Stuart Sumner-Smith works at Swansea MAD as a Senior Employability Officer. He is passionate about access for all and working for a more equitable world. He blogs about futurism, digital and employability.
Wales has been witnessing a steady growth in its digital sector, creating numerous opportunities for professionals seeking a career change. Transitioning into a digital career in Wales can be an exciting and rewarding journey. This guide will walk you through the key steps and strategies to make a successful shift from traditional roles to tech jobs in the Welsh digital sector.
Assess Your Transferable Skills
Identify the skills and knowledge you have acquired in your current or previous roles that can be applied to the digital sector. Examples of transferable skills include problem-solving, communication, project management, and adaptability. Recognise the value of these skills and showcase them on your CV and professional profiles, demonstrating their relevance to potential employers.
Identify Your Target Digital Career Path
Research various digital careers to determine which path aligns with your interests, goals, and existing skill set. Popular digital career paths in Wales include software development, data analysis, cybersecurity, digital marketing, and software testing. Explore job listings and industry resources to gain insights into the skills and qualifications required for your desired role. Some of the biggest tech employers have graduate and non graduate apprenticeship and starter schemes: Digital Health & Care Wales, Admiral Insurance, DVLA and Barclays all run such schemes.
Gain Relevant Skills and Knowledge
Once you’ve identified your target career path, focus on acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge. Wales offers a wealth of resources for learning digital skills:
Universities and colleges: Enrol in courses or degree programs at institutions such as Cardiff University, Swansea University, or University of South Wales.
The Institute of Coding offers free opportunities for coding and digital skill development bootcamps: https://instituteofcoding.org/courses/course/institute-of-coding-wales-python-programming/
Swansea MAD offers a range of free coding and digital workshops and one-to-one support: https://www.swanseamad.com/events/
Online learning platforms offer free and paid courses: Access courses on Coursera, edX, Udacity, or FutureLearn, covering a wide range of digital topics.
Government initiatives: Explore opportunities through the Welsh Government’s Digital PLA Personal Learning Account and partners with colleges and universities across Wales: https://workingwales.gov.wales/personal-learning-account
“Girls Who Code is on a mission to close the gender gap in technology and to change the image of what a programmer looks like and does” https://girlswhocode.com/
Community workshops and meetups: Attend local tech meetups, workshops, and hackathons to enhance your skills and network with other professionals: https://www.meetup.com/south-wales-tech/
Leverage Local Networking Opportunities: Building a strong professional network is essential for a successful transition into the digital sector.
Online forums and social media groups: Engage with the Welsh tech community through platforms like Tech Dragons Facebook group or Wales Tech Slack community.
Industry associations and organisations: Become a member of professional associations like the Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) Wales: https://www.theiet.org/membership/
Gain Practical Experience
Acquire hands-on experience to demonstrate your ability to apply your new skills in a real-world context. Engage in personal projects, contribute to open-source initiatives, or take on freelance work. Participate in hackathons or coding competitions to showcase your skills and connect with potential employers.
Tailor Your Job Applications
When applying for digital roles, tailor your CV and cover letter to emphasise your relevant skills, achievements, and experiences. Highlight transferable skills, newly acquired digital skills, and any practical experience you’ve gained.
Embrace Continuous Learning and Adaptability
The digital sector is constantly evolving, and professionals must be adaptable and committed to continuous learning. Stay informed about emerging trends and technologies, and engage in ongoing professional development to maintain an up-to-date skill set.
Create a MAP (Massive Action Plan) try to do something towards your goals each day and you will definitely get there. Persistence pays off. For further help and support contact us.