Scotland's software talent and expertise
Scotland has the skills that your tech company needs, thanks to our educated workforce, highly ranked universities and innovative research facilities.
Scotland has a wealth of technology talent, with over 84,000 people employed in the digital technology sector.
Scotland’s internationally-renowned universities produce thousands of highly skilled graduates every year. The talent pool has been enhanced by the globally significant companies operating here, including:
- Hewlett Packard
- BAE Systems
- JP Morgan
- Morgan Stanley
“As an emerging technology, LiFi requires specific conditions to flourish. Given the renowned strengths of its universities in engineering and technology, Scotland has offered pureLiFi a supportive environment in which to operate and grow.”
- Professor Harald Haas, chief scientific officer, pureLiFi
Excellence in education
Scotland has more world-class universities per head of population than any other country except Luxembourg, with five universities in the top 200 in the world.
We also have the highest educational attainment of any part of the UK, with over 50% of the working population having undergone further education.
Scotland produces more than 70,000 graduates each year, with approximately 5,000 in ICT disciplines and another 10,000 with a wider maths, engineering and science background.
We're especially skilled in computer science - five of our universities have been ranked in the top 20 UK universities for computer science, with St Andrew's University being rated number one. (Source: Guardian league table, 2017)
Scotland’s higher education institutions offer courses that produce graduates with the skills that tech companies need, including:
- Edinburgh Napier University and ScotlandIS have developed the e-Placement Scotland programme, which matches firms in the technology sector with students to address skills needs
- CodeClan (Digital Skills Academy), which supports the development of coding skills for digital businesses
- The University of Strathclyde Digital Academy - BSc and Master’s degree courses that deliver graduates with digital skills
- Abertay University is the first university in the UK to offer a Master’s degree programme in Ethical Hacking, which teaches students how to think like a hacker so they understand security issues and concerns
- Heriot-Watt and Glasgow University - Master’s degree courses in Data Science
- The University of Dundee - a Master’s degree course in Data Science and a related Master’s degree in Reasoning Analytics
- University of Stirling - Master’s degree in Big Data
- University of Aberdeen - MSc in Information Systems & Data Management
- University of Edinburgh - trains PhD students at their Centre of Doctoral Training in Data Science
Sensors and sensor systems
- The Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh have jointly developed a Master’s degree in Sensor and Imaging Systems
Digital health and care
- Glasgow Caledonian University – MSc in Digital Health Technologies
Scotland’s big on big data
Data science research facilities
In addition to educational excellence, Scotland is home to specialised data science research facilities, including:
- The University of Edinburgh’s Department of Informatics, the top computing science department in the UK, with the largest concentration of internationally significant informatics research in the UK (Source: REF 2014)
- Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre, the UK’s largest supercomputing centre, which runs the UK’s principal supercomputing and research data facilities
- Farr @ Scotland, which specialises in medical research data sharing
- The Administrative Data Research Network, which helps researchers gain access to de-identified administrative data
- The Roslyn Institute, a genomics data facility
- The Science & Technology Facilities Council/University of Edinburgh’s Higgs Centre for Innovation, a centre for Earth observation data
- The Scottish Funding Council Innovation Centres in data science (The Data Lab) and digital healthcare (Digital Health & Care Institute)
- The Alan Turing Institute, a joint venture between the University of Edinburgh and the UK’s other principal data science universities (Oxford, Cambridge, UCL and Warwick)
"Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) has been engaged in Scotland since the early 80s with several long-standing customers. Scotland is thus an important market for us and at TCS we are proud of our choice to invest, grow and create jobs in the country.
"Scotland offers global IT services firms like TCS a powerful combination of highly skilled talent, pro-growth regulation and a great environment in which to do business. We have also had consistent support from Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Development International in our growth agenda."
- Gopalan Rajagopalan, head of UK Sales for TCS Scotland
Further skills support in Scotland
ScotGrad is a free placement service that connects you to skilled recent graduates who are eager to put their talents and qualifications to work. ScotGrad will stimulate applications to your vacancy by engaging with the graduate community, giving you a strong application pool to select from.
Get support from ScotGrad
Modern Apprenticeships allow you bring new talent into your company while also helping an apprentice get an industry-recognised qualification. You pay their wages and Skills Development Scotland helps pay for the training.
Find out more about Modern Apprenticeships
TalentScotland helps Scottish-based companies attract talent for hard-to-find roles from across the UK, Europe and the rest of the world.
Get support from TalentScotland
We can help you find people with the skills that you need for your tech project. Want to find out more?
How we support tech companies in Scotland