Sector Spotlight – Emily’s Journey into the Technology Industry
Wednesday 16th Nov 2022
The Technology Industry is a big one! With so many different jobs and it being in its nature ever-changing, it can be difficult to know where to start. Emily Oakey who currently works as an Application Development Specialist struggled with exactly this, but when she was starting out in her career in 2017 she found Accenture’s Apprenticeship scheme and loved every second of it. She now wants to share her journey into Tech to inspire others to get into the industry.
When I was in sixth form I was unsure about what I wanted to do next. My school only talked about University and that made it seem like the only option I had. I figured that because I enjoyed Digital Design and Art in school, I would apply to do Advertising at University.
I went along to a few University Open Days like all of my friends were doing but unlike all of them, University life just didn’t appeal to me and it didn’t make me feel excited.
After this, I knew Advertising wasn’t for me and neither was University, but the big dilemma was that I still didn’t know what I wanted to do after Sixth Form. I decided to have a chat with my parents about it all, and they told me “to think about what jobs will still exist in 30 years.” Little did I know at the time that this one bit of advice would shape all my career ambitions.
When I went away and thought about this bit of advice the only industry that stood out to me was Technology and IT. However, I felt that I didn’t have enough experience in the industry or the relevant A-Levels to pursue this route. This is when I took to the internet trying to find out about every possible route I could take to get into this industry.
If I could give my younger self some advice, I would have told her not to have been so worried about what everyone else in sixth form was doing and to not be afraid – just because I didn’t know it yet didn’t mean I couldn’t learn it.
After lots of research, I came across the Digital and Technology Degree Apprenticeship with Accenture and I couldn’t believe that employers were offering students the opportunity to study part-time, have their degree paid for, and get to start working on real projects in huge organisations.
This was a huge discovery for me and I felt like this was the right route, at the right level for me to get into the technology industry!
The Degree Apprenticeship meant that it didn’t matter that I didn’t know what I wanted to do within technology as I would get the opportunity to learn about all different types of technology and throughout the apprenticeship I actually discovered areas of tech that I didn’t know existed.
Since accepting my Degree Apprenticeship offer in 2017 with Accenture I have loved every second of it. While there have been challenges I love that no two days are ever the same and the variety of work I can get up to in my role means I am constantly learning new things which is fantastic.
I am also supported in that learning, and I have been lucky enough to attend additional training to my Apprenticeship such as Business Analyst Training and I have even been able to certify as an Associate Cloud Engineer.
I would say If you are wanting to get into the IT and Tech industry the key is enthusiasm. You can learn a development language, how to use different tools, which technologies are most suitable for different use cases etc. But I don’t think you can learn enthusiasm.
I think that employers care more about whether you can demonstrate their core values and are willing to learn, than how experienced you are with a specific tool/language/delivery framework.
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