Software & systems

Getting in

Do you want to work in software design for example as a games or web designer?

Are you creative with good technical, maths and science skills?

Would you like coming up with ideas and listening to clients to give them what they want?

Then a career in this sector could be for you.

Routes into this sector

  • GCSEs in English and maths, art and design, computing and science could be useful if you are interested in this sector. 
  • At 16 you could do A levels which are general academic subjects or develop your knowledge and skills through an apprenticeship or vocational qualification.
  • At 18 or 19 you could do a higher education/degree level course, with 8 out of 10 A Level students choosing this pathway and half of all BTEC National students. However there are also other routes into your chosen career - through apprenticeships and vocational qualifications.

Some ideas:

  • For software development roles for business look  at - BSc Software Engineering for Business. This course has been put together by a group of 30 large Tech companies and universities.
  • There are two new degree apprenticeships -
  • The Digital Technology Solutions BSc apprenticeshipThis innovative programme equips degree apprentices with the skills they need to work in a wide range of graduate-level tech and digital roles, including business analyst, cyber security analyst, data analyst, IT consultant, network engineer and software engineer.These would mean you would gain your degree whilst being employed and working, so you wouldn't have to pay any fees. 
  • The Cyber Security Technical Professional Bsc apprenticeship - [which is currently in development] This is being developed by organisations such as GCHQ and IBM and will equip you with all the skills to work in cyber security at the highest level.

Use the Course Search

Use the relevant search options on our Course Search to find college and university courses as well as vacancies for apprenticeships.

More help finding Courses and Training

Do a free, short, online course to find out more [looks great on your CV too!]

Futurelearn have lots of free, short, online courses that will improve your knowledge of this job sector and improve your chance of landing a dream job. Check out courses related to software and systems.

Spotlight on Careers in Web/ App design

Web designers design and manage how websites look and feel, it is their job to make decisions about colour scheme, fonts and text size, images and how people navigate. The website might be being designed for a large corporate organisation through to a site for someone who is self-employed.  If you have creative flair and enjoy working on computers this could be the job for you.

The qualities you need to become a web designer include having an interest in design and how websites look. Do you make good use of software already – such as Photoshop? You will also need to listen and interpret what someone wants so you need good people skills.  And have good technical skills and be good at detail.

You need to be competent in recognised software packages and have an understanding of HTML and CSS – the basic building blocks of web pages. Coding and learning technologies such as Flash are also needed, amongst others.

Some key tasks in the role include meeting clients, design, testing and uploading information onto a web platform.  You could work as part of a team, in a large design agency or as a freelance web designer. If you choose to set up on your own then you do need to become competent at running a small business such as marketing and bookkeeping.

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