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Key statistics:

  • there are 6,000 businesses in the Scottish IT & Telecoms industry – 90% of which are IT companies and 10% Telecoms
  • just under 99% of companies are services businesses rather than manufacturing
  • 62% of firms are software related consulting
  • 92% of firms are micro-businesses, 1% of firms employ 200 people or more
  • 105,000 people work in IT & Telecoms, which is 4% of the Scottish workforce
  • of the 105,000, 60,000 work in the IT & Telecoms industry and a further 45,000 work as IT or Telecoms professionals in other industries in Scotland
  • the largest employers of IT and Telecoms professionals, outside of the IT & Telecoms industry, are: Financial services; Public Administration, Education and Health; and Manufacturing

 Workforce profile:

  • 21% of IT & Telecoms professionals are female
  • 14% of the workforce is aged 16-29 years, 31% 30-39 years, 35% 40-49 years and 21% aged 50 plus
  • the sector, generally, favours experienced workers from other sectors over young recruits from the education system.
  • 98% of the workforce identified themselves as ‘White’, compared to 97% of all occupations in Scotland
  • 8% of the workforce have a disability
  • The IT & Telecoms workforce in Scotland is highly qualified:
  • 60% of IT & Telecoms professionals in Scotland hold SCQF Level 7 or higher qualification, compared to 39% of the Scottish workforce
  • 1% of IT & Telecoms professionals are not qualified to SCQF Level 5, compared to 11% for the Scottish workforce
  • 67% of IT professionals are qualified at SCQF Level 7 or higher, compared to only 12% of Telecoms professionals
  • 56% of IT & Telecoms companies had funded or arranged off-the-job training in the last year

The number of people employed in IT professional occupations in Scotland has grown by 37% since the early 1990s. 33% of IT & Telecoms professionals are employed as ICT Managers or IT strategy and planning professionals. A further 28% are employed as Software professionals. There have been decreases in employment in database and engineering roles. The numbers employed in ICT manager, IT strategy & planning and Software professional roles are predicted to grow, compared with the numbers in the lower skilled roles will are predicted to continue to decrease.

On average, there is a need for 10,400 new entrants into IT & Telecoms occupations per year in Scotland.

The growth of the IT & Telecoms sector in Scotland is predicted to continue. Over the next ten years, employment in IT is predicted to grow at a rate of 1.8% per annum, but Telecoms is only expected to increase by 0.3% per annum. There is predicted to be a growth rate of 0.2% for all sectors in Scotland. Combined the IT and Telecoms industry has a growth of 1.4% per annum.

In the whole of Scotland, 39% businesses report skills gaps. In the future, there will be greater emphasis on higher skills levels.

Average gross weekly earnings for those working in the Scottish IT & Telecoms sector is £790, compared to £390 for all sectors.

Source: Technology Counts Scotland: IT & Telecoms Insights 2008