Choosing a career in tech – which job role is right for you?

Choosing the perfect career is tricky as there are thousands of routes you can go down! Whether you are starting off with a Computer Science Degree or swapping roles it’s difficult knowing where to start.

Here is an overview of some roles in the tech industry that may help you to decide which route you want to go down.

IT Support & DevOps

Potential job roles: 

1st Line Support Engineer, 2nd Line Support Engineer, Service Desk Manager, Service Desk Analyst, DevOps Engineer.

What do they do?

The job of an IT support engineer is to install and maintain systems and hardware within a range of organisations from schools to start-ups. The role involves installing systems, diagnosing hardware and software faults and solving technical problems with customers, either over the phone or in person. DevOps engineers build, test and maintain the infrastructure and tools to create a faster development and release of software. 

Where can you progress to?

Service Desk Manager, Systems Engineer, Information System Administrator, Head of DevOps.

What does it require?

career in tech worker

Software Development

Potential job roles: 

It is what is say’s on the tin - Software Developer. You can specify in different coding languages depending on what you feel the most comfortable in. Languages and tech include: PHP, C#, JavaScript, Python, Java  etc. You will have to research and if you are doing a degree see what best suits you as you go!

What do they do?

Software Developers create Software! They are responsible for designing the computer programmes and operating systems that we use in everyday life.

Where can you progress to?

Senior Software Developer, Team Lead and eventually Development Manager. 

What does it require?

Career in tech laptop

Software Testing

Potential job roles:

Automation Tester, Manual Tester, Test Analyst, QA Tester.

What do they do?

A tester checks software projects and raw code from developers to find any bugs and errors which will stop the code working properly! They work closely with the developers, testing out software in multiple ways and creating reports for what needs improving before the project can be successfully delivered. 

Where can you progress to?

Test Manager, Head of Development

What does it require? (Soft skills, tech skills)

tech desk

Digital Marketing & Creative

Potential job roles:

Digital Marketing Executive, Graphic Designer, Web Designer, UX Designer

What do they do?

This is probably the most varied sector of the IT industry with so many different specialisms available. Working within marketing will mostly focus around digital forms of marketing such as campaigns, PPC, SEO and adverts but some positions may be more creative including content writing and social media. A graphics based role involves creating and adapting logos, websites and other digital images. 

Where can you progress to?

Senior Account Manager, Head of Marketing, Head of Design

What does it require? (Soft skills, tech skills)

modern tech desk

Data Science

Potential job roles:

Data Analyst, Information Analyst, Data Scientist, Machine Learning Engineer, BI Developer, Statistician, Database Administrator

What do they do?

A job within the Data Science sector will always revolve around identifying, manipulating, recording and following up on data but can be related to almost every aspect of life or a business. Similarly to other roles within IT there are key software tools that Data Science positions use to convert findings into clear and concise information. 

Where can you progress to?

Lead Analyst, Data Architect, Enterprise Architect, Head of Data

What does it require? (Soft skills, tech skills)

career in tech data

Looking for more advice on which career path is right for you? Click to take our quick quiz here.

A look at the UK’s new Kickstart Scheme

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UK government created multiple schemes and initiatives to help the UK economy, our companies and workers stay afloat. One of these initiatives is the new Kickstart Scheme, which focuses on minimising long-term employment within the younger working population. 

Here are the key details about the Kickstart Scheme and how it can help:

The Focus

The Kickstart Scheme is aimed towards employers across the UK who create new job placements for 16 - 24 year olds that are at risk of experiencing long-term unemployment due to COVID-19. 

Job placements will focus on providing employability skills such as commercial experience, transferable skills and references to help young people achieve and sustain employment after their 6 month Kickstart role. 

The Facts

How can you get involved?

Young People - There are two paths to get a new kickstart job placement after being on Universal Credit. 

Firstly you can apply directly to roles through online job boards such as Indeed, here you can look out for roles that specify the kickstart schemes criteria. 

Secondly you can discuss the scheme with your work coach during Universal meetings, where they will be able to give you more information. 

Employers - Your application for the Kickstart scheme depends upon how many job placements you will be creating and filling.

If you are applying for 29 placements or less, then you will need to use a Kickstart gateway to place the application on your behalf. There are gateways across the UK, Scotland and Wales and can be a range of different organisations, trading body charities. You can find a list of Gateways here that can assist you.
For employers that will be applying for 30 placements or more and can be completed through gov.uk here. As an employer applying directly you will be subject to more checks and need to provide information directly to the DWP and government bodies.

Looking for the perfect Kickstart position? We have a whole host of potential roles here on Hirecracker! Just take a look at our jobs page! 

6 ways to secure your first tech career using social media

Social Media is playing an increasingly large part in searching for jobs, particularly when you’re pursuing a career in the tech industry. We would strongly recommend to anyone looking to secure their first role in the technology space to use social media to their advantage! So many prospective employers are active across these platforms and are relying on them more and more to find the best talent. Use these 6 top tips to get ahead of your competition and give yourself the best chance of kickstarting a career in tech:

1.Create a Personal Brand

First thing’s first, you need to establish a social presence and ensure you are consistent with online content. Many people believe that social media is only useful for documenting your personal life and what makes you tick, but you can use just about any of these platforms to showcase your skills and experiences too. Of course, it’s no secret that prospective employers will have a look over your social profiles prior to interviewing you, so it is crucial that any public content you share portrays you in an appropriate manner!

In some cases, it may be worthwhile setting up separate accounts for professional purposes i.e. on Twitter or Instagram. Content you then post to these accounts should always be relevant to the role(s) you are pursuing. Identify your area of expertise and keep your posts in line with this so that when prospective employers land on your profile they can see from the outset where your passions lie. 

2. Perfect your LinkedIn Profile

LinkedIn is undoubtedly the biggest professional online network, so make the most of it! It’s vital that your profile demonstrates your experience and abilities without need for explanation, so be sure to include everything that’s relevant whether it be academic or commercial. Recruiters and hiring managers will be interested in the technologies / languages you are familiar with, the projects you have worked on and your key achievements. Think of LinkedIn as your virtual CV. It’s probably the first thing prospective employers will check out online so it is important that it reflects your expertise in a true light. It’s also wise to use a professional profile picture for this reason! 

LinkedIn is also a great resource for finding recruiters and hiring managers relevant to the tech industry (or any industry for that matter). It’s easy to send an introductory connection request, but try to be innovative with what you say. Put together a message that will differentiate you from other candidates and warrant a response. 

Logging in to social media

3. Be active on Twitter

Twitter is a popular platform within the tech community. There are plenty of tech companies, hiring managers and recruiters active on there, meaning it can be a really useful tool for engagement. It may be a good idea to set up a professional / career driven Twitter account separate to your personal account, this will allow you to reach out to users of interest without the risk of them seeing something on your profile that may deem you unprofessional. If you’re looking for some inspiration on how to run a professional tech-focused account, check out @paulienuh, @Dr_Black and @DanEnglishby for some tips.

There are also plenty of accounts on Twitter set up to act as job boards. A few within the tech space include: @TechCareersUK, @GJ_Tech, @TechJobsWales. You could also try searching relevant hashtags (e.g. #TechJobs) to track down opportunities that way.

4. Engage on Instagram

Not only is Instagram a great place to build and establish your personal brand, it also demonstrates that you are digital savvy and keep up-to-date with tech trends. Like with Twitter, you are probably going to want to create a separate professional account. You should then make sure your content is in line with your expertise and the jobs that you are going after. If your skills lie within the creative side of the tech industry, you could use your Instagram profile to share snapshots of graphics or websites that you’ve created.

Once you’re set up on Instagram, actively engage with tech companies local to you i.e. Software Houses, Solutions Providers, Tech Consultancies. Follow their accounts, like their posts and comment to make yourself known! If you are engaging with prospective employers in innovative ways, like on Instagram, you can then mention it in an interview to show a real interest in the company.

5. Build an Online Portfolio 

The best way to demonstrate your technical abilities is to create and utilise an online portfolio. This is especially important if you’re looking for a Front End Developer or Designer type role, but is equally beneficial to those who are more back end focused. If you can provide examples of code to back up an already strong CV, you are going to massively increase your chances of securing an interview. The most popular platforms among tech professionals are Github and Stack Overflow. Alternatively, you could compile your own personal website with links to project examples and showcase it through your typical social media platforms.

social media multi-screen

6. Get to Grips with Slack

Slack is widely used in the tech community and can give you access to a whole world of opportunities that you may not find on other social platforms. There are 100s of Slack channels encompassing a huge variety of tech skills and UK locations. Join channels relevant to what you want to specialise in and introduce yourself, then actively participate in conversations. Most Slack channels have job related sub-channels within them, where recruiters and hiring managers can post opportunities. Check these regularly to ensure you don’t miss out on anything that could be suitable!

Be explicit in terms of your skill set and the type of role you’re looking for when you are engaging on Slack, then make it easy for hiring managers and recruiters to get in contact with you. You may want to add your email address or contact number in your bio so as you are easily reachable. 

These are just 6 simple ways to enhance your job search and use social media platforms to secure your first career in the tech industry. Remember, the key thing is to engage regularly and relevantly – whether this be through posting your own content, liking and sharing other tech related content or making comments and sending messages. The way social media works for job seekers is constantly evolving, so do your best to keep on top of trends and adapt accordingly!

How the pandemic altered my Uni plans, and elevated my career hunt!

Hi, I'm Gabriella Beech! Like so many this summer, my school life finished sooner than I expected. Nevertheless, summer was fun, enjoying the great weather with my family and friends exploring the UK.

I was hoping to head to the University of Leeds this Autumn to study Business Management but the government's algorithm had different ideas for my A Level results! One long week later, my grades were finally corrected and I have been accepted in to the course in September 2021.

Unexpectedly, I now have a year off and given the current climate travelling was not on option. My degree is a broad based course covering all aspects of business life so I decided to gain some valuable work experience.

Searchability had a role available as a social media assistant on a temporary contract. This is an area of business that really interests me and one I think is only going to become more important in the years ahead. Preparing for the interview was a little nerve wracking but it gave me good experience for the future. The team at Searchability could not have been more welcoming and the process is not as daunting as you might think, the interview was more of a chat! My advice would be to just be yourself and be positive!

My experience starting work at the Searchability group has only been positive. On my first day, I had an introductory meeting and skills workshop in order to prepare me for my time here. This was great because I felt fully informed and then was able to begin working through my day to day roles with no pressure. I have only been with Searchability for a few weeks but already I am enjoying working in a young and vibrant office. Each day I enjoy coming to work and can’t believe how quickly it flies by. During my time with Searchability, I am hoping to gain an experience of the real world before my studies begin next year. 

Searchability are launching a brand-new free service for people in a similar position to me, a project I am excited to be a part of in my role here! It’s called "Klickstarters" and is designed to connect school or college leavers / University grads / candidates looking to take their first steps into a career in tech digital with job opportunities in the UK tech digital sector. Searchability are offering a number of incentives to clients to help them take a chance on candidates just like me, including £1,500 off their recruitment fee, free employer brand presence, extended rebate periods and much more. In many instances these companies can also take advantage of the UK Government’s Kickstart scheme too, meaning extra funding to help these organisations invest into ambitious tech talent!

If you are a candidate in a similar position to me, holding off on University and not sure what path to look at in the meantime, then a career in tech digital is definitely an area you should look at. It’s essential for almost every business, so why not take a look and hopefully gain some real-life experience!