A guide to the Belfast tech hub

More than 25 per cent of all available jobs in Belfast are tech related compared to just 10 per cent in 2018

Northern Ireland’s capital city is on the up and is now a vibrant, thriving city. Where once you might have associated Belfast and the wider region with its troubled past, times have changed. Belfast is a modern urban centre with much to offer those looking for a stellar career.

It sits at the centre of Northern Ireland’s tech scene, and more than 25 per cent of all available jobs in the city are tech related compared to just 10 per cent in 2018. According to a report by the Digital Economy Council, the tech sector now accounts for more than one in seven jobs in the region. The data also shows that 15 per cent of new jobs are in tech, with a 12.4 per cent month-on-month increase.

Home to many established multinational tech companies, Fujitsu, SAP, IBM and Microsoft all have presences here. Belfast is seeing investment too, which is fuelling a start-up culture. In 2021, local start-ups raised £18.8m in venture capital funding, compared to 2020’s £17.6m level. It’s not so surprising – there is a lot of talent on the ground, with Northern Ireland being home to world-class universities and colleges, including Queen’s University Belfast.

It’s also an appealing place to live for tech professionals. Belfast is the second-best place in the UK for tech workers to live (in terms of value) according to the Digital Economy Council. The cost of living in Belfast, for example, is significantly cheaper than other UK cities.

Growth potential

The Government’s 2021 Kalifa Review of UK fintech identified Northern Ireland as one of a number of areas showing “exciting potential to grow or are already featuring a specialist fintech focus.”

In addition, Northern Ireland’s tech scene is quite varied and there are a few main clusters that include cybersecurity, AI data and analytics, sports tech, and IT and cloud services. Cybersecurity firms Rapid7 and Whitehat security have both set up bases in Belfast in recent years.

A new £58m technology and innovation hub is en-route too. The Global Innovation Institute is an expansion of Queen’s University’s Institute of Electronics, Communications and Information Technology (ECIT) and is planned for completion by 2025. It will house more than 550 experts and researchers at its Titanic Quarter site.

“This team of researchers will build on our core expertise across cybersecurity, advanced wireless technologies, data science and analytics. In a multi-disciplinary environment, our skilled workforce will include experts from many sectors who will be developing research in areas such as health data, agri-food and fintech,” said Professor Maire O’Neill, director of ECIT.

When you add up Northern Ireland’s vibrant cities, thriving nightlife, and breath-taking scenery with easy access to mountains, beaches, forests, and lakes, it’s not really surprising that the city is building its reputation as a tech hub – and why so many workers are willing to move to this area.

If you’re keen to explore a career in the Belfast tech hub, we’re taking a look at three roles that are currently hiring. Plus, you can find plenty more on the Growth Business job board.

Senior Financial Analyst – EMEA Technology Infrastructure, Citi, Belfast

The senior financial analyst – EMEA Technology Infrastructure will be responsible for liaising with cross-discipline teams in-country and in-region to contribute to continuous iterative exploration and investigation of business financial performance.

You’ll coordinate the regional yearly plan volume forecasting – this includes delivering to the global timeline, identifying EMEA-specific headwinds and opportunities, preliminary reviews of plan volumes, and identification and rectification of billing rejects. If this sounds like the job for you, get all the details here.

SAP Project Manager, IBM, Belfast

At IBM you’ll find your role of SAP project manager has a unique focus, combining good project management and leadership skills with SAP knowledge and industry experience.

You will be a dedicated professional with SAP technological experience who has shown expertise in working independently across management and team leadership of full life cycle SAP engagements, taking responsibility for setting up project management systems and establishment of the PMO structure and governance procedures and ownership of leading the scope, timeline, quality and budget / cost of projects. Find out more about the role here.

Network DevOps Engineer, SAP, Belfast

Sap is hiring a multi cloud DevNetOps engineer in Belfast to sit at the forefront of SAP’s global public cloud transition. You will be at the heart of the engineering process, developing solutions and offering services to empower SAP to develop and deliver high quality products quickly.

You will help build and run the next-generation multi cloud technologies at global scale. If you are a DevNetOps engineer with a passion for delivering innovative IT services and value-creation, this could be the job for you.

Discover thousands more job opportunities in tech on the Growth Business job board.

More on tech hubs

A guide to the London tech hub

A guide to the Cardiff-Bristol tech hub

A guide to the Pennines tech hub

Kirstie McDermott

Kirstie McDermott

Kirstie McDermott is Senior Content Manager, Amply at Jobbio.