In recent weeks, Channel Eye has been taking a look at the new free courses available at the Digital Jersey Academy, thanks to funding from the Government of Jersey’s Fiscal Stimulus Fund.
This time around, we look at what else is available for those considering a digital career, or simply looking for ways to upskill or reskill within their existing role.
The take-up for the free courses at the Digital Jersey Academy has exceeded all expectations, but there are a few spaces left on some of the courses. Even if the course you want is full, register your interest for the next cohort.
But if you’re serious about investing in your own digital development, the Digital Leadership Programme may well be for you.
It’s a two-year course which can be studied on a full time or part time basis, meaning students leaving education can continue full time study while those already in employment can do it alongside their existing job.
One of those in the first group of students to take on the part-time degree-equivalent option is Gwyn Garfield-Bennett (shown in the main picture), who is on course to graduate later this year.
For Gwyn, as she told Channel Eye, it’s all about life-long learning.
She told us: “Everyone needs to keep learning. My parents’ generation used to go into a job and more often than not, stay there, gradually progressing through the ranks until retirement. Working life is no longer like that, and most importantly, the tools we use to do our jobs and how we do our jobs are changing every year. We are expected to work far longer, and many of us have more than one career in our lifetimes.
“Digital is also now the lifeblood of everything we do and the rate of change is phenomenal, *something the pandemic has highlighted even further. It is essential that we all keep our skills up to date, in order to not only do our existing jobs better, but to open up new opportunities for ourselves. Ultimately, this benefits everyone because it makes Jersey more competitive.
“Learning new skills is also extremely rewarding and good for you mentally and psychologically. A course like the Digital Leadership Programme gives you confidence as well as depth of knowledge. I had already studied under Daniel Rowles in the shorter Digital Marketing course that was offered by Digital Jersey. I therefore also had the advantage of knowing that the quality of the course was going to be excellent.
The Digital Leadership Programme allows students to develop a broad range of digital skills, the chance to specialise in specific areas, and an opportunity to work on real-world projects.
For Gwyn, it was that ability to get a full spectrum of skills that attracted her.
“There is a great variety on the course, which ranges from marketing and design, to business management, analytics and even coding. The best part is that it’s taught by people who are industry experts in their own fields. The lecturers aren’t just standing in front of you and talking ‘at you’ about some theoretical ideas, they are sharing their own career experiences.
“It is very practical in its outlook and designed to enable you to utilise what you are learning in the real world, not just pass an exam and be able to wave a piece of paper around. There’s also no such thing as silly questions. My fellow students and I come from a huge variety of backgrounds and what one person finds easy, another one will struggle with. That doesn’t matter, because the tutors will support us and ensure we all get to the level we need to achieve.”
In a year where many people have had to think again about their careers and adapt due to the pandemic, the Digital Leadership Programme has given Gwyn the chance to match her new digital skills with her passion for publishing.
“I’m an author and freelance writer/PR consultant, but one of my initial aims had been to undertake the course to help with a digital business I’d set up with two friends. Despite that business winning several awards, the pandemic unfortunately resulted in us closing it. From the DLP point of view, that didn’t matter, as all my new skills are instantly transferrable to any business.
“I’ve been using those up-to-date skills for my book publishing business and PR clients, while it also gives me the option to apply for interesting roles once I’ve graduated. I had previously worked in the digital industry and so already had a good understanding of the sector, but the DLP has given me a far greater depth of experience and learning which will be useful to any prospective employer, as well as in my own business. It has also given me the confidence to know that I could walk into an interview and be able to show that not only do I have decades of career and life experience to offer, but I also have the latest skills, so it suits any age group.”
The Digital Leadership Programme is a serious commitment, but one that could set you up with precisely the skills many employers in Jersey are looking for right now. There’s currently a lack of people in the workforce with the right experiences that companies need. This is called the skills gap. It’s not a uniquely Jersey problem, but the Digital Leadership Programme is a uniquely Jersey solution.
Gwyn would encourage anybody to consider the programme, but is clear that they need to be serious about their intent.
“Go for it, but make sure you are prepared to commit the time. When we started there was no hint of a pandemic, and so for many of us on the course there have been quite a few circumstance changes over the past two years, including two babies! Real life can get in the way. It is part time though, and so do-able in terms of the lectures that you need to attend, and the tutors are flexible if you are struggling because of life commitments.
“It is however, a degree level course, so it’s not just a few lectures, tick a box and no homework, there are plenty of assignments to complete and you have the option to sit the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s digital marketing diploma which is a lot of study.
“Don’t worry about how old you are or if you’ve not studied in years, or even been out of the workplace for a while. We have the full range of people in my cohort, from recent school leavers working full time, to full-time mums and older people who have not been in the workforce for many years but want to return with updated skills. The tutors will support you in all the subject areas. It really doesn’t matter what your age, educational or career background, with the right attitude you will enjoy, learn, and achieve.
“If you want to future proof your career opportunities, then applying to study on the DLP will be your first step.”
To find out more about the Digital Leadership Programme visit and to take a look at the last of the availability on the free digital courses funded by the Government of Jersey’s Fiscal Stimulus Fund – visit the website here.