By August 7, 2017

Building a career in the technology sector

In today’s world, many people are tech-savvy citizens. With smartphone usage on the rise and Internet access providing people with everything from supermarket shopping orders to TV shows whenever they want to view them, technology is booming.
When it comes to business, there’s a huge employment market available for those producing, supporting and developing all the new technologies that are used every day. It’s believed that there are over 47,000 digital technology companies in the UK alone, so training in this sector can open a wide variety of doors in your professional life.
Here is a look at what you’ll need for a successful career in the tech industry, what roles you can take up and how you can make the process as easy and streamlined as possible.

Varied range of jobs

Once you’ve set your heart on a career in the technology sector, your next step is to work out where you’ll specialise and which of the industry’s many jobs is right for you.

If you’re a strong communicator and good at problem solving, then a job as an IT technician might be right for you. This role involves working in environments such as companies, classrooms and other places where there are lots of non-technical computer users who need assistance, and you’re likely to find yourself responding to requests for technical help and sorting out issues with hardware and software.

There are also many roles in tech that are less customer-oriented. If you’re interested in modern technology but also have a keen eye for aesthetics, then you can combine your skill sets and become a website or software designer, tester or developer. Alternatively, if you’re good at the art of persuasion but want a tech-focused career, then you can join a company sales team and help promote their tech products.

Of course, before any of the software and hardware in schools and offices can be used. it also needs to be programmed. The earliest point in the life cycle of a tech tool is the development phase, and if you’re a strong critical thinker who is adept at using logic to solve problems, then a career in computer programming or coding might be suitable for you.

Qualifications and education

The qualifications required to kickstart your career in technology vary greatly. This is because there are so many different types of jobs in the tech sector, and the knowledge required is different every time.

To work as an IT technician, for example, there is no set qualification required. However, there are several IT professional bodies that offer qualifications to help you develop your skills, such as the Diploma in ICT Systems Support or the Diploma in ICT Systems and Principles. There are lots of apprenticeships available for IT technician jobs, so this might be an ideal route if you’d prefer to get practical experience.

For roles with more rare skill sets, you may need more specific qualifications. If you’re looking to work as a coder, then knowledge of major programming languages such as PHP or Python is essential, and some employers will also require a degree-level education in computer science.

If you’re looking to work in a tech sector role less directly related to key software and hardware infrastructures, then you may need a different qualification altogether. For example, if you’re looking to work in user experience, then skills related to design may be a stronger bet.

Become self-employed

Jobs in IT are increasingly becoming more contract-based, meaning that you’re required to work on a specific project for a set amount of time rather than as a permanent employee.

This offers a lot of flexibility and means that you can sample a wide variety of jobs but can also create administrative headaches. Contractors usually have to register as self-employed, and this means that you become legally responsible for your own tax affairs.

Registering with an umbrella PAYE (pay as you earn) company is a good option, as it essentially hands the responsibility over to a third party who will sort out all your tax affairs. This way, you don’t have to worry about time-consuming tasks such as filing returns to HMRC, while the clients whom you apply to work for are more likely to give you contracts, as they don’t have to deal with your tax affairs either.

Britain’s burgeoning tech sector is one of the most attractive industries for job seekers, not least because of the potential that it has for growth. Whether you’re looking to put your technical knowledge to good use in a support role or work on development projects of all shapes and sizes, employment in this sector is guaranteed to be meaningful, fulfilling and a lot of fun as well.

Posted in: Editorial

About the Author:

More than 20 years in the IT industry. Blogging with a passion and thirst for new technology since 2005.
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