London lagging behind in race to attract digital talent

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As one of the global capitals of business, culture, and finance, London will unquestionably always have a strong lure to those seeking employment and opportunity from around the world. However within industries that are becoming increasingly niche whilst growing in demand and requiring a very unique skillset, London may in fact be losing out to other global commercial hubs.

Indeed, recent research conducted by the digital marketing agency Distinctly has found that within the digital field, London is far from the first choice for many international job-seekers with the skills for employment in such a technical trade.

A recent study of global tech hubs has revealed the cities set to attract the next generation of digital and tech talent.

Analysing 18 of the world’s cities and ranking them based on 5 key indicators from early career earning prospects to quality of life, the study conducted by digital marketing company

Distinctly finds many of the most renowned tech bases are pricing career starters out.

Sydney is ranked #1 with the highest average disposable income for digital workers at £1,657. Ranking 5th for the average number of holiday days and 5th out of all cities on the happiness index, the city scores highly across the board.

London ranks poorly overall, potentially losing young digital talent to more attractive hubs to live and work such as Amsterdam and Berlin. Ranking 16th out of the 18 tech hubs analysed, London scores highest on the average number of holidays for employees, but ranks low for average annual income for starter digital careers, cost of living, happiness index and disposable income – standing at just £324 per month.

Top five global digital hubs

The study ranking was calculated using the sum of each of the contributing indicators, giving the best performing city on average.

Perhaps surprisingly, Silicon Valley in San Francisco is ranked 15th – despite high potential wages, living costs and a lower score on the happiness index affect the ranking.

The top European global digital career hub is Amsterdam. As with Silicon Valley, it has a great infrastructure for investment and innovation, but it is also somewhere where people want to live.

Netflix and Uber choose Amsterdam as their European base for the city’s great work-life balance. Amsterdam regularly tops happiness surveys, with happiness found to be not only important for health, but proven to increase productivity and ultimately performance.

The findings of the study show that Tel Aviv is the city to watch. Ranked at 6th overall for happiness, 7th for average paid holiday and 9th overall for living costs, the tech hub – ‘Silicon Hadi’ – has attracted multinational companies such as Intel, Apple, Snapchat and Huawei.

Leading universities, links with the US market and technological developments from the defence industry have all led to an increase in security and computing startups.

Managing director of Distinctly, Tom Shurville, says: “A career in digital opens up opportunities to work in an exciting industry where you can build your skill set as you travel the world. We’re seeing a trend for graduates and those just beginning their digital careers wishing to combine travel experience with building a viable career.”

Full study findings can be found here