Higher Options career talks: technology

New areas of work are being created in the industry every year, providing opportunities for students

Attending university is not necessarily a requirement to work in the technology industry, say experts in the industry.

Technology careers are available for people with a wide range of skill sets, says Paul Collins, regional security officer with Elavon, a company which processes card transactions across the globe.

“It’s not all about super-techies, we absolutely need and have loads of those. We need people on the team who have people skills, who are very organised, who have good administration skills,” he says.

Collins says he has worked with many people in the technology industry who had not come from a technical background.

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“You don’t have to start off, like me, programming at home as a teenager, that is not normal. For a lot of people working in technology, they get into it in a different way.”

Degrees

He said that coming from a background other than programming gives people different perspectives that traditionally-trained workers may not have. There has also been a shift away from requiring formal education qualifications in the industry.

He said having a degree was the “be-all and end-all” in the industry, but recently companies have been forced to be more “creative” in their hiring and are looking towards people with practical experience instead.

He says new jobs and areas of work are being created in the industry every year, providing opportunities for students.

Apprenticeships

The industry is also accessible for those who “do not want to go down the college route” as a result of the availability of programming apprenticeships, says Edel Hesnan of Fastrack into IT.

“Maybe they want a more practical learning experience and you have career changers, who want to get into the technology sector,” she says.

“There’s a lot of programmes trying to encourage females into technology.”

There are also great career opportunities for people who are neurodiverse, says Daniel Browne, founder of Autistic Spectrum IT / Cybersecurity Recruitment Initiative.

He says the technology industry is very accessible nowadays.

Interviews conducted in 2021

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