Demand for cloud, AI, blockchain and robotics skills rises – Accenture


Image by Wynn Pointaux from Pixabay

The number of technology jobs in the UK has witnessed a significant decline (57%) over the past year, with fewer than 55,000 open roles advertised, according to the latest UK Tech Talent Tracker from Accenture. However, despite this rather disappointing trend, demand for skills in cutting-edge technologies is on the up.

The latest Accenture tracker, which draws its conclusions from analysis of LinkedIn’s Professional Network data, found that the decline was driven by a reduction in roles for data analytics and cyber security professionals, which fell 53% and 54%, respectively.

Nevertheless, despite this downturn, demand for skills in technologies such as cloud, artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and robotics saw a surge in many cities across the UK.

Accenture found that cloud computing was the most in-demand tech skill over the past year, with 35,000 roles advertised for. This is more than likely due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and more organisations turning to cloud-based solutions to support their remote workforces and transform their businesses.

Meanwhile, AI job postings jumped by 73% in just six months, to approximately 6,800. Robotics roles were also up by almost two-thirds, to more than 3,000. Demand for blockchain and quantum computing skills jumped 50% and 46%, respectively.

Cambridge remains strong for AI, northern cities seeing a surge in robotics

Cambridge remains the strongest AI hub outside of London, home to more than 3,000 AI professionals. Nevertheless, demand for AI skills is surging in other areas at a greater pace. Job postings in Leeds doubled, while postings in Edinburgh and Manchester rose 96% and 92%, respectively, in the last six months of 2020.

Demand for robotics skills has jumped significantly in several northern UK cities since last July. In the traditional industrial strongholds of Liverpool, Leeds and Newcastle, demand for robotics skills has risen 115%, 253% and 450%, respectively.

“While the pandemic has taken a toll on the UK’s overall technology jobs market, certain tech skills still remain in great demand,” said Shaheen Sayed, Accenture’s Technology lead for the UK and Ireland.

“Businesses have been accelerating their cloud migrations quicker than anyone could have imagined and digitizing business processes to make the most of technology. As more businesses seek to hire cloud, AI and robotics talent, experienced professionals are learning new skills to keep on top of the changing technology landscape and enhance their marketability. Ensuring that UK businesses can access the right tech talent is critical not only for recovery from the pandemic but for future economic growth as well.”

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