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 visiting our Industries and Jobs section.
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. There are lots of clubs all around the country. Have a look at what is available near you.
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