As the final weeks of the year roll in, we always like to take a moment to look back and reflect.
Are you someone who is looking to work in tech? Whether you are a school leaver, college or university graduate, or currently have a career in a different sector, we wanted to share our insights and some inspiring stories to help you to achieve your tech career dream.
According to a Press Release by the UK Department of Digital, Culture and sport in December 2022:
The UK tech market reached a market value of $1 trillion, achieving a sector spot of 1st place in Europe and 3rd place globally. Over one million people were employed in the IT, software and computer services sub-sector of the UK's creative industries, up from 940 thousand a year earlier. Of these, approximately 108 thousand people were self-employed.
The tech industry is an exciting sector, one that is continually evolving and innovating and one that we’re proud to be a part of.
Computer Science and Maths are the core subjects for a career in tech. If you love the problem solving in these subjects, there’s a good chance you’ll love the problem solving that is at the heart of a tech career.
At A-Level, Computer Science and Maths are the best core choices to make for a future career in tech. If Computer Science is not offered at your school, a career in tech is still open to you. Maths will teach you the most important skills, and there are plenty of online courses and challenges that you can do to further your tech skills.
Beyond this core, choose subjects that you’re really interested in. Psychology and Business Studies can be useful subjects for any career in business, but other subjects will also give you different perspectives and valuable skills.
An alternative path is via a T Level in Digital Production, Design and Development. This is a really new course, with only two years of results. It’s early days, but it will be interesting to see how the outcomes compare with the standard A-level route.
It’s a good idea to take up the careers advice services that many schools and colleges offer. We attend careers fairs each year and love to chat to young people about our own experiences and offer them advice on how to pursue their own careers in tech.
Taking opportunities for work experience at school and in sixth form/college is really useful at this stage and will help give you an early insight and to become more career ready.
We take on work experience students each year, and it’s a pleasure to be able to help a student in the early stages of their career. We’ve helped over 40 students from our local community. We give them an insight into what day to day looks like working in a busy tech business, they see different projects at different stages, how we operate and work as a team and importantly, we give them the opportunity to work on a project and create something:
"The ability to create my own homepage and the resources that came with it made it easy for me to accomplish my project as independently as possible. The environment was extremely laid-back, making it enjoyable to get work done and learn."
Jalen, Work Experience Student
There are two choices at this stage, either full time undergraduate study, or a degree apprenticeship. There is no right and wrong approach. It just depends on what works for the individual.
We take on a degree apprentice every year. They work with us 4 days a week and have 1 day a week to study with the Open University, attaining a BSc Honours Degree in Digital and Technology Solutions after 48 months. In reality, each day is a learning experience. Working days are on the job learning of technical, business and personal skills supported with training and coaching via a structured development plan.
Niall is one of our apprentices:
"Before I worked at Olamalu I had very little work experience, at most maybe one or two weeks as a placement. Here, they made me feel like one of the family straight away. They really took me on board during those first few months, and really showed me how to be a great software developer."
Upskilling and reskilling have become a key part of the UK’s dominance in tech with nearly 3,000 EdTech start-ups having raised a collective £1.7 billion in funding over the past five years. Companies such as Academy, Code First Girls, Immersive Labs and Multiverse are focused on enabling people of all ages to gain the skills they need to succeed in tech roles, from tech apprenticeships to coding, development and cyber security.
Callum, one of our Developers, changed career and has never looked back:
“Working in technology gives me new challenges, because it’s constantly changing. It never feels stale, and I really enjoy being able to work independently”
If you are excited about the technology industry but are not looking to become a Developer, don’t worry, there are lots of other roles that could be perfect for you. Erika, our Support Manager, is the important link between our customers and developers and answers queries, helps to solve any problems and books in additions and amendments to existing websites we’ve built with our development team. She’s a good communicator and is organised and logical – all skills that make her great at her job, but she also has a passion for tech:
“I really enjoy learning what’s possible with technology and the fact that in the pandemic, we were able to quickly adapt and switch everything we do to a remote offering without compromising anything”
George is our Designer. He is key part of the whole build process ensuring that the front-end design facilitates an excellent user experience whilst reflecting the brand values of the client. George is also a good communicator and is creative and flexible – all of which help him to develop unique designs for a wide range of different briefs.
“I like to take a problem and work out how the solution needs to work best, both visually and functionally. I take pride in using my design skills and experience to come up with something which is really usable, but also a pleasing experience for the user.”
Other functions that support larger tech firms are Marketing, PR, Sales, Finance and HR. These roles exist in most medium and larger organisations and give you the opportunity to work in a role that reflects your skills and experience whilst still working in a sector that really interests you.
Technology is exciting. It’s ground breaking, pioneering and offers a career that is varied and interesting. We hope you’ve found the insights and stories from our team useful and if it’s inspired you to seek an apprenticeship, we currently have a vacancy! Take a look https://www.olamalu.com/software-development-degree-apprentice
Read more about the Olamalu team and what they really think about working in the tech industry: https://www.olamalu.com/blog-page/our-take-tech
Read a report about the positive impact of careers education: https://www.careersandenterprise.co.uk/news/young-people-s-career-readiness-rising-as-result-of-careers-education/
Read more about opportunities for women in tech: https://www.womenintech.co.uk/get-into-tech
Read more about building a career in tech from The British Computing Society https://www.bcs.org/it-careers/get-into-tech-how-to-build-a-career-in-it/
We are Olamalu, Drupal experts and experienced web developers. We’re a friendly and down to earth team based in West Oxfordshire, who work together to achieve brilliant outcomes. We’ve been developing websites and designing tailormade tech solutions for a huge range of different challenges for over 10 years.
We work with many of our clients as an ongoing technical partner, but we also offer a consultancy service to solve a specific strategic challenge.
Inspiring the next generation is really important to us and offering advice, work placements and apprenticeships is an important part of our community and outreach work.