How does the UK’s IT industry compare to others around the world?
In the UK we consider ourselves pretty advanced – we have the latest mobile phones, fibre optic broadband delivering download speeds of up to 100MB, an uncensored Internet, smartphones, tablets, 3D televisions; and we can do everything online, from shopping to buying a car to paying bills and watching our favourite shows.
As of this summer, mobile networks have promised data speeds of around 40MB, which is far in excess of the average broadband speed. All of this, and a whole lot more, is underpinned by a mind-blowing technology infrastructure. There’s no denying that the UK has an excellent technology industry, but those looking for IT jobs will want to know just how we fare when compared to other countries.
Firstly, it’s encouraging to know that of globalindex.com’s comparison of 66 countries, where it measured the country’s capability of supporting a strong technology production sector, the UK ranks a respectable fifth, and we’d probably expect to be beaten by America anyway, which ranked in first place.
Indeed, the top three were quite unsurprising. Number two went to Finland, which may not spring to mind immediately when thinking of technology but the nation is home to Nokia, a global communications powerhouse with perhaps the strongest patent portfolio in the world.
This sort of prestige doesn’t happen in just any country.
Singapore took third place, and with the rapid advancements taking place in Asia, it’s no surprise. Maybe more surprising is that Sweden took fourth place. Most encouraging, though, is that the UK achieved a score very close to these nations – 68.1 overall, while Sweden scored 69.4, Singapore 69.8, Finland 72.0, and America 80.5. So the great USA may be quite secure in its placement for now, but certainly the following four places are there for the taking.
More encouraging still is that the UK actually usurped other countries in some areas. For instance, we scored 93.2 in business environment, while Sweden and Singapore scored 90.1 and 91.0 respectively; Finland scored 71.0 in IT infrastructure while the UK got 74.0; in human capital the UK lost only to America, beating the other three nations quite comfortably.
The score of 88.5 in legal environment is higher than Singapore’s 81.5 and Sweden’s 85.0, and not far behind the 89.5 and 92.0 of Finland and America respectively. In support for IT industry development, the UK scored higher than Finland but lower than the other three countries. In fact, the only category the UK fared lower than the four nations above was R&D environment, where the relatively poor 46.7 was a full 8.2 points behind the nearest competitor of Sweden.
When it comes to careers, those wanting to work in IT could do much worse than the UK. Anyone looking for infrastructure jobs will be pleased to know that of the top five ranking countries, the only better are Sweden and America. Better still, with our current ranking of fifth place being only 1.7 points away from third place, and 1.9 points from second place, the UK could find itself in an even better position in a few short years.
There is no guarantee of course, considering the extremely rapid pace that technology is advancing all around the world, but with the government’s commitment to technological development and IT infrastructure, and our own recent advances in broadband speeds, mobile data speeds and the other behind-the-scenes activities, we may have already accrued a few new points in infrastructure and business environment alone.
Ultimately, then, when Britons think the UK has an excellent technology service, they’re right: it does. And with more people learning technology and securing employment in IT, the situation can only get better.