A colleague and I from the Careers Centre attended a digital jobs information event recently, at Leeds Beckett University. Here’s what we found out about this booming market…..
The Northern Powerhouse. In 2014, George Osborne outlined the concept of a better economic balance between The North and the south. The North would have more money, power, autonomy and jobs. There are a large number of Leeds graduates that want to stay in the city once they graduate, and so knowing the local job market and opportunities available locally is crucial, to combat the received wisdom that the south is the only place to find a job. This is where the employers step in.
At this event, Amy De-Balsi spoke about the growing digital job market in Leeds and also the free Digital Careers Fair she is organising on February 10th at The Arena. Amy should know her stuff, she founded Herd , a recruitment specialist in the Digital Sector. Georgina Adams from Sky Bet who recruits for technology roles at Sky betting and gaming, was also at the event. Georgina had some great insight about the industry too!
A flourishing market
The growth in the digital sector in Leeds has been huge – 600 new vacancies in fact!. There are lots of interesting people doing lots of interesting work in the city, so for any graduate looking to do something different and creative, this is the place to be. There are a variety of roles in the sector, and you do not necessarily need to be from a techie background to apply. Georgina Adams outlined that if you have the passion and ‘the smarts’, you can be trained in the area that is new to you. We know that successful graduates are willing to put themselves forward and try new things, and so if this is an occupation that appeals to you, go on, give it a try!
The roles – project teams
People generally start off as a Project Executive, which is a junior level role. Junior Project Managers come from all disciplines, the main skills are communication and organisation, so if you are always the one that organises the parties this might be for you. Generally you could earn between £23-30k.
In turn, they support Project Managers in that role. With such a need for IT Project managers salaries have now rocketed up to around £55-£70k with over 10 years experience. Business Analysts work alongside Project Managers to work out what the customer really wants. Equally, Data Analysts are hugely important. If you are from an analytical subject, think Maths, Geography, Science, etc.. this may be an area you hadn’t considered before now.
Design and development
User Experience is a big new focus for this industry generally and Sky Bet are happy to take on designer graduates and cross train them in this field. Additionally, there are a massive shortage of developers in the Leeds area. Sky Bet and other companies look at a range of disciplines to fill these roles. Lots of developers are self-taught, and so getting this across, as well as a real passion for the role, could land you an interview!
Interestingly, people that study Latin make good testers as it’s a logical language and testers spend their time trying to break stuff, using their logical computational thinking! It stands to reason then that cyber security is a top priority, therefore meaning that there is growth too in this job market.
In summary, no matter which discipline you are from, attending the Digital Careers Fair can only be a positive thing. The employers in these sectors are looking for passion and commitment to these growth areas. Putting yourself out there and applying is the first step towards that digital career. And there are lots of graduate level jobs in this market; seems like you’ve got nothing to lose!
Remember that you can come and speak to us at the Careers Centre for more information about these kinds of roles, or any others. You can also access help in from your faculty Careers Consultants. See you at the fair!