How to get a job in tech

Sam Wason and business partner Gordon Kaye

How to get a job in tech

Sam Wason, managing director of Cathcart Associates, talks us through the specialist skills required to make a name for yourself in the burgeoning technology scene.

This year’s Tech Nation report revealed that 69 per cent of local Manchester-based start-ups are struggling to source highly skilled workers. Despite this digital skills shortage, the city has become a hub for technology in the north of England and is showing no signs of slowing down.

In the last year, the city contributed a digital GVA of £2.8bn, saw an average salary of more than £47,000, produced 898 start-up companies, and had over 62,000 digital jobs up for grabs - that’s the highest number of tech jobs outside of London. Digital has become the ultimate sector for people to work in.

Job seekers should keep in mind that to work in the sector, you don’t have to be a coder. There are lots of other roles out there that make up jobs in the IT industry, such as project management and product management.

As a specialist technology recruitment consultancy, we work alongside job seekers and employers on a daily basis so we have come to know what people can do to help boost their chances of getting a job in one of the UK’s most innovative sectors.

So if you are looking to take the leap, here is our advice.

1.     Sell yourself as an entrepreneur

An increasing number of employers are seeking commercial, business support and project management skills, as well as technical ability when looking for candidates, especially young, trendy start-ups, who often seek business savvy IT professionals that understand the practical application of what it is that they are doing.

These are also attractive transferable skills for employers, as they can make on the job training much easier. Recent research has found a hidden talent pipeline, with more people entering digital from a range of non-computing backgrounds, such as design, business, and physical sciences, illustrating the importance of transferable skills and a willingness of employers to recruit from wider backgrounds and disciplines.

2.     Find a good recruiter

And trust them. Recruiters can be worth their weight in gold for candidates looking to jump into a job in tech.

At Cathcart Associates, for example, we are alerted to jobs that are not advertised anywhere online, meaning candidates can get ‘first dibs’ on the best digital roles. We also have great contacts with leading people in the tech industry, meaning we can get you into places you can’t get yourself.

To do their jobs, recruiters need to know as much about you as they can. If you do your research and come to a recruiter with a concrete evidence of your experience and an idea of what it is you are looking for, they can work at finding an ideal role for you. Trust that they can help you get a foot in the door and make the most of all the advice and support they give you, from guidance on how to boost your CV to linking you up with potential employers.