As Marc Andreessen, the technology entrepreneur who built Mosaic and founded a16z once said: “Software is eating the world.” You don’t need to look too far to see that more and more major industries are being disrupted by it. From music, film, and books to food, healthcare and education, many of the most successful businesses of today have technology at their core.
The surge of technology in our lives has led to all kinds of new career paths that didn’t exist even just a few years ago. In fact, last year the jobs site Glassdoor reported that 22 of its 50 best jobs are tech-related.
That’s why I found it confusing that when I was in my final year of university, it seemed like the only feasible career paths for business students were graduate programmes in finance, accounting, consultancy or investment banking.
This was further reinforced by conversations I had with career advisors. Although there were no shortage of brochures and pamphlets for KPMG, Jameson and Accenture, they couldn’t offer much for people like me looking to pursue a career in the tech industry.
By having people I could turn to for advice outside of the services offered by my university, I was fortunate enough to find a way into tech at an early stage in my career — and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.
Some of the best companies you can work for don’t go to jobs fairs so are entirely off the radar of careers departments.
While the vast majority of graduates are familiar with direct-to-consumer brands such as Google, Facebook, Amazon, LinkedIn and Microsoft, there are countless other companies that graduates have never heard of that offer amazing opportunities.
A career in the tech industry means working in the fastest-growing, fastest-changing and possibly most demanding career sector and many of these companies are incredible places to work.
So here’s my advice: If you really want to find your dream job, irrespective of your age or what you studied at university, you should look at tech. Here are three reasons why.
1. Tech pays well
A graduate outcomes survey conducted by the Higher Education Authority with the Class of 2020 found that the average salary for all graduates in March 2021 was €37,104, with younger graduates reporting an average of €32,596.
That same study found that tech graduates fared better than their peers financially, with the highest proportion on salaries of over €40,000.
More recent research carried out by the recruiting firm Hays in late 2021, found that salaries in tech have increased by nearly 20% over the previous 12 months.
This means that not only will you be paid well as a graduate in the tech industry, but there will also be opportunities to increase your salary as you progress through your career as well.
2. Great job security
Although no industry is completely immune to an economic downturn, the tech industry has significantly outperformed other industries over the past couple of years.
According to an NTMA report from 2020, the technology sector delivered 16% growth in gross value added between Q1-Q3, despite the slowdown in economic activity that inevitably accompanied the lockdowns.
As unemployment soared, there was a shift to an employer-driven market as graduates entering the workforce were pushed out by more experienced people who had lost their jobs.
Thankfully, this was short-lived as the tech industry proved extremely resilient throughout the remainder of the year, through 2021 and into 2022.
The companies that consolidated and kept their head above water proceeded with aggressive hiring plans meaning by the end of last year, the tech sector had returned to a candidate-driven market.
3. Work flexibility
Given the nature of the work, the tech industry can offer young people the kind of job flexibility they crave—such as the opportunity to work remotely from just about anywhere with an internet connection.
For recent graduates, this will free you up to make your own schedule and achieve a bit of highly sought-after work-life balance. This has been a crucial step to inducing agile working along with productive outcomes.
Similarly, this presents really exciting opportunities for the industry as a whole as it has opened up new possibilities to hire staff further afield and abroad (in cases where they are fully remote or perhaps coming in once a month for a few days).
We are in the middle of a dramatic and broad technological and economic shift in which software companies are set to take over large parts of the economy. Most people see jobs labelled “tech” and immediately skip past them because they assume they need to be able to code. While there are undoubtedly great opportunities for people with an interest in computer science in tech, this only tells half the story.
In fact, the tech industry offers incredible opportunities for job seekers of every background, particularly members of Gen-Z who have grown up with technology as part of their daily lives. If you’re looking for an industry that’s constantly changing, and one in which you can grow your career, you won’t find a better industry to specialise in.
If you’ve found this helpful or would be interested in finding out more, sign-up to Gradguide to access a mentorship network of over 300 professionals from within the industry who can offer you advice and support, prepare you for interviews and help you find your dream job in one of the most exciting industries to work in in the world.