How to get into coding and tech

How to get a career in tech

So, you’re interested in a career in tech? Good for you! Technology is everywhere. The industry is always growing and with an ever-changing environment comes demand for skilled workers. The opportunities for school leavers interested in a tech career path is massive, the industry is saturated with potential to learn and grow skills. 

In the past, IT was labelled as ‘geeky’ and ‘boyish’, but as the leading generation in all things digital, it’s up to you to shun these stereotypes! With so many different career variations, the entry route can look confusing, so we spoke to a couple of tech stars from two North East technology companies and have put together four top tips to help you get your foot in the door.

Do your research   

Tech is not limited to coding, there are numerous roles that you might be interested in. You could be a programmer; a designer; an engineer, an SEO specialist or perhaps a security/ systems analyst. The world is your oyster, but it’s important that you know your skills and more so that follow what you enjoy!

For example, 23 year old Ruth Mollett, an avid gamer from childhood, landed her dream job as a Platform Developer at online gaming giant, tombola, by following her long-term passion.

Ruth told us: “I always knew I wanted to explore a career in the industry, however, when I was at school there was very little information available about coding and technology careers. I was lucky enough to get onto a great graduate scheme at tombola and this, paired with the knowledge I gained whilst studying at university, has provided me with a solid foundation to build upon.”

Entry paths

A-Levels, followed by a relevant Bachelor’s degree is the most common route to land a graduate role, like Ruth did. However, the increase in university fees have made this traditional path less appealing to many students.

Bypassing uni to avoid the cost of tuition will not limit your future. There are tonnes of options available for future techies. Apprenticeship schemes are a great way to earn pocket money whilst you learn. You could even land a role within one of the largest organisations in the UK, which would help you to secure a career with future progression.

 
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“Having a personal interest in industry trends is vital for your professional development”.

 

Choosing a less intensive, self-taught online course, is often favourable by older people seeking a career change, but they’re also a good option for school leavers who want a more flexible learning experience, providing you are self-motivated!

You should choose the route that is best for you! Remember, employers value experience and skills as much as education, so don’t be afraid if you think a less conventional path fits you better.

Love to Learn

The tech industry is constantly evolving and to ensure you’re at the top of your game, you need to stay up to date with these trends.

Neil Pendlington, Senior Technical Consultant at Oak says, “I know that most people don’t have an idea of what they want to do at school, but if you’re keen to pursue a career in the tech industry, then there are many groups popping up that support STEM outside of education, so involve yourself in these communities early to see what’s out there.”

By showing an interest in tech from an early age, your skills will develop naturally and things like HTML or Adobe Creative Suite will become second nature.

Turn skills into a career

So, you already have a passion for tech and you’re pretty fluent in code? It’s time to put your skills into practice. Have a go at building a website, maybe make a portfolio to show potential employers at interviews, or give blogging a go.

Ruth believes “Having a personal interest in industry trends is vital for your professional development”.

If you can apply your skills from a website you’ve developed as a hobby to a real world situation, such as your first job, or a module in your chose education path, you’ll thrive in the industry – tech is all about staying interested, keeping up-to-date and passionate!