Are you logical, analytical and good at solving problems? Are you interested in how computers and software work? If you think you’d like to write the computer programmes that control aircraft systems, make sure that financial data is secure or design and install big computer networks, then this could be the industry for you.
According to Scottish Development International, there are around 100,000 people working in digital technology roles across Scotland, with over 11,200 digital technology companies engaged in a variety of activities from software development to communications.
An important aspect of the information and communication technology industry is the high rate of change. While the actual power of computers grows every year, new applications are constantly being developed.
There are many different sectors in the computing and ICT industry and you would usually specialise in a particular area. These include computer programming and software engineering, IT support, IT security, systems analysis and design, networks, database administration and web and multimedia.
Some areas of this industry are related to engineering, such as electrical and electronics work.
To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.
Almost all companies and industries use computing and information technology, so the range of firms that you could work for is vast. They could include:
Technology companies have been considered more resilient to the impact of the pandemic and according to the ScotlandIS Scottish Technology Industry Survey 2022, 72% of companies reported an increase in sales compared to 44% in 2020, indicating that the Scottish tech sector is in a growth period.
In the same survey, 76% of businesses indicated that they will employ university graduates in the next 12 months, an increase of 5% from 2021. Demand for apprentices is also increasing, with 47% of businesses saying that they will employ Graduate Apprentices (up from 33% in 2021) and 38% indicating they will employ Modern Apprentices (up from 22% in 2021).
By 2025, ‘esports’ – the world of competitive, organised video gaming – is predicted to triple in size to $3 billion USD per year from its current value of around $1 billion USD per year. In Dundee, already known for its gaming expertise, there are talks to develop a 4,000 capacity esports arena as part of the £1 billion waterfront development.
Scottish tech companies indicate that the top three areas that will have the greatest opportunities are data analytics, artificial intelligence and cyber security.
According to research in the Tech Nation People and Skills Report 2022, tech job opportunities have hit a 10-year high in the UK. In Scotland, tech vacancies have risen to 13% of all available vacancies. Hiring is 42% higher than in 2021.
Between May 2021-2022, software developer vacancies were top for employer demand, followed by business analyst and Java developer.
More women are working in IT than ever before. There were 312,000 female IT specialists in the UK workforce during 2020 - 19% of the total at that time. This was an increase of 63,000 (2%) from 2019. However, the situation remains that much work is still needed if the industry is to stay competitive. Stemettes and Next Tech Girls are just some of the initiatives encouraging more young women to consider a career in the industry.
If you are considering a career in IT, take a look at Tech Future Careers (www.tpdegrees.com/careers) and the Screen Skills website (www.screenskills.com), which has information on job roles in the computer games sector.