To celebrate the Tech and Data Festival, with lots of career inspiration, employer events and networking opportunities, we’re excited to bring you a peek into the trends of tech and data industry. What’s the outlook like for students and graduates interested in entering the field?
“Graduate recruitment suffers biggest UK fall since 2008 crisis”, “The uncertain present and future for recent graduates”, “Young face job despair” – these are just some of the negative news headlines you may have seen this academic year (amongst other bad news) so it is understandable if you are feeling anxious about progressing your career during and after university. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, graduate employment has declined 12% with a further 2% predicted this year. However, the Institute of Student Employers, who work with student and graduate employers, reminds us that on the positive side, roughly 80% of recruitment is still happening. Therefore, it is more of a dip and slowing down of job opportunities rather than a complete stop.
Opportunities in the tech and data sector have declined like other sectors this year but it has also been the most resilient and has huge potential in terms of future work prospects. The pandemic has made remote working and virtual interaction the new norm – we are relying on technology more than ever every day. Unlike other sectors, tech companies have increased profits and recruitment during the pandemic such as Amazon, TikTok and Zoom. High Fliers’ Research finds that Technology is the third top sector for offering graduate vacancies in 2021, after the Public Sector and Accountancy & Professional Services. Also, remember that a lot of sectors are becoming more digital and data driven which means they need technical or analytical talent too so it’s a good idea to look outside of the tech and data sector – Gradcracker lists organisations from all sectors who are interested in STEM skills.
2) Tech is constantly changing
Technology is a fast-paced and constantly changing field so keeping informed and up-to-date is always a productive part of your career planning – employers are impressed if you show that you follow and have awareness of the latest trends and developments. Our Tech & Engineering Sector Guides and NMS’ KEATS page is a good place to start and there is plenty of information you can find in the news and on the Internet.
Top tip: Finding out what’s new in the industry can feel overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. As well as information resources on KEATS, it’s a great idea to ask employers directly! It’s way easier than it sounds – on the Tech & Data Career Festival you can take part in masterclasses and Q&A sessions. Try asking “what technologies are currently trending or emerging in the field?” and see where the employer’s answers take the discussion!
3) Employers are keen to increase women and people from BAME communities
Tech and Data (plus other STEM sectors) have traditionally been male-dominated which is why the industry is particularly keen to attract female candidates. To learn more, you can explore Women in STEM which showcases organisations who support gender diversity and women’s experiences working in STEM sectors.
Diverse candidates are also a growing priority for tech and data employers – the ISE reports that students from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities have become student employers’ 2nd top diversity priority (after gender) this year for the first time. In recent years, we have seen many employers offering career events, programs and initiatives, and approaching us to improve diversity in their applicants. You can search for some of the diversity-specific events on King’s CareerConnect and we offer a variety of different resources and support for students from underrepresented backgrounds through Careers + programme.
4) You do not need to have a technical degree
Many tech and data employers do not actually require a Computer Science or technical degree – they essentially look for good problem solving, logical thinking and analytical skills, and of course a genuine interest in tech and data. There are plenty of coding/data courses online and graduate employers have been offering free webinars and classes, from coding for beginners to advanced Excel and overviews of the tech industry – these will be advertised on King’s CareerConnect so make sure to check there. Learning to code, playing with data and creating visualisations or graphs is a good use of your spare time as you’ll develop skills. Employers love to see a portfolio or repository of your work during the application process for very technical roles so it’s worth setting one up using websites such as GitHub and HackerRank for Developers.
Find out more about Tech and Data careers at the Focus on Technology & Data Festival taking place on the 1st – 5th February! There will be events including Employer Masterclasses, Career Panels and Mock Interviews to help with your career planning, whether you are at the Discover, Focus or Action stage. Attending employers include arm, London Stock Exchange, Octopus Energy, Sky plus more. Check out the Festival Schedule and booking details via KEATS. See you there!
The Graduate Market in 2020 End of Year Review, High Fliers