Edinburgh is third in the UK in terms of locally available tech talent, according to a survey by a leading business consultancy.

Scotland’s capital comes after London and Manchester respectively for its pool of digital professionals, per Accenture’s UK Tech Talent Tracker.

Analysis of LinkedIn’s Professional Network data found that Edinburgh has the third largest pool of digital professionals (10,543) after London (155,099) and Manchester (11,035) with innovations in data and robotics helping the city toward its aspiration to become the ‘Data Capital of Europe’.

Glasgow came in seventh place ahead of Brighton, Newcastle, Cardiff and Liverpool, with a talent pool of 6,361. It also came out as the top city for producing the highest number of digital technology students and graduates for computer science and mathematics.

However, the Tech Talent Tracker also highlighted the need for Scottish cities to focus on sustaining a competitive professional environment that attracts new talent.

In particular, it finds that London accounts for 37% of all UK tech professionals (155,000) with skills in emerging technologies such as data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, extended reality and quantum computing, as well as 63,000 advertised jobs in the sector. This is more than the combined number of similar jobs in ten other UK cities, including Edinburgh, Manchester, Bristol and Liverpool.

Michelle Hawkins, Joint Regional Managing Director for Accenture in Scotland, said: “Tech skills outside of London are often overlooked – both how much there is and how fundamental they are for business growth. So many organisations are looking to expand throughout the UK – and availability of talent is one of the biggest factors in that. 

“Edinburgh is steadily building its digital muscle, recently announcing five new innovation hubs as part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Deal. In Glasgow, the likes of JP Morgan, BBC, Scottish Power and Barclays are some of the companies who have chosen Glasgow for digital centres of excellence with plans to collectively establish a major campus on the River Clyde.

“The Tech Talent Tracker shows the potential dangers to Scottish digital aspirations with the concentration of technology professionals in London, where tech salaries are on average 10% higher than other roles. But it also shows the potential for businesses to bring more opportunities to people in Edinburgh and Glasgow by shifting the centre of gravity for tech talent.”