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.
Digital technology accounts for 9% of the UK workforce. According to Scottish Development International, there are around 96,000 people working in digital technology roles across Scotland, with over 9,400 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:
According to SDI, the Scottish tech sector is booming despite the ongoing pandemic, and has grown at 1.5 times faster the rate than the overall economy. Tech companies have been considered more resilient to the impact of the pandemic, although some businesses have been negatively affected due to customer and supply chain issues.
The digital workforce in Scotland is expected to grow by up to 2.1% between 2023 and 2030. It is estimated that Scotland will need around 13,000 new people to work in this industry every year, with UK national trends showing demands in web development, software development and cyber security.
Scotland’s cyber security sector is one of the fastest growing areas in this industry, having attracted record investment last year, and the number of cyber security firms increasing by 21%. A major contributing factor to this growth is the increase of business and social activity moving online due to the pandemic, thereby creating demand for online security. This has resulted in a 9% increase in employment totalling 46,683 jobs (including 3,800 new jobs created).
According to a report by Tech Nation, in 2019 the role most in demand by employers was software developer, which made up 6% of all advertised digital tech roles. Seen as a key role within society, it ranks amongst the top 5 sought after roles alongside social care workers and nurses.
More women are working in IT than ever before, according to the BCS, now making up 20% of the UK’s IT workforce (compared to 17% on the previous year). However, the situation remains that much work is still needed if the industry is to stay competitive. Tech Future Girls, 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.