The word digital is used in so many different contexts that it is becoming increasingly harder to define digital. Indeed, if you’re interested in pursuing a career in digital, there are many attractive career paths to follow. But while, for some, embarking on a career in digital would begin with a search for entry-level Digital Marketing jobs. Others might focus on any role contributing to a company’s digital transformation journey. To add to the confusion, the opinion of many business leaders’ differs as to where they draw the boundaries between IT, Digital and Marketing.
We have previously written about entry-level IT jobs and entry-level digital marketing jobs. This article looks at entry-level digital jobs that are easy to get into with a focus on digital transformation.
As far as landing your first entry-level digital job goes, it doesn’t matter which department your job role sits within. The most important thing for first-time job seekers is getting a foot in the door. However, it may make a difference when you want to progress in a particular direction. So if your ambition is to aim for a specific job title, it’s important to choose wisely. Your first position should enable you to gain experience that will allow you to meet your ideal job requirements.
What is Digital?
The events during 2020 have highlighted the need for customers to be able to interact with businesses digitally. Many companies have long had a desire to ‘go digital’ which the coronavirus crisis has accelerated the need to deliver.
For example, when times are tough, one of the signs the economy notices is the lipstick effect. But during the lockdown, nobody was physically able to walk into a store and try on lipstick. The beauty industry responded very quickly to tackle this issue by implementing Augmented Reality. Now, online shoppers can virtually try on products, simply with the aid of their mobile phone or webcam.
For us as consumers, this seems so simple and obvious that we take it for granted. However, it takes teams of talented digital professionals to deliver this kind of digital capability.
The sudden surge in demand for digital talent to create solutions like this has flooded the market with opportunities. With a lack of experienced professionals to fill them, more openings are available to entry-level applicants. What’s more, the need for digital skills is only likely to grow over time.
Many people worry that as machines become more capable they will put humans out of jobs. However, a recent report by McKinsey suggests that for every job destroyed by technology, it creates another 2.4 vacancies.
Five Entry-Level Digital Jobs That Are Easy To Get Into
So what do digital professionals do behind the scenes to enable consumers to interact with businesses digitally? We take a look at five examples of entry-level digital jobs that are easy to get into.
1 – Junior User Experience Executive
It is a User Experience Designer’s (UX Designer’s) job to get inside the customers’ heads, anticipate what they want and design a solution that will fulfil that need.
Junior UX Executives work with the Marketing Team, Product Managers, Software Engineers, Web Designers, Customer Support, and Sales Teams. This makes for a fascinating work-life covering all aspects of research, ideation, implementation and testing.
At a junior level, executives do a lot of the legwork for senior User Experience Designers while gaining valuable exposure to the entire UX Design process.
You don’t need a degree to become a Junior UX Executive. Although studying Computer Science or Graphic Design or Digital Marketing at university are common routes in. Alternatively, you might study while you earn through an apprenticeship programme, take an online course or UX Bootcamp.
Salaries for Junior UX Executives start at around £24,000. The average salary with a few years of experience might increase to anything between £36,000 and £45,000.
2 – Junior Product Manager
To see the words Junior and Manager In the same job title might seem confusing. However, the word Manager, in this sense, does not refer to a people manager with years of experience. Rather, a Product Manager’s job is to manage the processes which take an idea through to a finished product.
Entry-level positions within Product Management are a chance for newbies to hone their most valuable skills. Empathy of users is paramount. In order to progress, you should also highlight your ability to identify issues and opportunities for improvement within business constraints. Junior Product Managers often work on creating entirely new products. Although, they are equally likely to focus on developing new features within existing products.
No formal qualifications are necessary to become a Junior Product Manager, but the job does require sharp commercial awareness. For this reason, it tends to be a role people transfer into from another area a few examples are:
- Software Engineering
- Web Development
- Account Management
- Project Management
Salaries for Junior Product Managers in the UK begin around £25,000. With experience, this can increase to anywhere up to £60,000.
3 – Project Administrator/Project Assistant
If you want to become a Project Manager but lack experience, a Project Administrator is a good entry point role. Project Managers are the people within a company who make change happen. They achieve this by planning, organising, and delegating tasks to others. This all generates a lot of administration work, which they rarely have time for.
That’s where the Project Administrator or Assistant comes in. They often organise meetings, take minutes, handle emails and manage diaries for the Project Manager. This enables them to get on with their job. It also means that the Administrator or Assistant gets an enormous amount of exposure to what a Project Manager does. Gaining this kind of experience makes it incredibly easy for a Project Administrator to step up into a higher role.
It is possible to take industry recognised Project Management qualifications such as Agile and Prince 2 online. As professional qualifications go, they are relatively low cost; for example, it is possible to become a qualified Agile Practitioner for less than £1000.
The starting salary for a Project Assistant/Administrator is around £21,000. As a fully qualified Project Manager, you could earn anywhere between £27,000 to £70,000, but £45,000 is a good average.
4 – Technical Architect
Also known as a Solutions Architect or Systems Architect. It is a Technical Architect’s job to put the IT Infrastructure and software solutions in place that will enable a company to achieve its digital goals. Their scope covers everything from the physical hardware to producing bespoke, in-house software solutions.
As their role covers so many aspects, their knowledge of IT hardware and software solutions needs to be extremely broad. This also means there are several routes into this much sought after position.
Technical Architect’s salaries start between £40,000 to £80,000. So you won’t be able to walk into this kind of job straight from college. However, there are a few entry-level roles that will enable you to gain the experience you need to become one.
A popular route to becoming a Technical Architect is by starting as a First Line Support Technician. You would then progress through Second and Third Line roles. Many companies expect Technical Architects to have a degree. However, it is achievable through an apprenticeship scheme by following this path.
Other ways to become a Technical Architect are through previous experience in Software Engineering, Web Development or IT Project Management.
5 – Data Analyst
Going digital gives companies endless opportunities to gather enormous amounts of data about consumer behaviour. However, it takes skilled Data Analysts to make sense of that data and present it to managers in an understandable format. Companies then use this data to spot new trends and anticipate their customers’ future needs. In turn, this allows them to make data-driven decisions about which products to create next.
To become a Data Analyst, you should be good at maths, or statistics at least. Most companies do require a degree, although many offer entry-level opportunities through graduate programmes. As Data Analysts are so valuable to businesses, many companies offer higher than average starting salaries to tempt them onto their graduate schemes.
Starting salaries for a Trainee Data Analyst are around £24,000. However, it is possible to progress to a senior level within a short space of time. With experience, Data Analysts can earn upwards of £60,000. There are plenty of opportunities for working on freelance projects and consultancy work.
A Few Final Thoughts on Entry Level Digital Jobs
Some experts speculate that in future, the only jobs left for humans could be those in the creative and digital sectors. That moment is probably way off in the future. However, getting ahead of the curve now could put you in an enviable position when that time comes.
Check out the latest digital jobs to get an idea of what employers are looking for right now.
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