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UK Employers Increased Their Search for Technology Workers in Q1, CompTIA Analysis Reveals

Employers in the United Kingdom advertised job openings for nearly 200,000 core information technology (IT) positions in Q1 2020, an analysis of labour market data by CompTIA, the leading trade association for the global technology industry, finds.

The Q1 figure for open core IT occupations represented a 17% increase over the Q4 2019 total and was 23% higher than the figure in Q1 2019. The IT job openings also accounted for nearly 10% of the estimated two million total job openings across the UK last quarter.

“Employer demand for IT hardware, software and support personnel was strong at the start of the new year,” said Amy Carrado, senior director for research and market intelligence at CompTIA.

“The full impact of the COVID-19 social distancing measures only began to be felt toward the end of the quarter.”

Programmers and software development professionals were the most sought-after workers in Q1. With 72,816 postings for open positions, they accounted for more than one-third of all tech job openings, according to CompTIA’s study of data from Burning Glass Technologies Labour Insights.

Other in-demand occupations included IT business analysts, architects and systems designers (30,749); IT user support technicians (23,750); IT and telecommunications professionals (18,133); web designers and development professionals (17,252); IT operations technicians (17,122); and IT project and programme managers (10,650).

Local demand for core IT professionals was categorized as much higher than average in work areas such as London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cambridge, and Reading; and higher than average in Bristol, Leeds, Basingstoke, Belfast, Bath, Leamington Spa, and Cheltenham. This demand assessment is based on an examination of IT job postings and local employment data compared to the UK overall over the last 12 months.

The analysis of job postings also identifies the baseline “soft” skills employers were seeking. Communication skills, problem solving, planning, creativity, and troubleshooting topped the list.

While not every job posting for an open IT position results in a new hire, the “help wanted” data provides an indication of where employers are directing their technology investments and resources.

The complete “CompTIA UK IT Employment Snapshot” is available at https://www.comptia.org/content/comptia-uk-it-employment-snapshot-2020-q1.