Tara-Reddy from BCS leaning against a wall

Thinking about a career in tech, but don’t know where to start?

 Watch the BCS Careers Inspiration Series on YouTube. BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT is the professional body for the digital industries. It provides advice and qualifications to help everyone get ahead in tech.

If you want a job in the media, marketing, banking, retail, health, manufacturing, communications, or engineering, you need to have digital skills. Tech is literally in everything, but there’s a skills shortage – which also means there are fantastic well-paid jobs to be had.

Olivia Wolfheart has interviewed lots of people about their jobs for the BCS Careers Inspiration series.  She says: “If your career choices are based on what you enjoy then your passion will come through and, ultimately, you’ll be happier.” 

Get a qualification

One route to an exciting tech career can be via a digital apprenticeship. You spend 80 percent of your time learning while working, and 20 per cent in structured off-the-job training. Connor Butcher is a software development apprentice for a Formula 1 team. He ensures racing cars are at the top of their game: “I’m working on an application that monitors data from the car and alerts engineers if there’s a problem.  It’s used during races and test drives. It’s useful for engineers to know what’s happening while the car is on the track.”  

Alternatively, you can do a T-level in computing, where you spend 80 percent of your time in the classroom and 20 per cent in work, or an A Level. Then you could move on to a degree.

There’s no need to have it all planned out

But if you missed out on the more conventional route don’t worry.  Career-changer Tara Reddy started off as a vet, but now she’s joint owner of a company, LoveShark, that designs augmented reality games apps for mobile phones. Tara taught herself to code and built up experience of developing apps in small companies before setting up her own firm. “I love my job,” said Tara. “You can build a product or app and send it out to millions of people and be as creative as you like.”

Tara’s tips for getting a tech job are:

  • Contact a local tech start-up and ask if you can intern for a day or longer to find out what it’s really like to work in the industry. 
  • Do online courses in coding – many are free or cheap- see more here

Watch Tara and Connor on the BCS Careers Inspiration YouTube channel.

Don’t panic!

If you’ve left school without the exam results you wanted, the government’s new Lifetime Skills Guarantee can help. If you’re aged 19+ and don’t have a Level 3 qualification you can sign up for lots of free digital skills courses, from basic IT user skills through to cyber security. 

For career information and to sign up for the BCS digital skills newsletter go to bit.ly/BCSDigitalSkills

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