London might be calling, but despite the rich seam of opportunities to mine in this capital of both England and the United Kingdom, it’s not a particularly easy time to carve out a career here. With a long history as one of the world’s top financial capitals, this is a costly place to live.The city tied for 17th place with Helsinki, a notoriously expensive location, in the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Worldwide Cost of Living index in 2021.
The index is compiled by comparing prices in US dollars for goods and services in 173 global cities. While this is just one indication that London is a pricey place to live and work, there are plenty of others.
A 2019 survey from SpareRoom found that 33% of people aged 20 to 30 living in the city didn’t have access to a living room. Rental costs are rocketing, says property website Rightmove: in July this year, average monthly rent in London reached an all-time high of £2,257, or 11.8% higher than last year.
Then there’s inflation and the cost of goods and services to contend with. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) suggests that web-scraped supermarket data for 30 everyday grocery items indicates that the lowest-priced items have gone up by 17% in the 12 months to September 2022.
While London has long been hailed as a mecca for talent, thanks to the sheer scale of opportunities on offer plus its unrivalled access to culture and nightlife, other factors beyond the price of milk, bread, and rent are now clamouring for attention. Brexit, in particular, has reduced the size of the opportunity here with about 44% of UK-based financial services firms moving or planning to move some of their operations or staff to the EU, according to EY.
Rising layoffs among tech companies, political uncertainty — the UK is on its fifth prime minister in just six years — and a looming recession are not helping either. The ONS reported that Britain’s economy shrank in the three months to September, ushering in what is expected to be the beginning of a recession.
But despite all that, there are still plenty of opportunities. The key for workers is to focus on areas of stable growth, and careers within those sectors. Here are three sectors with high growth potential for 2023.
Following on from the UK’s initial National Cyber Security Strategy 2016 to 2021, the government launched the National Cyber Strategy 2022, which sets out a five-pillar approach to protecting and promoting the U.K.’s interests in cyberspace. The plan aims to shape its cyber sector so that it can stay ahead of adversaries, strengthen its abilities, and influence and shape tomorrow’s technologies so they are safe, secure, and open.
As a result, the U.K. is developing domain excellence in cybersecurity with companies such as BAE Systems, Clearswift, Sophos, and PwC leading the field. As we move towards an increasing level of digitization, digital security becomes increasingly important to secure our data in the first instance, and also protect it from attack.
Cybersecurity jobs are particularly prevalent in the financial and fintech sectors, but are becoming more and more common across the workforce to secure sensitive data in healthcare and education.
This essential sector doesn’t look like it is going anywhere. If you’re looking to build your career further in this sector, Citi is seeking a Head of Network Security Services in London. You’ll have end-to-end responsibilities for engineering and operations of network security services and will ensure a service-oriented organization that meets the business needs of a digital bank.
The big boom in cloud adoption was driven by the pandemic: In April 2020, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella said, “We’ve seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” That rapid pace has only continued as businesses first introduced remote working and now hybrid and flexible options.
As a result, this is a great area for career growth. A recent report from Public First and AWS found that digital technology could grow the UK economy by over £413 billion by 2030, which is more than twice the annual output of the UK’s manufacturing sector (£183 billion). The research also revealed that cloud computing will play an integral role in underpinning the technology stack that will enable the UK’s digital future.
Interesting jobs at companies large and small are available. Google has a Cloud Security Consultant role in its Google Cloud Professional Services division on offer in London, for example. You’ll provide advice and guidance to customers adopting Google Cloud Platform services, and work with them to design and develop cloud security architectures and solutions.
Artificial Intelligence (AI)
A recent study from software analytics company, SAS, assessed the AI-readiness of London’s boroughs, discovering that Camden, Westminster, and Hackney came in the top three places. The study looked at the number of AI-related jobs, R&D spend, GDP, business growth, and the number of relevant academic courses available within each area. In 2021, the city was home to 1,300 AI companies, or 65% of the entire UK AI industry ecosystem, with companies including Brainpool.ai, iTransition and Signal AI.
The government wants to make the UK a “global AI superpower” and aims to do that with its 10-year National AI Strategy, which will place a wider focus on AI and data science skills, recognizing how these can be used to increase resilience, productivity, growth, and innovation across both the private and public sectors.
If you’re looking for an AI or machine learning role in London right now, you’re in luck as any number of companies are hiring. For example, check out Amazon EU SARL which is seeking a Machine Learning Scientist. You’ll be building state-of-the-art machine learning systems for the most complex, and fastest growing transportation network in the world and focus on the development and research of machine learning solutions and algorithms for core planning systems.
For hundreds of jobs in AI, cloud and cybersecurity all across Europe, check out the House of Talent Job Board
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