By Althea Estrella Violeta/ Vanguar Daily
About 15 in 1,000 people are currently working for the tech industry in the UK — a figure that describes all too well how jobs related to technology are currently booming in the country. A Tech City UK report indicates that as much as 328,000 jobs are tech-related in London alone, and no less than 22 cities in the country have at least 7,000 jobs related to technology.
A first glance, the data that Tech City UK has presented shows that London is home to the most number of jobs related to the technology industry — but BBC’s analysis of the data says something to the contrary.
According to BBC’s report, if the same data is to be broken down per thousand workers, statistics show that only four in every 1,000 residents have tech-related jobs in the UK’s most populated city.
This statistic falls way behind Cambridge’s, which shows a figure of about 15 in 1,000 people. Oxford and Abingdon, on the other hand, are not far behind with 13 tech-related jobs in 1,000 people, along with Reading and Bracknell, which has 14 jobs for every 1,000 people. Cambridge, Oxford and Abingdon, and Reading and Bracknell are home to three of the most renowned universities for computing, engineering, and science in the UK.
Manchester is also among the cities with the most tech-related jobs with 14 in every 1,000 people working in the tech industry.
Ipswich also has an emerging tech economy, which is largely due to the fact that the BT Research division of the BT Group is headquartered here, enticing other firms to move bases to the same address in the process.
But while it seems as though the technology industry in the UK is thriving, the same could not be told of the country’s local tech industry as a whole. Over the years, a number of local companies in the country have almost — but not quite — made it big in the continuously growing global tech industry. Many tech companies have failed largely due to bad decisions made somewhere along the way, while others simply sold out before even making it to their big day.
Friends United, for example, started strong many years before Facebook even began. The platform helped classmates, neighbours, colleagues and even sports teams reconnect after years of losing contact with each other.
In 2005, ITV bought Friends United for £175m, expecting the platform to continue booming. But the company made a fatal mistake by opting to continue charging users for the use of the platform instead of relying on ad revenue alone.
Soon enough, Friends United’s popularity fell sharply. ITV sold the platform for a measly £25m in 2009 and Friends United has not recovered since. Today, however, with technology-related jobs booming in the country, startup companies in the UK have better chances of finding success than ever before — if only they would not give in to the seemingly ‘standard’ feeling of pressure to sell out the moment their initial funds start to run out.