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The Tech Sector Needs You: Why Upskilling Is Important

If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it is that digital underpins everything. This continues to be a difficult year for everyone, with many of the workforce being made redundant or struggling to continue their business in the current climate.

If you’ve found yourself with extra time on your hands, maybe this is the moment to embrace a new career opportunity, or to upskill into a new field.

Upskilling has many advantages; you want to ensure that in the current climate you are marketing yourself in the best way possible, making sure that you remain employable in an ever-changing society.

Not only will upskilling help to boost your CV and help you stand out in a crowd of applicants, but it can help you discover new career pathways, help you secure better opportunities and help you to expand your career network.

The Digital Scotland report, Scotland’s Digital Technologies: Summary Report 2019, tells us the demand for tech recruits is still on the rise and it is estimated that Scotland itself will need approximately 13,000 new individuals filling tech roles every year.  This provides a number of exciting opportunities for new entrants, return workers, and career changers. Further evidencing that now is the right time to look at upskilling yourself.

In June of 2020, figures from The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said unemployment in Scotland for people over 16 was 4.6%, the number of unemployed individuals having risen by 30,000 up to 127,000 between February and April 2020 with further redundancies and unemployment predicted as a result of COVID 19. By undertaking upskilling training opportunities you are giving yourself the chance to apply for employment opportunities that you may not have been considered for or even considered applying for previously. 

The report also shows us that 75% of employers currently struggle to recruit people with the right technical skills, echoing the huge opportunity for upskilled individuals to fill these gaps.

Upskilling has become more important than ever, with individuals from a STEM background already possessing most of the necessary transferable skills needed to transition into a role in the tech sector with only minimal upskilling.

Historically getting access to upskilling courses and opportunities has not been the easiest task, however with online and blended learning methods now taking centre stage this is no longer the case.

Retrain into one of the fastest growing industries in Scotland by undertaking one of our fully-funded Data or Cyber online courses, delivered by the University of the Highlands and Islands.

If you have a background in STEM, either a qualification or work experience, you will likely be eligible to apply.

Our course in Applied Data Science offers eligible candidates 40 credits at SCQF Level 11 over two modules: Introduction to R and Data Visualisation, showing how to use the open source statistical software R to visualise data, including cleaning, preparing and summarising the data sets, and Data Analytics on the Web, giving an understanding of machine learning, one of the most exciting fields in computer science, in context to business intelligence and analytics.

The Cyber Security course allows candidates to achieve 40 credits at SCQF Level 9, covering modern Cyber Security issues and mitigation strategies, in addition to a module on Network Information and Security – understanding how to critically evaluate and analyse the network and information security weaknesses of an organisation.

Starting on the 2nd of November, each course takes only 12 weeks to complete, combining flexible study with virtual lectures and assessment, with a guaranteed job interview upon completion arranged by ScotlandIS.

You must be in receipt of Universal Credit or other income-related benefits, and not have completed a qualification at SCQF Level 6 or above in the last 12 months.

Find out more about both of our courses and if you meet the eligibility criteria here.

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