Scotland: A dynamic software & technology hub

Do you want to work in a thriving and vibrant software sector? Find it in here in Scotland

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Did you know?

  • Over 96,000 highly skilled are working in digital technology roles
  • Scotland’s digital technology sector is forecast to grow by 38% by 2024
  • Edinburgh was recently named the UK’s top city for start-ups and attracts more foreign investment than any other tech cluster in UK, outside London.

Talent

Scotland’s workforce is internationally recognised as one of the best trained, most reliable and cost competitive labour forces in the world. So why not join the software and technology innovation in Scotland?

The sector spans software development and IT services to digital agencies, games development and telecommunications. Scotland has over 9,400 software companies that develop products and services for a wide range of end markets from banking and insurance to renewables and biotechnology.

Scotland produces more than 21,000 university and college graduates a year in IT, engineering, maths and the sciences, including highly specialised software and computer science subjects. The University of Edinburgh’s School of Informatics is a world-leader in computing science research and teaching, including one of the UK’s biggest research groups in quantum software

Employers

Software development can be carried out in Scotland at a lower cost than many other European and UK locations. There is a wealth of software opportunities in financial services too. Scotland is home to large multinationals and home-grown innovators including:

  • Amazon Development Centre Scotland – ecommerce, cloud computing and AI
  • User Testing – on-demand human insights to understand customer needs
  • HP and Dell – commercial and consumer software, hardware and services
  • Cisco – networking, security and cloud technology
  • Oracle – corporate software, hardware and cloud computing
  • IBM – cloud software, artificial intelligence, information technology and services
  • Capgemini consulting, technology services and digital transformation.
  • JP Morgan – financial services software and solutions
  • Atos – cybersecurity, big data and digital transformation
  • Skyscanner – travel metasearch engine
  • Waracle – mobile app design and development
  • Rockstar North – video games development
  • Craneware – healthcare billing software

Tech person looking at monitor

History of innovation & invention

Scotland has a long tradition of innovation including the telephone and television which were fundamental to the evolution of digital technology, which still remains as strong today.

The world’s first commercially available bionic hand was developed in Scotland in 2007 and Scotland was an early pioneer of computing operating systems, artificial intelligence, robotics, programming languages and computer science.

More recent firsts include the world’s first degrees in computer games and ethical hacking.

On the circuit

Key networks and projects for Scotland’s software and digital tech sectors include:

  • Turing Fest, launched in Edinburgh in 2011, is one of Europe's fastest-growing cross-functional tech conferences, covering sectors including software development and data science.
  • Engage Invest Exploit is a year-round investor readiness programme for tech entrepreneurs. Since 2008, it has helped more than 500 start-up and scale-up companies who have gone on to raise more than £750m in investment.
  • Scotland Fintech Festival is an annual festival of ideas and innovation for the fintech sector.
  • ScotlandIS is the trade body for Scotland’s digital economy. Its members represent sectors including software, IT, telecoms and digital media.
  • CodeClan is Scotland’s first accredited digital skills academy that runs acclaimed intensive coding courses
  • CodeBase, with sites in Edinburgh, Stirling and Aberdeen, is the largest technology incubator in the UK. Other incubators include Techcube, Elevator and the Bayes Centre, the University of Edinburgh’s innovation hub for data science and artificial intelligence.
  • The Data Lab – Scotland's innovation centre for data and AI – and CENSIS, the Centre of Excellence for sensing, imaging and Internet of Things technologies – are two of eight national innovation centres in Scotland that help accelerate technological advances.
  • Glasgow School of Art’s School of Simulation and Visualisation explores imaginative and novel uses of advanced 3D digital visualisation and interaction technologies.

Quality of Life

If you are thinking about relocating to Scotland,  we are one of the best connected places anywhere in Europe. Our friendly communities offer an exceptional quality of life, thriving and competitive markets with lots of opportunities to make Scotland a fairer and better place to live and work for everyone. Scotland is a land of great natural beauty and strong heritage and our warmth and generosity are world-renowned.

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