7 top tips for getting into the digital industries

 The UK’s digital sector is one of the country’s fastest growing industries – making it an extremely exciting and innovative area to work in.

We quizzed Katie Gallagher, managing director of Manchester Digital, an independent trade association for digital businesses to get some inside knowledge on how to break into the industry.

You might think that digital jobs are only for tech-savvy people with complicated computer science degrees but that’s not the case! While it’s true that there are tons of tech-focused jobs on offer, there are also lots of creative roles such as graphic design and digital advertising out there, too. It’s simply a case of doing your research to find something that’s right for you.

Interested in getting into the wonderful world of digital? Here are some top tips to help you forge a career in the industry. All of them are sure to show potential employers that you have a proactive attitude and genuine passion for the sector – two very important attributes!

1.     Work experience

Getting relevant work experience can be tough but is definitely worth the effort. Spending as little as one week in a working environment will make a great addition to your CV. Speak to your teacher or careers advisor for help or do some research on relevant businesses in your local area and get in contact with them directly to ask if they do work experience placements.

2.     Graduate schemes

The vast majority (86%) of tech companies that we work with recruit their talent from universities, with many also providing specialist graduate schemes. Take a look at company websites for more information.

3.     Apprenticeships

An apprenticeship is an excellent way to learn important skills and gain qualifications whilst in work, and allows you to earn a wage at the same time – so you get hands-on experience and needn’t worry about accumulating pounds in debt at university.

4.     Connect with the industry at networking events

Research companies and begin connecting with them as soon as you can. Networking events are a great place to start, especially specific job focused ones, such as our annual Talent Day, which takes place in Manchester in February. Here, we host a large number of the region’s biggest employers who are actively on the lookout for talent.

5.     Provide tangible examples of work to potential employers

Have you developed a mobile app or designed some software? Make sure you showcase your abilities and previous experience to any potential employers – it’s a great way to start a conversation (and show them how great you are!)

6.     Develop your skill set 

The more you can bring to a digital company, the better, so if you can hone your presentation skills or learn important digital skills, like the basics of coding, you’ll be helping to ensure you stand out from the crowd.

7.     Stay positive

Positivity and perseverance are a vital part of getting into any industry, so if you’re unsuccessful at first, don’t panic! Your interest and a can-do attitude will be a great asset to any employer - so stick at it.

For more information on how to get into the digital industries, visit Manchester Digital

Technology, CareersWeb editor