Despite the continued shortage of highly skilled digital professionals, Scotland’s technology sector is thriving and showing no signs of slowing down. Gordon Kaye of Cathcart Associates explains.
Recent reports have revealed that the industry contributes £5bn in GVA every year, employs over 90,000 people, offers an average salary of £37,500 and has 12,800 job opportunities up for grabs every year. It’s become the ultimate sector to work in.
Job seekers should keep in mind that to work in tech, you don’t have to be a ‘coder’. There are lots of other roles out there that make up jobs in the IT industry, such as project management.
As a specialist IT recruitment consultancy, we work alongside job seekers and employers on a daily basis so we have come to know what people can do to help boost their chances of getting a job in one of Scotland’s most innovative sectors.
So if you are looking to take the leap, here is our advice.
1. Sell yourself as an entrepreneur
The most recent ScotlandIS digital skills survey revealed that an increasing number of employers are seeking commercial, business support and project management skills, as well as technical ability.
This couldn’t be more accurate. More and more companies, especially young, trendy tech start-ups are seeking skilled IT professionals who are business savvy and understand the practical application of what it is that they are doing.
These are also attractive transferable skills. Research has found there is a hidden talent pipeline, for example, 31 per cent of graduates entering the digital technologies sector come from non-computing science backgrounds such as creative arts and design, business, and physical sciences, illustrating the importance of transferable skills and a willingness of employers to recruit from wider backgrounds and disciplines.
2. Find a good recruiter
And trust them. Recruiters can be worth their weight in gold for candidates looking to jump into a job in tech.
At Cathcart Associates, for example, we are alerted to IT jobs that are not advertised anywhere online, meaning candidates can get ‘first dibs’ on the best digital roles. We also have great contacts with leading people in the tech industry, meaning we can get you into places you can’t get yourself.
To do their jobs, recruiters need to know as much about you as they can. If you do your research and come to a recruiter with a concrete evidence of your experience and an idea of what it is you are looking for, they can work at finding an ideal role for you. Trust that they can help you get a foot in the door and make the most of all the advice and support they give you, from guidance on how to boost your CV to linking you up with potential employers.