There are many different rewarding, challenging and creative jobs for people with digital technology skills, including software developer, computer systems engineer, and web, games or multimedia developer. If you're innovative and like working with technology, this could be the field for you.
Will I get a job?
Employment prospects for people with digital technology skills are excellent. It's been estimated that the number of digital/ICT jobs will grow by 23-53% over the next decade, and many software development companies are already struggling to recruit staff.
The great thing about getting a digital technology qualification is that you can work in pretty much any industry, which means that you could follow your passion for conservation while holding a well-paid job as a GIS analyst, or save lives by developing better healthcare software for hospitals.
You need to be enthusiastic about what you do and have a range of skills and interests - employers are looking for people who want to make a difference, have fun and work hard.
What do I need to study?
The best pathway is via a relevant tertiary qualification, such as a diploma or degree in Information Technology, Computer Science or Software Engineering, although some people get into the digital industries with qualifications in other science or technology subjects.
Good communication skills are essential. You need to be able to work in teams, write reports and explain technical concepts in a way that customers and colleagues can understand.
What subjects should I take at school?
You'll need NCEA Level 3 credits in Calculus and Physics for Software and Computing Engineering pathways.
What are the main areas in digital technology?
Information Technology specialists focus on technology such as hardware, networking, servers, operating systems and software.
Key qualifications: Diplomas and degrees in Information and Communication Technologies, Networking & Security or Telecommunications
Information Systems is concerned with the information that computer systems provide to help an organisation, such as managing financial accounts and customer databases.
Key qualifications: Diplomas and degrees in Information Systems, Information Technology or Computing Systems
Software Engineering is about the development and maintenance of software systems. A software engineer might design, write and test computer programs, and often is involved in a project from original idea to final product.
Key qualifications: Bachelor of Engineering in Software Engineering, degrees in Computer Science
Computer Science looks at the maths and science behind computers, and how people use them. People with computer science qualifications work in a wide range of roles, from designing and developing computer systems to programming, developing software, and managing complex computer networks.
Key qualifications: Bachelor of Science in Computer Science or Bachelor of Computing and Mathematical Sciences.
Computer Systems Engineering is about designing, developing and operating computer systems. Computer systems engineers may specialise in computer hardware, software or the embedded computer systems used in cars and mobile phones.
Key qualifications: Bachelor of Engineering or Engineering Technology, specialising in Computer, Electronics, Mobile Systems or Network & Communications Engineering
Media Design combines digital technologies and design, and includes areas such as: computer game programming and design, website and app design and development, computer-generated imagery (CGI) for films, TV and games, and audio/visual communication.
Key qualifications: Diplomas and degrees in Multimedia Design, Web Development and Design, Game Programming, Computer Graphic Design, Creative Technologies and Design Innovation
Job roles in this industry