What does it take to get ahead in the tech industry?
Tech is hailed as the future of, well, pretty much everything. It’s also a sector that’s more than doubled in size in the last eight years. Its game-changing innovations have already overhauled the way we live, study and work – so it’s easy to see why so many students are looking to pursue careers in this thriving field.
It covers everything relating to IT – from research and manufacturing to software, systems and everything in between. But what does it take to make it in the tech industry? Here’s six essential skills you’ll need to get ahead.
It’s a two-way street when it comes to communicating in the workplace. Being able to both speak and listen are equally important when it comes to forging a career in the tech field. But these are the skills you’ll quickly develop once you’re in the environment, insists apprentice Chris.
“Since joining [Deloitte], I’ve worked with a range of people of all different ages and grades and really improved my communication skills, which are vital for team success.”
The Forensic Tech Associate says that he’s been given plenty of support to build his communication skills since starting his apprenticeship with Deloitte, adding:-
“I can seek advice from senior members in the team. I can ask for support and help with the work, and I have 1-to-1 catch-ups with my team leader where I can express any concerns” says the BrightStart apprentice.
Obstacles can arise in any career, but in the cutting-edge field of tech, it’s a daily occurrence. Being able to approach these problems from both a logical and analytical perspective is crucial for achieving those mini milestones and breakthrough moments.
“Problem solving is vital every day for me. I need to be able to develop solutions for the complex problems I’m set” says Chris.
“This involves breaking down tasks to understand the requirements and approach needed to complete them” adds the Forensic Tech apprentice.
Problem solving is not just a valuable skill, but also one of the most rewarding attributes you can learn. As Tech Analyst Ryan apprentice points out:-
“I love that I get to work with well-known companies, solving some of their most challenging problems, which then has such a great impact on their users. That’s something you don’t get to experience in too many other jobs.”
It goes without saying that you’ll need to develop your technical knowledge and ability to succeed in the tech field. These skills will vary depending on the area you want to pursue, but the best way to enhance these attributes is to get stuck in.
“By getting involved in projects and being taught and guided by the team, I’ve really improved and feel more comfortable applying my skills” says Chris.
Getting hands-on experience will also give you a feel for what the job entails – which may come as a surprise, says fellow apprentice Lily-Jo.
“Before I started, I didn’t know that testing was anything other than following a script and steps to test a system; I had no idea of the range of tasks that it entails.”
Immersing yourself in the tech environment won’t just give you a chance to gain a better understanding of the work involved, but will also give you the chance to continually develop your technical skills.
“Software development is a very beneficial skill to have in this current time, and the team has set up a great environment here to learn things like coding and DevOps at a more efficient level” insists Chris.
“Every day I learn something new and improve my technical skills” adds the Forensic Tech Associate.
“The thing I love most about my job is the new technology I’m able to see and experience first-hand” agrees Lily-Jo.
In the tech industry, you’ll need to develop confidence in yourself, in your colleagues, and in the company itself. It’s easier said than done – especially if you’re naturally more of an introverted type. But Nikita says the hands-on experience she gets as part of her BrightStart tech apprenticeship has transformed her self-belief.
“I’ve been able to go from the quiet girl at the back of the class to someone who’s given presentations in a room full of hundreds of people, and has walked through strategies with clients and managers” says the Tech Analyst.
It’s also important to be yourself – and having the support to feel comfortable in yourself, your ability and your environment is a game-changer for career success, insists Ryan.
“Everyone is so down-to-earth and easy to get on with, it’s hard not to be yourself. I feel very comfortable working at Deloitte.”
It’s a huge jump from the structured environment of the classroom to the thrilling pace of the tech world. As Nikita points out:-
“Coming straight from secondary school, where I had to ask permission to use the bathroom, I’ve had to learn to use my own initiative to take on work, both within projects and in my wider department.”
Though it can be a bit of a culture shock, developing good organisational skills is key to climbing the career ladder. Learning to prioritise, work productively and manage your time is essential in the tech field – and the more you can demonstrate these skills, the quicker you’ll be able to prove your value.
But how do you do that? “I look for places where I can contribute or where someone needs help and then take action. This can be creating a method of tracking an important deliverable, or volunteering to help write newsletters” says the Tech Analyst.
Teamwork really does make the dream work - especially when it comes to the field of tech. Proving you’re a team player – building on your ability to collaborate, delegate and take responsibility – is essential for succeeding in the tech industry.
As Chris puts it:- “It’s not just about the end result; it’s working together as a team to reach our joint and individual goals.
“I’ve had the opportunity to really develop my learning and skills and that’s to the credit of the team. They’re always seeking to innovate with the latest technology; that’s something that makes our team stand out.”
And it works both ways – which is something Nikita has found especially helpful while juggling the work and study elements of her apprenticeship.
“My team has always helped me manage…by sharing workloads and being flexible with deadlines” says the Tech Analyst.
Developing these essential skills can help give you a competitive edge. Gaining practical experience is one of the best ways to discover – and learn – the specialist skills you’ll need to achieve your tech ambitions.
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