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Technology sector profile

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Are you a technophile? Do you love learning about the latest technology? If you want to work in a sector that is constantly changing with new and exciting updates coming all the time, a job in the technology sector could be ideal for you.

Different areas of technology sector

The technology sector includes all areas of technology from building software to preventing cyber crime. Here are the different areas of the sector that you could get involved with:

Software Development

In software development, you build the software that we all use on a regular basis. You could work on the latest software for email systems, for commercial purposes or even work on making more human-like AI. The possibilities in software development are endless. All you need is the coding skills and creativity to make something incredible.

Data Science and Analytics

Data science is a highly maths-y area of technology where you prepare high quantities of data, sometimes known as big data, for analysis. The objective of this is to gain valuable insights from the data. Due to the massive quantity of data, the conclusions that you can come to from the data are statistically very likely to be correct, assuming you’ve done your job well and removed any irrelevant or outlying data. 

Consulting and Project Management

Project managers in the technology industry help to organise a project, making sure that the right areas of a project are prioritised at the right times for maximum efficiency. In this industry, you could work with all manner of different project types. Success in the industry requires excellent organisation skills and a good knowledge of the IT sector so you can provide tailored assistance with projects.

Cyber Security

Cyber security is the area of the IT sector which deals with preventing crime from happening online. In cyber security work, you could make sure that software is completely secure before it’s rolled out to users. You may check the safety of the systems already in place in a company, either to prevent company information from being accessed or prevent user’s personal information from being leaked. In a social media platform, this might be making sure the databases containing email addresses, passwords, addresses and other pieces of personal information are safe in case someone outside of the company tries to access them.

IT Infrastructure

IT infrastructure is all the elements of a computer system that make it work. This includes hardware like the computers and laptops, all manner of software that allow you to use a computer and networks which help you share information. All of this combined is the infrastructure. Having good and relevant infrastructure in place is necessary for an organisation to work efficiently. In this area, you could manage the infrastructure that an organisation has, bringing in new ideas for parts of the infrastructure that could improve some part of the organisation either for colleagues or customers. 

Typical roles in technology sector

Are you interested in the sector? Here are some of the many jobs available within the sector that you could do:

Product Manager

In a product manager role, you are the one who takes the time to develop a product from its conception to a sellable item. This means working with many different departments so you can collaboratively make a product.

Software Engineer

As a software engineer, you take a brief from a manager or a client and produce a fully formed piece of software at the end. You need to have a great level of coding ability and creativity to make a piece of software that’s innovative and useful for your manager’s or the client’s needs.

Data Scientist

As a data scientist, you use your analytical skills to organise and refine huge quantities of data. To do this, you build software or computer-based models to help you analyse the data then read the data and report on your findings, sometimes including recommendations for future work.

Interface Designer

As an interface designer, you design parts of a website or app that a customer sees. Your work is highly creative and requires you to understand how the website or app works along with your client or employer’s requirements so you can make great designs which fit well on the platform.

Software Tester

As a software tester, you take a piece of software that a software engineer has built and test it to make sure it works. In the role, you look for any bugs in the software for the software engineer to fix before it’s released to users. Your job is trying to break the software to make it stronger overall.

IT Support Technician

IT support is the department of a business which helps users who have problems with the IT support. As an IT support technician, you could work within a company, helping your colleagues with any issues they have with the IT infrastructure used by the company. Alternatively, you could work for customer support, dealing with particular products and helping customers by troubleshooting their problems.

Why not learn about the types of graduate roles in the IT and software development sector?

Skills and qualifications

Having the right skills and qualifications helps you begin your career in the technology sector. Here are the skills and qualifications that you need to succeed:

Hard skills

  • Coding. Most jobs in this sector, excluding IT support and interface designer, require you to have high level coding skills. Some jobs require you to work with more than one coding language so having a basic grasp of how to use several helps you move between companies and projects. 

Soft skills

  • Creativity. Despite the technological leaning of the sector, being creative is very helpful. Interface designers use their creativity because it is a highly artistic job. In the role, you make designs and produce layouts for websites and apps. Software engineers also need to be creative. In this job, you come up with innovative and creative ideas for dealing with problems you come across in making a piece of software. Software testers also need to be creative so they can find new ways of breaking the software.
  • Perceptive. To work in the industry, you have to be perceptive. As a software engineer, you design software that ideally suits a consumer’s needs. As a software tester, you get into the mind of the user so you can test whether the software works in all scenarios. As an interface designer, you design pages which a consumer will find interesting and appealing to engage with.
  • Eager to learn. The IT sector is constantly changing. There are new innovations happening all the time. Keeping up to date with what’s happening in the sector means taking the time to learn about it yourself. Being eager to learn helps you stay on top of the latest innovations so you can use them in your own work.

Do you want to learn more? Here are the top skills you need to excel in the technology sector.

Qualifications

Having the right qualifications sets you up really well for a career in the technology sector. For jobs like interface designer and IT support technician, having an undergraduate degree is often sufficient. As an interface designer, you can acquire an undergraduate degree in user experience design. For IT support technicians, having a degree in computing and IT or similar is ideal. 

As a product manager, having a degree in marketing or business studies is a great way of preparing yourself for work. Alongside your degree, you can get a range of professional qualifications. You could become a certified product manager with a course from AIPMM, Product School and many others.

Some jobs in the sector require higher level qualifications. To be a software engineer, data scientist or software tester, you need a master’s degree in computer science, maths or statistics and work experience with software. 

Completing an apprenticeship is an option for some jobs in the sector. For IT support technicians, interface designers and even some software engineer jobs. If you’re interested in going down the apprenticeship route rather than a degree, you can use the government’s apprenticeship search tool to see what’s available to you.

Salaries

The salaries of the many jobs in the technology sector vary considerably. Here is what you might expect to earn in each job:

  • Software development. Whilst software testers earn between £20,000 and £50,000 per year, software engineers earn between £25,000 and £70,000 per year.
  • Data science and analytics. As a data scientist, you earn between £30,000 and £70,000 per year.
  • Consulting and project management. Product managers earn between £30,000 and £70,000 per year.
  • IT infrastructure. As an interface designer or an IT support manager, you earn between £30,000 and £65,000 per year.

Learn more about the starting salaries for technology graduates.

Key employers

Do you want to know more? Learn about the leading graduate employers in the technology sector.

The application process

For more technical jobs like software engineer and data scientist, you may have a coding section in the interview where you demonstrate your skills. In an interface designer job, you may need to show off your experience through a portfolio of your previous work. 

Getting your dream job in the technology sector means sending off a fantastic application to grab the hiring manager’s attention. Most jobs in the in sector only require a CV and cover letter. When writing your CV, make sure you make it relevant to the job you’re applying for. A hiring manager is more likely to choose your CV over another candidate’s if your CV shows you have experience or impressive credentials. Make sure to include your work and educational history, focusing on your achievements in the roles rather than your responsibilities. Tell the hiring manager what you did and the output of this. If you need to update your CV, follow this guide on how to write a CV.

Your cover letter is your opportunity to stand out to a hiring manager. Use the information in the job description to make your cover letter great. If they’re looking for someone with a specific skill, then give them an example of how you demonstrated the skill in your working life. If they want you to know a particular coding language, tell them when you learnt the coding language and how you’ve used it in your career. If you need some help crafting the perfect cover letter, learn how to write a cover letter and impress prospective employers.

In some more creative jobs like interface designer, you may need to send off your portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of the work that you’ve created. If you’re just starting out, you could build up your portfolio by volunteering to design websites and apps for local businesses or redesigning a large brand’s interfaces for fun. Your portfolio should include a range of your work, demonstrating your diverse skills without being overwhelming to a hiring manager looking at it.

If your application is successful, you’ll be invited to interview at the company. Making sure that you’re prepared before attending the interview puts you in the best standing to get the job. You could prepare by reading up about the organisation including its output, what it’s known for and its prominent staff members. Having some questions ready to the hiring manager during the interview makes you look interested in the job and helps you know if it’s right for you. Remember, an interview is as much about you working out if you want the job as much as the hiring manager deciding if they want you. Follow this guide on how to tackle face-to-face, phone and video interviews.

With more technical jobs like software engineer, tester and data analyst, you have a section of the interview which tests your understanding of the sector and ability to code. You can prepare for a technical interview by brushing up on your knowledge of relevant coding languages and how to build complex software structures. Reading over any lecture notes or textbooks that you have could help you do this. Be prepared and learn about what to expect in a technical interview.

Do you want to get more experience in the sector? Here are the four types of technology internship.

Has this sparked your interest in working in the technology sector? Read this guide to ways to stand out in your technology application.

Technology sector graduate jobs and schemes

Browse graduate opportunities in technology 

Interested in working in the exciting work of tech? Browse graduate opportunities in this sector and take the first step towards your future career.

More information

Are you interested in the sector but don’t know where to start? Learn how to improve your technical skills. Read this guide to understanding tech jargon.

See how Bright Network member Matthew made it as a technical consultant.