Python developer, data scientist or DevOps: Which tech jobs pay best?

The best-paid tech jobs, and the best cities to live in while doing them, are outlined in a new report.
Written by Steve Ranger, Global News Director

Opportunities to work in tech beyond the capital continue to grow, according to a new report that lists the most in-demand tech jobs along with salaries and the best cities for developers to work in.

'Software developer' was the most common tech job advertised, with more than 130,000 job ads last year and a median salary of £39,430, or £55,000 in London, according to the data published by the government's Digital Economy Council.

'Front end developer' was the second most common role, listed more than 30,000 times with a median UK salary of just over £35,000 or £50,000 in London. 'IT systems architect' was the best-paid job on the list, commanding a salary of £77,500 in London and a median pay packet of £63,000 overall, followed by 'DevOps engineer' with a £67,500 salary in the capital.

SEE: Six in-demand programming languages: Getting started (free PDF)

The report also noted that tech jobs are growing outside of the capital, as cities including Sheffield, Leeds, Manchester and Cardiff are developing their own smaller tech clusters. 

In Edinburgh, 48,118 people are employed in the digital tech sector, on salaries that are almost 15% higher than the national average, while in Reading the equivalent figures are 100,507 and 8.11%. In Belfast, the digital tech sector now employs 60,000 people, with salaries that are 17% higher than the national average.


The report noted that, when cost of living is taken into account, cities including Leeds and Belfast can be a better option than London. For example, a data scientist would be better off working in Leeds than in London, while the best place to find a job as a software developer or a full stack developer is in Belfast, as demand for tech roles there has risen by 120 percent in the past four years.  

If you're looking for work as an analyst, Edinburgh is the best place to work, while a Python developer is best off in Glasgow and an IT systems architect should seek a job in Cardiff, the report claimed.

The report calculates that around 2.1 million people work in the digital tech sector and claims that in five UK cities -- Oxford, Cambridge, Reading, Belfast and Newcastle -- more than 10 percent of the population are now employed in the digital tech sector. In Cambridge, half the working population are employed in the digital tech sector, the report said.

There may be many job ads out there, but that doesn't mean all those roles are getting filled rapidly: another set of data suggests that software engineers, senior programmers and back-end developers are among the tech professionals that are the hardest to recruit in the UK.

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