Digital, Creative & Media

The digital, creative and media sector

The digital sector is extremely resilient as there is a digital element to most jobs. Greater Manchester has the largest digital and creative sectors outside the South East. There are already internationally significant clusters of businesses in broadcasting, content creation, media and cyber security. There are also sub-sectors where Greater Manchester has the potential to lead industries of the future, such as e-commerce.

There were 70,000 jobs in digital in 2018. The digital and creative sector includes industries such as TV, advertising, telecoms, computer games and programming. The sector is thriving in Greater Manchester, with major employers in cyber security, e-commerce and media. MediaCityUK, in Salford, is Europe’s largest purpose-built media location. The site is home to more than 250 media and digital businesses, including the BBC, ITV and Ericsson.

Major digital, creative and media employers in Greater Manchester include:

Popular jobs in digital, creative and media

Digital marketer

Job description

Digital marketers promote brands, products and services through social media, websites and apps. This role includes everything from creating content and graphics to managing advertising and PR campaigns.

Salary Range

£20,000-£50,000

Working environment

Office/hybrid

Hours

37-39 hours a week

Opportunities

You could go on to specialise in mobile or video marketing, become a senior digital marketing officer or head of online marketing. You could also work as a freelance digital marketing consultant or move into areas like advertising, sales, e-commerce or public relations.

Animator

Job description

Animators bring drawings and computer-generated characters to life on screen, using animation software or by hand-drawing.

Salary range

£14,000-£36,000

Working environment

Office, home or a creative studio.

Hours

35-40 hours a week, with possible evening and weekend work.

Opportunities

You could progress to lead animator or animation director. You could work for large animation studios, games developers, video post-production firms or start your own studio.

Cyber intelligence officer

Job description

Cyber intelligence officers identify weaknesses and threats to IT networks and security systems. They also prevent and identify hackers and hack attempts.

Salary range

£31,500-£50,000

Working environment

Office/hybrid

Hours

35-40 hours a week, with some evening and weekend work

Opportunities

You could become an ethical hacker, cyber security lead, or head of cyber security. You could also work as a freelance security contractor.

Software developer

Job description

Software developers design, build and test computer programs. Some developers may focus on coding and programming, while others will work more in design or network architecture.

Salary range

£20,000-£70,000

Working environment

Office/hybrid

Hours

37-40 hours a week

Opportunities

You could become a senior developer or move into systems design, IT architecture or business systems analysis.

You could also set up your own business, or work as a consultant in areas such as business services, finance, cyber security, telecommunications and healthcare.

CAD Technician

Job description

Computer-Aided Design (CAD) technicians use software to design buildings, machinery, goods and components. They use 2D or 3D software to produce sketches and detailed drawings. They’re also responsible for ensuring their products meet the relevant quality and technical standards.

Salary range

£15,000-£35,000

Working environment

Office/hybrid

Hours

39-41 hours a week

Opportunities

You could progress on to section leader, project or site manager, or go on to become a design or software engineer.

Future jobs

Employment is expected to keep increasing in the future – with over 18,000 more jobs in Greater Manchester over the next 20 years. Digital skills are vital for all jobs, not just those working in the sector! So, even if you’re not sure if you’re interested in a career in digital, creative and media, it’s still worth investigating the skills you might need.

Behind the scenes

Check out these videos to go behind the scenes with employers in the digital, creative and media sector. These businesses have opened their doors for workplace tours and videos showing employees in a range of different roles.

There’s also a virtual work experience activity with a Live Brief challenge that you can download and take part in. It’s been specifically designed to help you understand and develop the skills needed in this growing sector.