Gen Z offered doubled salary prospects through tech bootcamps

Skills offered by free government-backed bootcamps can lead to average salaries exceeding £70,000, two and half times the UK average, new research published has revealed. The findings from Beauhurst also reveal that roles in technology overall pay an average of 55% more the national average.

This comes as the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT) launches a drive to get more people to sign up to digital Skills Bootcamps in cloud computing, cybersecurity, software development and more.

The research, published by Barclays Eagle Labs and Beauhurst, and funded by DSIT’s Digital Growth Grant, shows that demand for technology talent surged in 2022 after a slump through the pandemic.

While tech job adverts decreased through the last year, demand for junior and entry-level roles persisted as technology companies struggled to recruit the early career talent they needed to match their growth ambitions.

The campaign runs alongside wider government efforts to reward work and drive growth – such as cutting National Insurance Contributions for millions of workers across the UK, which saves the average worker £450 a year.

Scale-up companies who have already demonstrated high potential and are in their ‘venture-stage’ dominated this demand, with the high-growth group recruiting almost one third (31.3%) of all digital jobs.

After establishing boosting scale-up growth and tackling the skills gap as two of DSIT’s three priorities for the year ahead, Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan said: “The appetite and potential British scale-ups have for growth is immense, we can no longer allow digital skills shortages to limit their ambition.

“Whether your personal ambition is to secure a comfy pay packet, land a creative role, solve the world’s most pressing challenges, or all three – the Skills Bootcamps we are promoting can help achieve your own career goals while being part of our superpower sector.”

Each bootcamp will see people take part in courses that last up to 16 weeks and will prepare them for high-tech careers, with each guaranteed an interview on completion. No technical knowledge or educational qualifications are required to secure a place. More information and details on how to apply are available here.

Digital skills is one of several areas where £550 million of funding is aiming to upskill 64000 people through bootcamps by 2024-2025.

Launched by DSIT, the campaign is focussed on boosting five priority skills to plug gaps in British tech talent – covering cloud computing, software development, data and analytics, cybersecurity, and web development.

The courses are available part-time and full-time across the country, with many providers offering flexibilities to make sure that everyone can take advantage.

Adie Nunn completed a web development bootcamp with School of Code, which was funded by the government, and now works at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence.

Before finding the bootcamp, Adie hopped between jobs through what she describes as a “spotty” career. This included working as an event promoter for a pub company and later as front of house for pop-up events. “I was interested in computers and tech from a young age. But, without a computer science degree – and having failed my highers in maths and computing at school – I never thought a career in tech would be possible.

“After jumping between roles and being made redundant in the pandemic, I gave the School of Code bootcamp a go and have never looked back. The technical and soft skills I developed on the course were crucial in securing my current role as a software engineer at BAE Systems Digital Intelligence where I get to work on fascinating, challenging projects.”

The Skills Bootcamp Adie completed was funded by the Department for Education (DfE) as part of the same scheme that is receiving a new marketing push. The School of Code is still offering Bootcamps as part of this.

The campaign has been supported by the Digital Skills Council, a group of major technology companies including Google and Amazon Web Services (AWS), as well as skills-focused organisations like Future Dot Now and more.

Phil Smith, Co-Chair of the Digital Skills Council and Chairman of IQE, said: “The Digital Skills Council welcomes this research which reinforces just how important the work and goals of the Council are in bringing together government and industry to improve the confidence, capability and leadership of the UK in Digital Skills.

“Digital Skills are vital throughout the economy and existing successful programs such as bootcamps play an important role in providing relevant and focused up-skilling and a proven path into high-value enjoyable jobs.”

Katie O’Donovan, Director of Government Affairs and Public Policy at Google and Digital Skills Council Member added: “We’re committed to helping people learn the skills they need to make the most of the country’s digital economy. That’s why since 2015 we’ve visited over 500 locations across the UK and helped more than 1 million people learn new valuable digital skills. Courses like the Google Cloud engineer bootcamps open up a world of opportunities for young people, helping them to kickstart successful careers in tech and increase their earning potential.

“We’re proud to be part of this important initiative, and we look forward to continuing this work with the government to equip more people with the skills needed to drive growth across the UK’s technology sector.”

Amanda Allan, Director of Barclays Eagle Labs, said: “The new Eagle Labs report outlines what we have known for some time, that the technology sector continues to grow, with highly paid opportunities available. Vacancies with such high median salaries shows there is clear potential for the tech sector to improve prospects for people right across the UK.

“We think it is important to continue to facilitate growth in the technology sector, which is why we offer one of the largest entrepreneurial networks in the UK. The Digital Growth Grant forms part of this work and we are immensely proud of what has been achieved so far with 13 growth programmes supporting over one thousand businesses.”

Tanuja Randery, EMEA Managing Director, Amazon Web Services said: “We want to make it easy for everyone to have access to the skills and training they need to grow their careers. AWS is investing hundreds of millions of pounds to provide a wide range of free cloud skills and AI training to people from all walks of life and all levels of knowledge.

“This includes homegrown UK programmes such as AWS re/Start, which prepares learners from unemployed and underemployed populations, who have little technology experience, for careers in the cloud – at no cost to the learner. Affordable and robust training programmes will be integral to creating a future pipeline of talent to ensure that the UK can continue to compete on a global tech stage.”

Hugh Milward, VP, External Affairs at Microsoft UK, said: “The Advanced Digital Skills communications campaign is a really welcome initiative. At Microsoft, we believe that digital skills will be critical to creating opportunities for all in the era of AI, and we are committed to helping bridge the skills gap.

“Our programs, such as the apprenticeship connector, DigiGirlz, and our commitment to supporting AI training for 1 million people in the UK, provide opportunities for individuals to learn about technology and careers in the field. We are excited to see the impact of this campaign on individuals seeking to get into digital careers.”

Andrew Roughan, CEO at Plexal, said: “Closing the skills gap in the UK’s tech sector is essential for us to remain a competitive nation and deliver on the government ambition of becoming a science and tech superpower by 2030.

“In order for our companies to achieve scale, they need the right people to grow with them. So, I’m pleased to see our young people receiving more opportunities to enter the tech sector outside of the university path. I’d also encourage businesses to ensure ongoing upskilling of their existing staff to create a continued talent pipeline that will be of ongoing benefit the UK economy.”