Wales may be better known for its coal and steel industries, but today they are leading the tech boom. Cardiff and Swansea have been named as two of the fastest growing tech cities, and here’s why:
With four major universities across the region, Wales are churning out a steady flow of graduates, keen to utilise their degrees in the tech sector. The teaching of computer science at Swansea University is of such high quality that the degree ranks 22nd in the country. IT graduates are highly sought after and there are plenty of career opportunities in IT for them in the industry due to their well-rounded study of both the theoretical and practical aspects. This combined knowledge and experience makes IT graduates a highly valuable part of any business.
Wales recently introduced annual funding of £10 million in government investment, to support a new ‘Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult’. The programme is based in Cardiff and will enable faster connectivity, meeting the growing demands of the region.
As well as receiving government funding, Wales are investing in their metro system, which will only further enable the tech boom as commuting in and out of the centres is made easier. Additionally, their connections to cities such as Bristol and London make travelling easier for those in roles that require regular travel.
Not only did the Welsh Government invest in infrastructure and technology, they gave a loan of £400k to SMEs. This lead to new job openings and enabled small businesses to invest in highly skilled staff.
With the average house price coming in well-below that of London, Wales is certainly more affordable than the UK capital; despite the recent increase in value. Wales has something to cater to all tastes. There are many sights, from the Gower Penninula to the Brecon Beacons and a wide offering of activities such as marathons, rugby and cricket. This, along with a great nightlife, makes Wales a desirable place to live as well as work.
Wales are becoming increasingly accommodating for those working in tech, by creating workspaces designed specifically for the industry. Spaces such as Tramshed, based in Cardiff, are well suited for startup companies (of which there are 103 in Cardiff and Swansea alone), due to the flexibility.
Tech City’s recent report showed growth in tech across the UK, suggesting it may well be Europe’s digital capital, with London at the centre of it all. However, with Wales’ rapid development, there is no reason techies shouldn’t be choosing Wales over the capital as a new base.