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IT & Digital

With Technology forever advancing, there are always careers to be made within the IT and Digital sector. With a wide variety of different jobs you can do in this space, and with lots to learn, it can really be a career that you grow into, and grow with. 

You can learn coding, and become a programmer, or if you’re interested in communications, you could try a career in Digital Marketing. If you want to help people, becoming a UX Designer will set you up to make sure that digital products and services are suitable for all to use, and if you want to express yourself or entertain people, a career in Game Design is also possible. 

Opportunities

Here are some of the typical job opportunities within IT & Digital, and how you can make your first steps within the sector.

Your role as an IT consultant is to work in partnership with clients, advising them how to use  information technology in order to meet their business objectives or overcome problems. You’ll work to improve the structure and efficiency of IT systems in organisations. You’ll provide strategic guidance to clients about technology and IT infrastructures and will enable major business processes through enhancements to IT. You may be called upon to provide guidance and technical expertise during other processes as well, such as selection and procurement and user training and feedback.

Working in games development, you’ll be involved in the creation and production of games for personal computers, games consoles, social/online games, arcade games, tablets, mobile phones, and other handheld devices. In larger companies, you may focus on a particular area of programming such as network, engine, graphic, toolchain and artificial intelligence. With a smaller independent game producer, there’s often much less of a distinction between the role of developer and designer, and your job may incorporate both programming and design.

Data analysts are in high demand across all sectors, such as finance, consulting, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, government, and education. The ability to pay attention to detail, communicate well and be highly organised are essential skills for data analysts. They not only need to understand the data, but be able to provide insight and analysis through clear visual, written, and verbal communication. 

As a UX designer, you’ll ensure that the ‘user experience’ for individuals using websites or applications is as efficient and pleasurable as possible. You’ll be involved in the design of digital products and services for specific target groups and end users and will need to understand motivations. You’ll work collaboratively with other members of the team and the wider business to ensure that products and services meet client needs. 

Qualifications and Training

There are a wide range of IT & Digital qualifications available to the residents of Greater Manchester. Read on to learn more about what options are open to you.

An apprenticeship allows you to “learn while you earn” and can work best for people wanting to try a new career or who feel they are practical learners. A common misconception about apprenticeships is that they are mainly for school leavers- apprenticeships are for people of all ages and are a great way to restart your career, change your career, or progress in your current career.

Learn more.

There are a wide range of adult courses available across Greater Manchester. Many of these  courses are fully funded, which means there is no cost to you, or your employer if you are currently employed. These courses have a range of levels, meaning you can boost your skill set, or go for a full qualification in an area that interests you.

Learn more.

If you would like to study for a university-level degree but don’t have the traditional qualifications, Access to Higher Education courses could help you to achieve your goal. There are a variety of resources available to you to help you achieve. 

Learn more.

Considering university, or a degree-level course? Higher education is the route you’d be going down- whether you’d be looking to study full-time, or if a more flexible approach would work for you, there are plenty of options available. If you’re looking to increase your skill set, there are a wide variety of options open to you- to learn more about how you can achieve in Greater Manchester.

Learn more.

Progressing in your career

Whether you are looking to develop in your current role, or looking to take the next steps in your career there is a variety of training and pathways you can consider.

Skills Bootcamps are flexible courses of up to 16 weeks, giving people the opportunity to build up sector-specific skills and fast-track to a guaranteed interview with a local employer.

Developed by the Government as part of the Lifetime Skills Guarantee, Skills Bootcamps are being delivered in partnership with employers, providers and local authorities, to help people gain skills for life, help support skills demands in their local area, and ultimately – to help people get a better job.

Learn more about Skills Bootcamps here.

There are a wide range of adult courses available across Greater Manchester. Many of these 
courses are fully funded, which means there is no cost to you, or your employer if you are 
currently employed. These courses have a range of levels, meaning you can boost your skill set, 
or go for a full qualification in an area that interests you.

Learn more.

If you have an eye for detail and excellent problem solving and communication skills, a career in the IT and digital sector could be the ideal option. We work with some of the region’s most dynamic companies to develop talent and ensure that they are leading the way in digital innovation. 

There are lots of short courses available across Customer Service, Marketing, IT & Digital, Business and Professional that you can undertake to upskill for the core functions within the IT and Digital sector. There are also offer live vacancies in apprenticeships in these fields too, so that you get experience in the role, and learn while working.

Getting started

  • Training
  • Digital Marketing Assistant

Enhancing your skills

  • Digital Marketing Executive 

Managing others

  • Digital Marketing Manager

Core functions

Want to work in IT & Digital but the traditional avenues aren’t for you? There are also a wide range of roles that utilise different skill sets to support you into the industry.

There are many exciting options in the accounting profession as you can work in a variety of industries. Accounting pays well, offers prospects for advancement, and allows you to assist organisations such as hotels, bars or restaurants to thrive into the next decade and beyond. 

Business administration is a fast-paced job with opportunities to advance and work in a range of sectors and businesses. It’s also a professional route with many transferable skills that may lead to lots of options if you decide to move into another business sector later in life.

HR professionals’ day-to-day responsibilities are to ensure employee wellbeing and happiness. A well-trained and organised HR department is at the heart of any hospitality establishment hiring many employees and is essential for maintaining a motivated and productive workforce.

As technology advances, so too do the possibilities for more effective marketing. There’s a variety of professional options to select from, whether you want to get into management, analytics, product design, or brand management to name but a few. With this role, your skills become transferable, allowing you more flexible career options.

Tech-based companies need IT Professionals, too! As an IT professional, you will develop the skills to support internal and external customers, helping them to be productive by problem-solving and troubleshooting non-routine issues.

How do I get started?

To get started in a career in IT and Digital, enthusiasm and a high degree of IT-literacy is key. 
There are so many different directions in which you can go in the IT and Digital space, leaning 
towards Programming, Marketing Communications, Data Sciences, Software Development and 
Game Design.

What skills do I need?

As mentioned above, you must have a high level of IT-literacy, and some idea of the direction 
in which you’d like to go, as there are several paths to follow, and some will require specialist 
training. It will also help if you have a passion for digital work, as there’s a chance you’ll be 
working on large projects or providing support, so it would be beneficial for you to enjoy
your work.

Often you will need core qualifications in English and Maths to start these courses.

What initial roles could I do?

The initial roles that would get you the experience you’d need would be as an IT assistant or an 
entry level version of the Digital group you’re trying to enter- for example, a Digital Marketing 
Assistant if you’re interested in Marketing, or a Games Tester if you’re interested in Game Design.

Next steps

The world of IT and Digital is broad and will never stop expanding- a career in this sector could 
stick with you for your entire life, if you’re willing to keep learning and growing with it. If this is 
a career path you’re interested in, there’s a lot of support out there available for you in Greater 
Manchester- find local vacancies here.

For more information about gaining these qualifications and get your career started in the sector, visit the National Careers Service website at: nationalcareers.service.gov.uk or call 0800 100 900