Scotland is building a world-class digital economy. As our technology community continues to grow rapidly, skills in data, programming, AI and digital transformation are becoming highly sought after in the marketplace. 

That said, the digital skills gap in Scotland continues to be well publicised, and its impact should not be under-estimated. According to a recent report by the Learning & Work Institute, 92% of UK organisations state that digital skills are key to success – driving growth, innovation and productivity.

However, over one in three employers also say that their workforce lacks the advanced digital skills that they need. This growing digital skills gap is something that is echoed in our discussions with our employer partners.

We’re increasingly seeing companies using Graduate Apprenticeships to upskill and reskill existing employees and attract new talent.

Why Graduate Apprenticeships?

Our Graduate Apprenticeships (GAs) have been designed to fill critical data and digital skills gaps. They offer a unique combination of work-based and academic learning, creating degree qualified employees with skills tailored to the needs of business. Here’s a reminder of the key benefits:

  • They are a great way to attract new talent to a company or to upskill and reskill existing employees
  • All degree programmes are fully funded - meaning there are no additional costs to the employer or the employee
  • The programmes are designed by industry and employers to develop skills tailored to the needs of business
  • Work-based learning approach ensures practical application in the business environment
  • They are an excellent way to recover the Apprenticeship Levy the company may already be paying

    Interested in finding out more?

    If you’re interested in joining the growing number of employers using Graduate Apprenticeships to develop key digital skills, get in touch today. Just complete the short form opposite and a member of the team will get straight back to you. 

    We look forward to hearing from you!

    An overview of the programmes available

    Heriot-Watt has a strong reputation for digital-related degrees. We're ranked 3rd in Scotland and 9th in the UK for Computer Science and Information Systems (source: Guardian Good University Guide 2023) and the following courses are available:

    BSc (Hons) Data Science

    • The demand for data talent is growing as businesses become much more data driven. Our BSc (Hons) Data Science Graduate Apprenticeships programme, not only builds data skills, it also develops talented people with hands-on, work-based experience.
    • Data Science sits at the intersection between Computer Science (including Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning), Mathematics (including Advanced Statistical methods) and selected areas of Engineering. 
    • The programme will develop graduates with
      • business-focused data skills,
      • the ability to assess, analyse and report on company data
      • the ability to deliver data driven insights to focus growth on key areas and opportunities

    Read more

    BSc (Hons) Software Development

    • This programme is designed to provide a solid foundation in computing and the necessary applied skills.
    • The programme will develop graduates with the capability to code, build software programs and web-based applications using key technologies, languages and tools.
    • The programme helps develop highly skilled employees in the following areas:
      • Software Development and Testing;
      • Web Development;
      • Database Architecture and Development.

    Read more


    Why Heriot-Watt University?

    Heriot-Watt has a proud tradition of industry-focused education. Our degrees are highly regarded for their professional relevance and we have an excellent record of preparing students for successful careers. Heriot-Watt is consistently ranked in the top third of Computer Science departments in the UK for our research and teaching quality. Read more