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Looking to Start a Career in Tech? 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider the North East

The North East of England is considered one of the most beautiful locations to live in the UK. With a thriving tech sector, strong transport links and a longstanding heritage, the region provides a great quality of life. If you're looking to start a tech career, then here are 5 reasons why you should consider the North East.

Looking to Start a Career in Tech? 5 Reasons Why You Should Consider the North East

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Tech Talent Engine

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Home to 2.6 million people, the North East of England is quickly becoming recognised as a thriving tech hub. With over 47,600 individuals employed in digital occupations, the region offers a diverse landscape for individuals seeking exciting career opportunities.

In recent years, Newcastle has become a hub for tech investment, skills opportunities and employment. According to data from Tech Nation, North East technology firms boast a turnover of £2bn, employing over 30,000 people in 3,500 businesses.

Combined with the region's lower average rental prices, it draws appeal to a range of individuals, including students, families, working professionals and more.

Whether you have finished university, you’re looking to relocate or you’re simply browsing the area, here are 5 reasons why you should consider the North East of England if you’re looking to start your career in tech.

1. Thriving tech community

The thriving tech community in the North East brings together students, business owners, investors, education providers and many other people involved in the region.

With a range of events, bootcamps and training courses, there are plenty of opportunities to network with others and develop skills. Additionally, cohort programmes such as Tech Talent Ready and Tech Talent Engine help to support entry-level careers in tech by bridging the gap between employers and candidates.

Even if you are a beginner, there are plenty of opportunities to learn, network with others and develop your skills in this sector.

Tech Talent Ready, a skills programme, offers industry-specific training opportunities to help people break into the tech industry. Run in collaboration with Sunderland Software City and North of Tyne Combined Authority, it partners with a range of organisations including NHSBSA, Mediaworks and more.

This ability to access learning materials on your doorstep is a great opportunity for people in the tech sector, as it gives you the ability to develop your skills quickly at a much faster rate than perhaps your peers. In a competitive environment that is facing a skills shortage, this is a great opportunity to progress in your career.

2. Leading employers

From Atom Bank to Aspire Solutions and Enigma Interactive, the region holds some of the world’s best innovators and forward-thinking organisations.

If you’re looking to get started as a web developer, you’ll benefit from leading organisations such as Cargo Creative, Layers Studio and Sage. These organisations prioritise work-life balance and lead the industry with cutting-edge technologies.

It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert in your chosen field, the North East welcomes individuals from all levels of expertise, giving you the flexibility to choose which employer resonates most with you and your goals. Home to over 71,000 businesses, there is room for everyone to grow.

Travis Scott, a Technology Consultant, moved to the North East in 2021 after spending 20 years in London.

Travis shares his unique perspective on the region:

I’ve found the community in the North East very favourable and accessible to a wide pool of people. If you want to succeed and advance your career whilst maintaining a good work-life balance, the North East is the place for it.

3. World-class universities

With access to five leading universities, including Northumbria, Newcastle, Durham, Sunderland and Teesside, the North East has a lot to offer for potential tech students. The city's gravitational pull is felt after graduation too, with more than a third of Newcastle’s students staying to work in the city after finishing their degrees.

From the world-class facilities at Newcastle University such as the £58 million 12,500 sqm Urban Sciences Building (USB) to Sunderland’s outstanding IT facilities, including the Goldman Technology Centre, the North East provides a springboard for students to immerse themselves in cutting-edge research and technology.

Additionally, both Durham and Newcastle Universities are part of the Russel Group, world-class, research-intensive universities. According to figures, between 2014 and 2020, both universities aided the economy by:

  • Created more than 6,300 jobs by spinouts.
  • Employ more than 11,000 staff.

4. Strong work-life balance

It’s well recognised that the North East is viewed as one of the most beautiful places to live and work in the UK. According to statistics, Newcastle ranks highly in terms of quality of life, ranking joint fourth with other major cities such as Cardiff, Nottingham, Portsmouth and Sheffield.

In combination with the average regional house prices being 73% lower than London and 54% lower than South East England, it has created an attractive environment for both professionals seeking a fast-paced life and those enjoying a slower-paced lifestyle.

Whether you enjoy being outdoors or amongst the metropolitan lifestyle, the North East provides a perfect haven for all types of individuals.
One study found that people living in the North are the happiest in England, whereas those living in London are the least satisfied with their surroundings.

Natalie Collins, CEO of Own My Life, a women's liberation collective, continues to praise the North East.

In 2020, we relocated to Sunderland from Essex, which also involved moving the charity I founded, Own My Life, to the north east. While we have left behind the ease of a very short train ride to London, we have gained so much!

We get to live in beautiful city by the sea, full of kind and friendly people, marvellous architecture and a whole host of innovative and exciting projects. Our quality of life is improved, our charity has grown from strength to strength, and the north east provides a magnificent, nurturing place to do that.

5. Opportunity to grow

The North East of England is home to many successful businesses and entrepreneurs. The data supports this statement, with the latest release of the ONS business demography showing many positive statistics for the region.

According to the report, the proportion of high growth businesses in the region was slightly higher than the national average for the second year in a row. This shows that the North East competes with many world-leading organisations in terms of rapidly scaling businesses.

What is it about the North East that attracts growth?

One of the reasons many businesses in the North East become successful is due to the favourable market the region offers. Whether it’s access to support programmes and initiatives, the large talent pool of candidates and the strong work-life balance, the North East creates an environment conducive to business growth and success.

As a result of organisational growth, it provides incentives for employees to upskill and progress within the business, allowing them to experience successive promotions along their career trajectory.

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