SAS and Tech Partnership research reveals soaring demand for big data skills in the UK


Having worked in analytics for over 25 years, I’ve never really felt part of the ‘cool gang’. However that’s changing and all of a sudden, at long last, it is "chic to be geek!"

Research published by SAS UK and the Tech Partnership reveals that from 2013 to 2020, the big data workforce in the United Kingdom is expected to grow by around 346,000, pushing the rate of job growth in big data up to 160 percent.

There'll be around 56,000 job opportunities a year in 2020 for big data professionals. However, our research also shows that there are already serious skills shortages in jobs requiring big data skills, with recruitment companies reporting that three quarters (77 precent) of positions were either "very" or "fairly" difficult to fill. The spread of big data roles advertised shows that between 2012 and 2013, 96 percent of all advertised big data positions were in England and that six in 10 (63 percent) were based in London.


Data for the rest of the UK regions reports showed that:

  • 12 percent of big data jobs were based in the South East.
  • 5 percent were based in the North West.
  • 4 percent were based in Yorkshire.
  • 4 percent were based in the South West.
  • 3 percent were based in Scotland.
  • Wales and Northern Ireland together accounted for just 1 percent.

Mark Wilkinson, Managing Director, SAS UK & Ireland, said: "Big data is on the cusp of going mainstream as the Internet of Things takes hold, and government, businesses and individuals look to use information to make better and faster decisions. We believe that big data is the ‘new oil’ that will power the information economy - and big data analytics will refine this new oil so valuable insights can be extracted that inform business decision-making. SAS has already invested more than £100 million in the UK to support universities and develop the next generation of big data professionals. This year we took it even further offering a free university edition of our software to all students - backed by online training and community support." Click here to read more about the SAS UK Academic programme.

Big Data Analytics ReportTech Partnership Director, Karen Price, said: "This report confirms that big data is a highly significant growth area for the UK economy, yet there is a real shortage of skilled people coming into the industry. With the number of available jobs in big data increasing every year, it’s vital that we attract new talent into the industry to ensure that businesses have the skilled staff they need to grow and be successful. The Tech Partnership recognises that investment in education and training opportunities is vital to securing a strong talent pipeline for the digital economy, and it is fantastic to see that SAS are making this commitment to develop skills in the industry."

Download the full big data jobs report.


About Author

Dr. Laurie Miles

Director, Global Cloud Analytics

Laurie Miles is a Global Director of Cloud Analytics, providing analytical advice and thought leadership globally across all industry verticals. He brings over 25 years of real-world analytics experience to the role. After joining SAS in 1996, Laurie was a consultant delivering analysis focussed projects to organisations from a variety of industry sectors including financial services, telecommunications, retail and utilities. He became SAS UK’s Head of Retail Banking Technology in 2000. Laurie was later appointed Head of Analytics for SAS UK & Ireland in 2008, working with some of the UK’s largest organisations providing strategic advice and forming industry best practice. In this role Laurie also pioneered the development of the SAS Analytics-as-a-Service solution, “SAS Results”. In January 2015 was appointed to lead this globally as part of the SAS Cloud Analytics proposition. Laurie holds a BSc in Econometrics, an MSc in Game Theory and a PhD in Number Theory.

1 Comment

  1. This is precisely why I started my new company/service, You can read about it at:

    However, I don't think the problem is UK specific. I think it affects all countries and all levels of analytics.


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