It’s understandable that people, in any industry, would be conscious of the salary they earn and normal for us to compare our own salaries to those of our peers. Indeed, comparisons over gender, demographics and seniority have been even more prevalent in recent months as job markets have changed in light of the pandemic.

In the tech industry, where skills, stacks and specifics of the role can differ so vastly, it is difficult to know what salary you should be expecting, and it seems many techies are actually guilty of expecting a lot less than they are really worth.

Using our database of over 1,000 tech industry employees and employers we have analysed how much those in the industry think they should be paid for their role. We have then measured how this differs depending on their location and their gender to reveal discrepancies between how those in the tech industry value themselves and what is on offer.We have also analysed which tech skills, such as Java, Docker, GIT and more, will boost your wage by the most and which of these skills is experiencing a deficit in supply against demand in the jobs market- giving aspiring or training tech professionals the stack they need in order to guarantee them a job in the industry.

Gender wealth worth gap: It turns out that the gender pay gap is affecting more than bank balances

The issue of a gender pay gap is no secret, and (albeit very slowly) that gap is closing, with more women and men standing up against this inequality in the workplace.However, what has failed to be highlighted is the psychological effect this gender pay gap has had on women and how they value themselves.

Through an analysis of our user’s minimum expected salary we discovered that women value themselves £6k less than their male counterparts for the same roles.

The average minimum expected salary for women in tech was just £34,148 per year, compared to the men’s which was £40,809.

Scotland has the biggest expected salary gender gap of nearly £20k between male and female techiesAccording to our data, female techies in Scotland are willing to accept an average minimum salary that is £18,714 less than their male counterparts. The same issue is true for the South West, with a £14k difference, and the East Midlands, with a £11.9k difference in the genders’ expected salaries.

Conversely, women in the West Midlands actually expect MORE than men for the same roles, with their minimum expected salary being £37.2k, £462 more than the males!

Region Female Male Difference
1 Scotland £22,000 £40,714 £18,714
2 South West England £25,556 £39,933 £14,377
3 East Midlands £25,250 £37,217 £11,967
4 London £38,154 £47,039 £8,885
5 North West England £30,154 £38,366 £8,212
12 West Midlands £37,200 £36,738 -£462
6 Yorkshire and the Humber £33,200 £41,400 £8,200
7 Wales £32,800 £37,455 £4,655
8 East of England £36,800 £40,316 £3,516
9 South East England £41,444 £44,848 £3,404
10 Northern Ireland £27,250 £28,667 £1,417
11 North East England £34,947 £35,200 £253
12 West Midlands £37,200 £36,738 -£462

Women aren’t focusing on the right stack: More men have the lucrative tech skills than women

When it came to the tech skills that women had compared to men, it seems men have been building more of an arsenal of the most lucrative skills in their stack.Aside from React and Javascript. More men had experience with the ten highest paying skills in tech at the moment.

For Docker (the average salary for roles with this skill can be found below) 12% of the men in the study listed this skill on their profiles, compared to only 4.7% of women. A big difference can also be seen between males with AWS experience (15.23%) and females with this skill (6.04%).

North / South divide - Where you live can affect your self worth

It may come as no surprise that those working in tech expect to earn more in the South, and in particular the capital. This is due to a higher cost of living. However, surprisingly Yorkshire and the Humber and Scotland also made it into the top five regions where techies expect to earn the most.

At the top, and unsurprisingly so, is London. The techies in the UK’s capital expect to earn at least £45.6k as a minimum. It is estimated that the cost of living for a single person in London on average is £2,841 a month. The monthly take home after tax (but not including a pension contribution or student loan payments) from £45.6k is just £2,889, leaving just £48. Meaning this minimum expected salary is more about necessity than worth.

Yorkshire, however, came in fourth with the average expected salary of £39.5k which equates to £2,543 a month. The cost of living in Sheffield is £1,113 a month on average, leaving £1,430 spare - a lot more than in London.

At the other end of the scale is Northern Ireland, with an average expected salary of just £28.2k, the lowest in the UK.

UK regions by expected salary in the tech industry

Exeter techies price themselves at £75k MINIMUM

However, it is actually techies in Exeter that have the highest average minimum salary expectation of £75k. The top five also featured Dorset (£65k), Guildford (£59.2k), Sheffield (£54.5k) and Oxford (£53.5k).

It seems that tech professionals living in Canterbury have the lowest self worth, with an average minimum expected salary of just £22.5k in the city. This is followed closely by Northampton (£25.3), Blackburn (£26k), Liverpool (£26.1k) and, despite the football club now having an A-list celebrity owner, Wrexham (£26.3k).

UK cities with the highest average minimum salary expectation in the tech industry

Tech salary discrepancy: Tech talent are valuing themselves nearly £10k less than the average salary on offer for their role

In tech there seems to be a big issue with salary discrepancy, mainly employees expecting less than what is actually on offer for their role. When it comes to the professionals that undervalue themselves the most, it seems Engineering Management professionals are the most to blame. The average offered salary for this role is £69.6k, however, our users currently looking for or already in this role have a minimum expected salary of £44.7k, a massive £24.8k LESS than they are worth!

Similarly, Data Scientists are undervaluing themselves by £16k and DevOps professionals by £15k.Across the industry, techies are unanimously guilty of lowering their worth by an average of nearly £10k!

Tech job roles by highest salary Vs the minimum expected for those in the role

The most lucrative digital skills- and the gaps to fill in the tech industry

According to research from LinkedIn, 150 million new technology jobs will be created in the next five years; however, a 2020 report by the World Economic Forum found that 39% of the UK didn’t have the digital skills required to match this demand.

So, what skills are worth learning?

Our data has revealed which skills are likely to bump up your average salary so those working in tech or looking to obtain a job in the industry can prioritise what is in their stack.It turns out Docker should be at the top of a techy’s must-have list with the average salary for this skill being £58k. Second was GIT (£54.6k) and third was Java (£53.7k).

  • Docker

Docker is a set of platforms as a service (PaaS) products that use OS-level virtualization to deliver software in packages called containers. Docker can package an application and its dependencies in a virtual container that can run on any Linux, Windows, or macOS computer. This enables the application to run in a variety of locations, such as on-premises, in a public cloud, and/or in a private cloud.

Strongly used by DevOps Engineers, which are highly in demand at the moment and extremely hard to find. This is the main reason for a higher average salary offered, due to the scarcity of the role it's associated with.

  • GIT

Git is software for tracking changes in any set of files, usually used for coordinating work among programmers collaboratively developing source code during software development.

Similar to Docker, this is another skill often used by DevOps Engineers. A profession that is high in demand.

  • Java

Java is a high-level, class-based, object-oriented programming language that is designed to have as few implementation dependencies as possible.

Although considered a dated technology, it is well liked for being reliable and sturdy for large scale applications. The reason it could pay higher is probably due to it being predominantly used by larger corporations in legacy systems, which are not always easy.

But what about demand?

Through analysing the number of times tech skills appeared in job ads on the app, we are able to determine which are the most in demand, along with analysing our user base to see how many users currently have those skills - revealing oversaturation for some and a deficit for others.

Out of 1010 users analysed only 37% of them have the most desired skill in current applications, Javascript.

As for the most lucrative skill, Docker, only 11% of users possess this skill. With 180 jobs mentioning this skill as a requirement and only 113 having experience in it, this leaves a deficit of 67 in this skill, perhaps making it a priority to learn for those starting out in the industry.

Whereas with HTML5 there are only 169 jobs requiring this skill and 315 users that have it, meaning that these jobs may be more competitive than others.

The most desired techs to add to a stack at the moment

The 10 skills with the biggest opportunity for a job in tech right now

These are the techs with the most job mentions but don’t have enough jobseekers in the industry with experience to meet the demand:

  • AWS
  • Azure Stack
  • Kubernetes
  • Java
  • React
  • Jenkins
  • AngularJS
  • Terraform
  • C#
  • NoSQL

This is something for tech graduates to keep in mind to help them secure a job, there are not enough professionals with the above skills in their stack to meet the current demand, meaning learning and gaining experience in them will give entry level techies a competitive edge.

Job-seeking graduates with these skills

An analysis of the job-seeking users on our database with the current experience level of ‘graduate’ revealed that a very low percentage have the skills with the most job prospects and least competition. With no current users of graduate level having experience in Kubernetes, Jenkins or Terraform.

If you are looking for your next tech role, check out the Haystack app marketplace to access behind the scenes insights into your personalised tech landscape. Discover tech opportunities in the North East, Yorkshire, the North West and remote tech jobs.


We analysed 1010 of our users in order to determine minimum expected salary across genders, experience level and regions, as well as the number of those with tech skills.We also analysed the current job ads on our app in order to give the average salary for roles being offered, as well as which tech skills pay the most.

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