happen. Contact us today to discuss your unique needs.  

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