High demand for IT workers in Cambridge has pushed average tech salaries in the region up to some of the highest levels in the UK.

The median tech salary in Cambridge is £51,225, while across the UK it’s £39,000, according to data compiled by job search engine Adzuna and entrepreneur network Tech Nation.

Cambridge has one of the highest counts of tech vacancies in the country, with 26% of all available jobs coming from the sector.

Data scientists are the most in-demand role, with 107 vacancies listed across companies including Amazon, Microsoft, Premier IT and AstraZeneca.

This has pushed data scientist salaries up by 32.7% since 2019 to an average of £58,759, making it one of the highest-paid roles in the area.

Cambridge has long been a hub for tech companies and is currently home to 86 startups.

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Much of Cambridge’s success as a tech hub is owed to the University of Cambridge, which has helped to produce more European companies and founders than any other UK university.

Among them is Demis Hassabis, CEO and co-founder of DeepMind, an artificial intelligence (AI) company that was acquired by Google in 2014.

Four Cambridge-based startups have gone on to become unicorns – startups valued at more than $1bn. One of these is Darktrace, a cybersecurity company valued at over $2bn. A handful of other Cambridge-based startups are also on track to reach unicorn status.

Semiconductor company Arm, recently acquired by US GPU maker Nvidia for $40bn, is also headquartered in Cambridge.

Cambridge VC investment grows

In a sign that Cambridge continues to be an attractive place for high-growth tech startups, venture capital investment in the region reached $612.9m in 2019, up from $486.2m in 2018.

“Cambridge is, and always has been, a hub of innovation. Being part of the Cambridge Cluster, Europe’s largest technology cluster, is a great privilege and gives us access to an incredible pool of mentors, employees and investors who want to support us in our mission of bringing novel therapies to rare disease patients across the globe,” said Dr Tim Guilliams, CEO of Healx, a startup using AI to discover new treatments for rare diseases.

Dr George Windsor, head of insights, Tech Nation said: “Cambridge is one of the most attractive cities in the UK for tech employees thanks to a mix of exceptional companies, increasing demand for talent, and high salaries.”

Cambridge’s vibrant tech scene is likely to continue growing as the coronavirus pandemic causes companies to relocate outside of London.

Konstantin Kiselev, CEO and founder of AI startup Conundrum, said: “Though we also have an office in London, the change in circumstances as a result Covid-19 means we’re excited to explore the opportunities the city has to offer as we look to grow the company.”

This could lead to the creation of other tech hubs and the redistribution of investment and talent across the UK, said Bradley Coombes, co-founder of Collabz, an in-house tech recruitment company.

“It’s likely offices will now be used as a place to collaborate on a less frequent basis, so the selection criteria for a hub is undergoing a completely different process now,” he told Verdict. “Local councils are aware of this, hence regions like Middlesbrough investing heavily in attempting to be the next UK tech hotspot.”

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