You can make a difference in the world. Whether it's an idea for an app that saves lives, designing robots of tomorrow, or building the next big social network. With a career in digital technologies you can really make things happen.
THE PATH TO DIGITAL SUCCESS
Scotland is home to some of the world’s most innovative tech companies, including Skyscanner, FanDuel and Rockstar Games - plus plenty of new and exciting start-ups. If you’re at school and thinking about a career in digital technologies, then you’ll find plenty of inspiration and pointers here.
For more information on careers choices and finding what’s right for you, use the My World of Work website
Find out more about careers in the ICT and Digital Technology sector.
WHAT SORT OF ROLES ARE THERE IN DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES?
There are over 90,000 jobs in digital technologies in Scotland today, and that number is growing fast each year. Needless to say, Scotland’s tech companies are always on the lookout for new talent.
The types of job vary hugely, from website design to robotics, and everything in between. The good news is that learning the fundamentals of coding at school opens up a world of opportunity within the sector.
But it’s not just about coding. Scotland’s tech companies are also on the lookout for business and management skills, so your degree could take you into many other roles, including digital marketing, finance and HR.
For more information on the roles in Scotland’s tech sector, start building your digital human.
To hear more from the people working in tech, meet your fellow digital humans.
WHAT SUBJECTS SHOULD I BE STUDYING?
With so many diverse roles in the sector, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to subject choices.
Depending on where you want to go, it’s likely that computer science, maths and science subjects will be useful. Many degree courses will require Highers in maths and one science.
For web or games design, more artistic subjects might be required. Employers may also look for subjects that show you have good communication skills such as administration and English.
There's also more guidance on choosing subjects on My World of Work. To learn more about the qualifications required, find careers that suit you by building your digital human.
WHAT IF I'M NOT STUDYING COMPUTER SCIENCE?
If computer science is not an option at your school, or if you’ve chosen to study other subjects, don’t worry. The majority of digital technologies courses don’t specifically require a computer science qualification. That said, an understanding of computer coding will help you decide whether a career in digital technologies is right for you, so getting some practical skills in coding while you’re still at school will really help.
Coding clubs are a brilliant way of improving your coding skills in a relaxed, fun environment. There are dedicated coding clubs running right across Scotland to help you develop your coding skills – to find out more visit our events page.
It’s a good idea to get an idea of a career, before you decide if it’s right for you. Have a look at work experience on My World of Work for information on finding a placement and contacting employers.
If you want some more hands-on experience then a Foundation Apprenticeship in software development, or hardware and system support, could give you a massive head-start.
WHERE CAN I STUDY?
With over 400 courses related to careers in digital technology in Scotland alone, the choice is big and diverse. All of Scotland’s main universities and colleges have courses related to digital technology. Some enable you to learn a broad range of skills, whilst others are more focused around particular disciplines.
I DON’T KNOW IF UNIVERSITY OR COLLEGE IS FOR ME – WHAT ARE MY OTHER OPTIONS?
If you’re thinking about leaving school and going straight into the world of work, a Modern Apprenticeship might be the perfect option for you. It combines working and learning, giving you the best of both worlds. You get the skills, experience and qualifications that employers are looking for, whilst also getting paid.
There is a range of Modern Apprenticeships to help you kick start your career in digital technologies. Visit Modern Apprenticeship to find out more.
WHAT CODING SKILLS ARE EMPLOYERS LOOKING FOR?
One of the best things about the digital technologies sector is how fast it changes. The jobs that people will be doing in digital technologies in 10 years time haven’t even been thought of yet.
Different types of role require experience of different coding languages. For example a database analyst might use SQL or Oracle, while a web app developer will use Java or .NET.
The good news is that once you have learned the basics of coding in one language, it usually becomes much easier to learn a new language. So if you’re at school, the most important thing is to get involved in coding and start creating.
WHAT OTHER SKILLS WILL HELP ME IN THE INDUSTRY?
Employers are looking for a broad range of skills, including:
- excellent problem-solving skills
- a logical mind
- good programming skills
- an understanding of web technologies and standards
- good communication skills
- good understanding of how people interact with websites
- an up-to-date knowledge of developments in IT
WHAT SORT OF JOB SECURITY COMES WITH A CAREER IN IT?
The Digital Technology sector is one of the fastest growing parts of the Scottish economy. There are 90,000 people employed in digital technology in Scotland and it’s estimated that the sector needs around 12,800 new entrants per year to meet demand for jobs. So there really is a wealth of opportunity for people with the right skills and qualifications.
Of those, around 40% are employed by specialist technology companies – so the majority are employed in tech roles in other sectors including financial services, life sciences, public sector and creative & cultural industries. The digital world is your oyster.