Digital and Tech

Futureproof your career in Digital tech

The lockdown created many opportunities for digital tech companies to expand their services with more of us working and learning from home. As a result, there was a huge growth in digital services such as Sky and BT as more people went online, whether it was shopping or banking online, watching Netflix or Tiktok videos or using health care digital services such as the NHS App or staying in touch through Zoom. It is probably no surprise to you that digital tech is one of the fastest growing job areas in the UK

  • In May 2021 there were over 100,000 job vacancies in digital tech.
  • The sector employs 1 in 10 people and in some parts of the country such as Reading, employs 1 in 3 people! 
  • Bristol and the West of England are the one of the biggest regions for digital tech jobs in the country, as are Manchester, Cambridge and Oxford. 
  • Digital tech roles are found across a huge range of businesses from established financial services companies, to renewable energy providers and new start up businesses.

There are many different job roles in the digital technology sector. Nearly 40% of jobs are to be found in non-digital business roles such as marketing, HR and legal. In demand roles include; software developer, web designer, data analysts and data scientists. 

Cloud computing is changing the way we manage information and keeping data secure has led to an increase in cyber security job roles and also a growth in careers in artificial intelligence such as engineers, programmers and data analysts. As there is a shortage of people to take up these jobs, it is no surprise that salaries are significantly higher in digital tech than other sectors. For example, in Bristol, the average salary for a cybersecurity architect is £80,000 and for a data scientist £51 000.

The good news, if you are looking for a career change, is that the digital tech sector is offering training for adults who wish to get into this area. The government has subsidised a national retraining scheme to get more adults skilled in digital and tech. They are offering free part time Level 3 courses for adults in coding and cyber & networking [see below for a list of the colleges offering these]. They are also funding 16 week 'Bootcamp' courses to boost your employability in very specific jobs in digital e.g construction data scientist. There are also courses available online, including short courses at a beginner level, progressing on to apprenticeships, higher education and degree apprenticeship opportunities.

These are some of the jobs where there is growing demand

More information

What you can do to get yourself ready for a course or job in this sector?

Why not:

Examples of some types of apprenticeships available in digital and tech

These are all at Level 3 and above - job titles are changing all the time -  so make sure you look at the apprenticeship and you will see it covers a range of job titles. You can work your way up from a Level 3 and there are some apprenticeships at degree level! Some of the Level 4 apprenticeships start on a salary of £21,000 - £24,000 per annum. So check out vacancies at 'Find an apprenticeship'

Junior Software developer - level 3

Software developer - level 4

Software testing - level 4

Telecoms Technician - level 3

Network engineer - level 4

IT Solutions Technician- level 3

IT Infrastructure technician - level 3

Digital Support Technician - level 3

Cyber security technician

Data technician - level 3 - level 3

Digital and technology solutions degree apprenticeship - level 6

Data scientist - degree level 6

Examples of College Courses in Digital Tech

Part time

Yeovil College - Level 2 NCFE Certificate Digital Skills for Work

Exeter College - Digital Marketing Bootcamp - Level 3 [ one day a week for 12 weeks]

South Gloucestershire College - MTA Software Development Fundamentals- Level 3 [preparation for Microsoft certification which is needed for some IT jobs]

New - there are free part time courses for adults without an existing Level 3 qualification.

Weston college - Coding practices certificate part time level 3.

Weston College - Cyber Security Practices part time level 3

Here is a list of colleges offering the free level 3 courses for adults.

Full time

Cornwall College - BTEC National Foundation Diploma in IT - level 3

Access to Computing - Exeter College [ level 3 pre- university study course for adults]

Foundation Degree in Computing - PETROC [ North Devon] level 5

Examples of Higher Education courses at Level 4, 5 and 6.

City of Bristol College - HNC/D in Digital development - game, app and web - level 4/5

Gloucestershire College - HND Digital Forensics and Cyber Security - level 5

UWE, Bristol - BSc Computing- level 6

University of Gloucestershire - Applied artificial Intelligence - level 6

Falmouth University - BSC web development

Higher/degree apprenticeships are offered by some universities and can provide you with companies who you can contact re jobs.

Other Courses to get your started in Digital Tech

The Institute of Coding has put together a list of of 180 courses to upskill you - from a free online essential digital skills course to very specific paid for courses e.g 'creating virtual reality environments'. They also have a list of intensive bootcamp courses that in 16 weeks can train you for a specific job e.g software engineering or data scientist.

Futurelearn  offer free and paid for short online courses with certification in a huge range of digital subjects. Join beginner to advanced level courses led by tech experts. 

The Open University also offers a huge range of free digital courses to inspire you to start studying.

Santander Scholarships Skills/Your Digital Pathway 2022

Your Digital Pathway is a new, free introductory level digital skills course from Santander, developed in collaboration with the Institute of Coding and the award-winning TechUP initiative at Durham University.

More information here

Practical courses

The government has a toolkit of  free practical courses to get your digital skills started.

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