Scotland is an innovator and needs digital skills to give London a run for its money.
I’m not saying we’re in competition with a certain city way south of the border (even though without Scotland we wouldn’t have TVs, telephones, or rain jackets), but last month’s release of the UK Tech Innovation Index places Edinburgh second in a recent survey of 36 UK cities. Glasgow didn’t fare too badly either coming in at fourth.
Currently, 28,000 digital roles need to be filled annually in Scotland. The problem – as you’ve no doubt experienced yourself this year – is that changes to the way we work are happening too fast for traditional universities and colleges to keep up.
So how do we find, and perhaps more importantly, develop the skills we need to deliver on our 2020 digital ambitions?
We become stronger if we all work together
Registers of Scotland now welcomes CodeClan as a valued partner in our journey to equip RoS with the digital skills we need in the future.
Founded in 2015, CodeClan is the first UK digital skills academy approved by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) and has the backing of The Scottish Government, Scotland’s digital technologies trade body, ScotlandIS, and Skills Development Scotland.
Their flagship course is an immersive 16-week course teaching students how to code. This, in itself, doesn’t seem that unique a selling point, until you learn that their curriculum is based on current industry practices, and that they adapt their teachings to the changing needs of their employer community. This means that you’re stepping out of the course with practical hands-on experience, both as a solo developer, and pairing with others on team projects.
RoS is part of this employer community. Within 18 months of launching it, 120 companies throughout Scotland joined this growing network of employers who will hire CodeClan graduates and provide feedback to help CodeClan shape their courses.
We have so far employed three CodeClan graduates, and you’ll learn a little bit more about them and their experiences in the coming weeks.
It’s not just for geeks and teenagers
And they don’t all become software developers. Digital roles are varied – product owners, business analysts, UX designers, data scientists – and we need this variety to contribute to our future plans.
Making a career u-turn is often daunting, terrifying, inconceivable… but, if you have the interest or the aptitude, switching to another role may be the right choice for you.
With the introduction of a more flexible approach to skills development, re-aligning yourself for a digital career may be the perfect match for your existing skills. No academy can train somebody else to have your unique knowledge and insight that you have gained from working in RoS. Like all companies in Scotland, RoS needs to innovate, but we also need to develop our existing pool of expertise to provide certainty in a time of change.
Change is inevitable.
If you’ve watched the news in recent years, you’ll have some idea of what happens to companies who don’t prepare for this. We don’t just want to prepare. We want to be a leading Scottish enterprise and do our bit to keep Scottish cities on the map as a leader in innovative technology.
So maybe we are competing with London. A little.
Want to find out if a career in digital is right for you?
CodeClan frequently has information sessions and half-day coding tasters so that you can see if this is the right fit for you. We encourage you to go along to some of these sessions if you have an interest. You can find all the information on their Eventbrite.
I volunteered to write this story on behalf of Registers of Scotland’s (RoS) IT development teams to introduce CodeClan graduates as they joined us. I used this as an opportunity to encourage non-technical staff to learn technical skills. This story was followed by interviews with graduates, and taster events introducing staff to coding. After this article, I knew of at least two non-technical employees who applied for CodeClan training as part of their career development plan. Internal information has been removed.
Photo by Crew on Unsplash