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Bring IT On: Top 12 jobs in tech

  • Northern Ireland has one of the most rapidly growing I.T. sectors in the UK, with Belfast tech jobs representing almost 23% of all available job opportunities. 

    Why should you get into tech?

    There is a high demand for people with tech skills, and the tech job market is easy to enter. This means that there are lots of job opportunities in tech and you can take unconventional paths to get there. Additionally, the tech industry pays well. Entry-level tech salaries are higher than the average salary for Graduates.

    Studying tech gives you skills that you can use in various career paths. There are many different roles in tech that cater to different skills and interests. Skills like creativity, problem-solving, analysis, curiosity, leadership and communication are useful in the tech job market. Working in tech gives you the flexibility to work in many different industries like retail, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, media and education. Plus, your IT skills can be used in any country, so you can work and travel around the world.

    Most importantly, working in tech gives you the opportunity to make a positive impact on the future. You can create and build things that can help make the world a better place, such as advancements in medical technology, green technology and renewable energy.

    1. Software Developer

    Almost everything in our modern world is built on, or supported by, a set of rules or instructions called code, which tells a computer what you want it to do. Software Developers write code using programming languages. Everything from TikTok, Facebook and Google, to banks, traffic lights and even cars rely on thousands of lines of code to work.

    David Jamison, Vice President at Insider Inc. explained what a typical day as a Software Engineer might look like: “It will involve writing a lot of code. They may be managing several software projects. Although they may work alone for a lot of the day, some teamwork will be involved to help other Developers review their code; work together to find a solution to challenges; or work with other tech professionals such as Designers, Project Managers or sales teams”.

    1. Software Tester

    While Software Developers write code using programming languages to create computer programs and apps, a Software Tester tests that code to ensure there are no errors or bugs that can cause it to act differently than expected. These bugs can have consequences, causing disruption to lives, losing money or even causing fatalities. It’s a Software Tester’s job to ensure these are fixed before sending it out to the customer.

    Louise Collins, Lead QA at Asos NI, talks about a typical day of a software tester: "A typical day for a Software Tester will involve planning and running tests on code. They work closely with Business Analysts to understand the requirements of the software and how it should behave. They will plan and execute tests to ensure the software works. They work closely with Software Developers to ensure any bugs are fixed so that the software works correctly."

    1. Business Analyst

    A business analyst is someone who helps organisations improve their processes and systems by analysing their business operations and identifying areas for improvement. They work closely with other members of the organisation, such as managers and developers, to understand the business's needs and goals. They then use this information to develop solutions, such as new systems or processes, that can help the business run more efficiently and effectively.

    Holly Nixon, Business Analyst at Expleo Group, gives an insight into a day of a business analyst: “A typical day for a Business Analyst can vary massively depending on the projects that you are working on. Some of the key things a Business Analyst will do are gathering and analysing information, identifying business issues, and presenting ideas and findings whilst working with several different groups of people. Business Analysts also work closely with Project Managers, Software Testers, and Software Developers on a day-to-day basis.”

    1. Product Manager

    A product manager is responsible for identifying what customers want and how a product can fulfil that. They create business plans, decide how to measure the success of a product, and lead their team in the right direction to turn their vision into reality.

    Niall Curry, Lead Product Manager at Rapid7, outlined a day as a product manager: “No two days are the same for a Product Manager. They are involved in every step of creating a product: from working with customers to understand their needs, to collaborating with Software Engineers to design solutions. Throughout the process, Product Managers ensure that the customers’ voices are heard.”

    1. UX Designer

    User experience (UX) is about how people interact with products or services. This could be anything from the way a phone feels in your hand, to the actions you take in an app. The goal of UX design is to understand what people think and feel when they use something, so that we can make the experience better. For example, if an app is hard to use or not enjoyable, a UX Designer might figure out why and come up with ways to improve it.

    Stephen Currie, Lead Product Designer at Bazaarvoice, spoke about his day as a UX designer: “One of the perks of UX and Product Design is my day is always different. My day could involve talking to users to learn about their needs, using online tools to gather information, leading a design workshop, or creating prototypes for testing. The work is always interesting and rewarding and the specific tasks I do each day depend on where my team and I are in the design process.”

    1. DevOps Engineer

    DevOps Engineers are responsible for the tools and processes that Software Developers use to create products and applications. They help automate tasks so that Developers can save time and write better code. By making sure that the tools and processes are well-managed, DevOps Engineers can help prevent bugs and other problems in the code.

    Amy Shields, DevOps Engineer at Aflac Northern Ireland, set out her usual day: “The day starts with a stand-up meeting where we share what we did the day before, what we plan to do today, and if there are any obstacles in our way. After the meeting, each day can be very different. We might work on creating templates to save a team's time, provide support for the tools they use, or even write code to automate tasks. Our goal is to help teams be as efficient as possible.”

    1. Data Scientist

    Every day, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are generated across the world. Data Scientists try to understand this data and find solutions to problems. They do this by coming up with ideas, trying them out, and watching to see how they work, trying to make sense of that mega-terabyte-tsunami.

    Andrew Bolster, Senior R&D Manager (Data Science) at Synopsys, looked at his day at work: “As a Data Scientist, my day usually starts by reading about the latest news and developments in my industry. I might read academic papers, blog posts, or anything else that can help me stay up-to-date. I might also be working on several different projects at once, trying to figure out the best ways to use data to solve problems. I might talk to customers, Engineers, Sales teams, or anyone else who can help me understand the problem better.”

    1. Game Designer

    Game designers create everything in your favourite video games. They spend time solving problems and documenting their work so that developers can understand their vision and make it a reality. Designing games is a team effort, so game designers work with artists, sound designers, and developers to make sure everything comes together.

    Kyle Gilmore, Game Designer at Hypixel Studios, gives u a peek into his work day: “As a Game Designer, I spend a lot of time communicating my ideas to others. This can be through writing design documents, building prototypes, or just talking to other developers. Every day is different, but a lot of my time is spent making sure that my ideas are clear and can be understood by the people I’m working with.”

    1. Cyber Security

    Cyber security is about protecting computers, networks, and people from threats on the internet. For example, viruses can infect computers and hackers can steal information by breaking into networks. It’s important to have good cyber security because it keeps our information safe when we’re online.

    Natalie Sullivan, Senior Manager, Cyber Security at Lunar Energy, looks at her day at work: “A typical day for someone who works in cyber security involves monitoring computers and networks to make sure they are safe and working properly. In some cases, they might even be allowed to hack into systems to help organisations understand how to protect themselves from real hackers. Cyber Security Managers may also be responsible for conducting audits to ensure that their organisation is protecting its information and systems correctly. They may lead teams or work independently with different departments.”

    10. Digital Marketer

    Digital marketing is all around us. If you’re thinking about buying something, chances are you’ve been influenced by something you saw online. A Digital Marketer promotes things online. They try to reach people who might be interested in what they’re selling. They use different strategies, like creating content or using adverts, to get people to notice their brand and buy what they’re selling. The goal is to make people more aware of the brand and get more sales.

    Emma Burdett, Digital Marketing Consultant & Educator gives us an insight into her day: “You might work for an agency, in-house for a company, or for yourself as a freelancer. You will be responsible for a company’s digital channels such as their website, social media or digital advertising. No matter where you find yourself, you will always work with other teams such as Creatives, Sales or General Management and no two days will ever be the same.”

    11. Scrum Master

    Every project, whether it’s building a house or creating a new digital application, needs a leader who can drive it to its successful completion - a Project Manager. A Scrum Master is a special kind of Project Manager who works with Scrum teams. They are a coach who helps teams adopt a new, agile way of working that makes them more efficient and successful.

    Tanya Vacarda, Scrum Master at Allstate, talks us through her day: “As a Scrum Master, my typical day is all about communication and helping others. I start my day by catching up with the team and reviewing their progress in a daily stand-up meeting. If any issues come up, I make time to talk to the team about how we can solve them. After that, I might spend some time reviewing the team’s training needs and preparing materials”.

    12. IT Support

    Almost everything in our modern world is built on, or supported by, a set of rules or instructions called code, which tells a computer what you want it to do. IT Support Analysts are there to help out when those systems have problems, helping ensure our computers, laptops and tablets are working when we need them.

    Roy Fitzpatrick, Service Delivery Manager at Firemelon, gives us a glimpse at his typical work day: “As an IT Support Analyst, my typical day involves solving computer problems for colleagues and customers. Every day is different, so I never know what kind of problems I’ll have to solve. I always enjoy helping people get their computers and devices working again. IT Support is about fixing technical issues, so it’s always exciting to see what kind of challenges I’ll face”.

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