jobs in cardiff and swansea: 6 reasons to be a techie in south wales

This year's Tech City‘s Tech Nation report highlighted the growth of tech and digital across the UK and demonstrated the country's claim to be Europe’s digital capital. It highlighted Cardiff and Swansea as attractive cities for techies to work outside London and it's easy to see why they would consider South Wales over the capital.

Cardiff vs Swansea: where's best to work?

The Welsh economy may have been built on the traditional industries of coal and steel but Cardiff and Swansea are creating impressive digital tech clusters to rival those in nearby Bristol. The booming digital tech sector is thanks to robust infrastructure, tech courses offered by institutes like Cardiff University and Swansea University and a competitive cost of living. 

Cardiff and Swansea snapshot:

17,471 digital jobs
103 startup births
£43,459 average advertised digital spend

Young and entrepreneurial spirit 
The region is home to four major universities: Cardiff University, the University of South Wales, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Swansea University. These universities are providing a steady flow of IT-literate graduates to the workforce.  

The computer science degree at Swansea University ranks 22nd in the country and Cardiff University has an active computer society. Students are sought after by local employers as they have the theory behind the computer programmes that have such a huge impact on almost every aspect of our lives.

Not only do students study the theory of software and software systems, they also learn how to design, develop, and apply such technologies, becoming top-class problem solvers in the process. 

Cardiff University’s National Software Academy is producing work-ready software engineering graduates. The University of South Wales, in collaboration with Innovation Point, has launched the National Cyber Security Academy to educate highly-skilled cyber security graduates for the future.

The Alacrity Foundation is nurturing the next generation of entrepreneurs. Meanwhile, Innovation Point helps to drive growth and Cardiff Start, Wales’s largest startup community, connects entrepreneurs.

Funding for the future 
In 2016, the UK Government announced an annual £10 million of Government support until 2020/21 for a new Compound Semiconductor Applications Catapult based in Cardiff.
The Welsh Government’s ‘Superfast’ programme offers connection to next-generation broadband, with connectivity spreading at a pace across Wales. The £1.28 billion Cardiff Capital Region City Deal plans include a world-class metro system and a series of measures aiming to drive digital innovation across South East Wales.

The Swansea Bay City Region’s £500 million deal aims to transform the region into a digital super-hub building on the strengths of the local University and Tidal Lagoon. Moreover the Development Bank of Wales, due to launch this year, will provide more than £1 billion of investment support to Welsh business.

The good life 
The area obtained a life satisfaction rating of 7.56. The average house price comes in at £185,639, under the UK average and for those who already purchased property in the area have seen them increase in value. With cultural sights, the sea at Cardiff Bay, great sports, a strong music scene and an exciting nightlife, the Welsh capital is one of the UK’s top destinations. 

Sports mad cities 
The Welsh are passionate people and the same applies to their love of sport. Cardiff is home to Cardiff City FC, the Welsh rugby team and has hosted England cricket matches. There are plenty of activities on offer after a long week at work with 10k runs, marathons and even a roller derby for techie sporting enthusiasts.

As for Swansea, in 2011, Swansea became the first Welsh club to play in the Premier League. The Swans are now an established top flight team who play attractive passing football and who are constantly growing in global popularity.

Opportunities - noteable workspaces and startups 

Techhub Swansea creates spaces around the world for tech entrepreneurs to meet, work, learn and collaborate, and runs a load of great events, advice sessions and more.

Tramshed (Cardiff) has created a space designed to promote collaboration between some of the finest creative businesses in Wales, focused on providing an innovative platform for a successful and supportive co-working community. 

Tech indycube provides co-working office space all over Wales with many new sites opening.
Notable companies in the area include the admiral group and GE aircraft engine services.

In November 2016 it was announced that AMPLYFI - a startup that specialises in mining and interpreting data from the Deep Web using artificial intelligence - was to create 40 new jobs in Cardiff using a a £400,000 Welsh Government loan for SMEs. It allowed AMPLYFI to take on more highly skilled staff to support and refine its business intelligence platform. WEALTHIFY is also based in the area.

Location, location, location

Cardiff and Swansea are perfectly placed to explore the rest of the country. Great transport links, geographical proximity to both leisure and tourism destinations, such as Barry Island and Pembrokeshire, and natural beauty spots, like the Brecon Beacons, make Cardiff the ideal hub from which to explore. South Wales also has excellent rail and road connections to Bristol and London, making it an ideal location for tech workers from software developers, and project managers to heads of engineering.

To find out more about working within the tech industry within South Wales, Randstad Technologies located in nearby Bristol can help.

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