Looking to get into tech but don’t know where to start? Often there is a lack of awareness of the diversity of career opportunities in the digital sector and how to get to them. With some research, you’ll discover what pathway is right for you regardless of what stage you’re at.
• In 2018, the digital tech sector was worth nearly £184 billion to UK economy.
• The UK creates more artificial intelligence jobs than any other European nation, and more than half of them are outside of London.
• 16 towns in the UK, dubbed Silicon Suburbs, are showing a higher proportion of digital tech employment than the UK average.
• UK’s digital tech sector has created one tech ‘unicorn’ a month for last year.
Busting tech career myths
Common misconceptions disproved.
#1 The tech sector is only for maths/technologically inclined geniuses
You don’t have to be a tech genius to work in the sector. What if technology just isn’t your thing? Well, the sector needs more than developers and programmers. It needs people with skills from across the board, for instance, creativity, critical thinking – meaning that there is something for everyone. Despite the skill and gender stereotypes around the types of roles that exist in the tech sector, it’s clear that whatever you’ve studied or trained for, there is a place for you to grow.
#2 Tech jobs need a university level education
It’s possible for anyone to get into tech – a university education is not a must have. There are numerous vocational and academic pathways, as well as specific initiatives to ensure we are fishing in the widest pool possible. The tech sector aims to be as diverse as possible, and so there are many avenues you can take to get there. It’s never too late to join the fastest growing industry.
#3 A tech career means being stuck at a desk
If your worst fears include being stuck behind a desk and fluorescent lights, your worries stop here. The UK’s tech sector is fast outpacing the rest of the UK in terms of economic growth. In 2018, the industry expanded 2.6 times faster than the rest of the UK economy. With the number of job opportunities on the rise, the types of careers and working styles have never been higher. This could be anything from working at home on project sites. Being on the cutting edge of tech means that anything is possible. There’s never been a better time to get involved.
#4 Women are not interested in working in tech
Women are interested in tech. They just don’t make up a large enough part of the workforce. Currently only 19% of all workers in the tech sector are female. With greater awareness and the rise of organisations such as The Tech Talent Charter, WISE campaign and Tech She Can, working towards better access and promotion of STEM to young girls, we can change this. The tech industry aims to support campaigns for gender balance in STEM from the earlier years of classroom to the boardroom. From this, girls can get greater access to STEM careers education, and foster a culture of feeling welcome in the process.
#5 Automation will make jobs in tech obsolete
As new technologies emerge and parts of jobs are more likely to be automated, the nature of work will change. New industries and roles will be created so steps need to be taken to prepare the UK’s workforce to adapt to this change. While some people will be able to ride the wave of change without much support – by continuing to update their skills and knowledge – many will find this much more difficult and will need active support to re-skill. It’s true that automation will redefine key areas of work but that it will also create new areas of work. We don’t know exactly how automation is going to continue to shape the world of work, but by upskilling and retraining, we can remain ready for new opportunities.
#6 People from diverse backgrounds don't work in tech
The tech sector is doing its upmost to attract and recruit people from different backgrounds. The industry supports a number of initiatives that promote diversity in tech, whether that is doing outreach work to ensure that young people regardless of their background are inspired into tech and can see role models that look like them, or initiatives that help build more inclusive workplaces for those with different accessibility needs.