Part 1: International Talent /


International workers in digital tech industries are more likely to have advanced higher educational qualifications

Analysis shows that non-UK nationals have a high share of Master’s and PhD qualifications (Master’s degrees being much more common than PhDs). For non-EU workers 17.6 per cent have a Master’s degree or PhD, while for EU workers, 12.5 per cent have a Master’s degree of PhD.

Average share of digital-tech industry workforce by nationality (2011 – 2015) with Master’s degree or PhD.

Nationality Proportion of workforce with Master’s degree or PhD
Rest of EU 12.5%
Non-EU 17.6%
UK 10.5%

For non-EU workers 17.6 per cent have a Master’s or PhD qualification – this is consistent with the requirements of the UK migration policy system – under the Tier 2 skilled worker route, many non-EU workers in skilled jobs will be required to hold higher educational qualifications 1.


  1. The qualifications of workers are available in the APS, containing information on both the level of qualifications (by National Qualification Framework level) and type of qualification.

LinkedIn data

There is also evidence from analysis by LinkedIn of its platform data that migrants have higher levels of qualifications than domestic workers.

This work has found that 40% of professional migrants 1 into the UK in the past three years are from EU with 60% having a Masters or Doctoral degree in comparison to 34% of UK LinkedIn members.

It was also found that highly qualified professional migrants are 1.3 times more likely to work in the tech sector 2


  1. Professional migrants are defined in the article as people who have moved to the UK in the last 3 years. The analysis offers a snapshot of labour migrants though those that use LinkedIn, and LinkedIn does not verify qualifications, or employment history
  2. Financial Times 2016, ‘LinkedIn says EU workers more skilled than UK peers‘, September 29th.

Tech Nation Talent

A four-part series of reports on the talent and skills dynamics of the UK tech sector.

Download the:

International talent report Infographic