We are living in an age of considerable digital disruption thanks to the technological advancements brought about by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technology is ingrained in every part of our daily lives, from using smartphones, driving cars and browsing the internet, to making online purchases, posting on social media and instant messaging. The global digital transformation market size is now expected to reach over £3.1 trillion by 2030 – and with this growth comes plenty of opportunities in the job market.
It was recently reported that the boom in investment in UK tech had led to a surge in hiring, with IT and tech-related vacancies now comprising 13% of all job vacancies in the UK. Yet despite these opportunities, many people have reservations about changing to a career in tech. It is often seen as a career path that requires a great deal of technical industry knowledge, and the pervasiveness of tech-specific ‘jargon’ can be off-putting.
This is particularly true for older generations who, having not grown up with smartphones or social media, cannot be considered ‘digital natives’ in the way that Gen Zers are. Older people often find a career in tech a more daunting prospect. For example, a survey by job site Indeed found that people take 12 months on average to officially make a career change to tech, which is about two months longer than those who switch to other industries.
Yet because many aspects of technology are still relatively new and the field is growing so quickly, it offers considerable opportunities for those looking to change career. This is because many companies, particularly start-ups, do not have the same rigid entry requirements and career progression pathways as other more traditional industries, such as law or engineering. It is an industry in which experienced professionals do not have to spend years climbing the career ladder, and one where even school leavers and new graduates can earn six-figure salaries in just a few years.
Career opportunities in the tech sector can be very financially rewarding. According to the Indeed survey, 89% of people who changed careers to the tech sector did so in pursuit of more money. Job search engine Adzuna supports this: its research shows that the average tech salary is up to 50% higher than the average for all vacancies in the UK and is continuing to rise, despite the average salary for jobs in the UK decreasing in 2021.
To mark London Tech Week, in June 2022 the UK Government unveiled its plan to create more high-skilled, high-paying jobs in the tech sector and cement the UK’s position as a global tech superpower. The new UK Digital Strategy aims to help more people access interesting, sustainable and well-paid tech jobs through a variety of routes to drive economic growth and innovation in the years to come. As such, now is a particularly good time for people to capitalise on the fast-paced growth of the sector and pursue a career in the industry.
Entrepreneur and philanthropist Roman Semiokhin can attest to this, having successfully built his career in the tech sector. Semiokhin launched a video cassette rental business while studying at university and has subsequently created several other tech-related businesses and products. He would encourage others to take advantage of the opportunities in the tech industry, recognising that it is a fast-moving and dynamic sector that offers a rewarding career path for those willing to make the leap.