What to do next? A career in IT

A bit about me

Me now

Back to school

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a Digital Technology and Programming class at my old school — Wallace High School. I spoke to the students about my what a career in IT looks like. This included:

  • The types of roles in IT
  • What the typical day-day looks like
  • Other opportunities in IT

What did they want to know?

Did you know what you wanted to do after school?

I was unsure until I was in lower sixth. I joined a programming club in school as I really liked web design in IT, I liked maths and my IT teacher encouraged me to come along to see if it was something I would enjoy. After I started that club I knew it was the right career for me. The best piece of advice I would give if you are interested in any career, is to do a bit of research — see if you can do a short online course to make sure its right for you. If you are unsure you’re better to take some time out and make sure you make the right choice for you.

Back in my school days

Have you had another job other than this one?

I have moved roles a bit within IT, I initially started as a software engineer then moved into a product specialist role which is more client focused. After a few years I decided I wanted to move into a Business Analyst role, which focuses on soliciting requirements from customers, and working with the tech team to deliver upon those requirements. The best part about working in IT is companies are very flexible and quite often allow you to explore different roles. Just because you start as a software engineer, doesn’t mean you are going to be in that role until you retire — unless you want that of course.

Are there any graphic designers in your company?

Yes there are, there are lots of other roles. There is everything from developers, to data architects, DevOps engineers, product manager, marketing, sales and so on. If you have a look at our careers page you can see just how many roles there are: Join Northern Ireland’s Most Thriving Tech Employer (version1.com)

What are the university courses like?

As I done a part time course at University, which was developed primarily for people in apprenticeships it had a good blend of modules to prepare you for the working world. I really enjoyed my course which was Computing Systems at Ulster University as there was a lot of practical which would be my strong suit over exams. There are lots of university courses from:

  • Computer Science
  • Business Analytics
  • Computing Science
  • Interactive Computing
  • Computing Technologies
  • Business Information Technology

Do you get holiday leave?

Yes, one of the great things about working in IT are the benefits. I get around 5 weeks of holidays a year, so I can take bank holidays, a decent break at Christmas and still have time left to take off for breaks in the summer or city breaks here and there. Other benefits we are entitled too include the cycle to work scheme, private healthcare, pension and staff engagement events such as summer and Christmas parties.

Version 1 Summer Party @ Field of Dreams Bangor

What is my best advice for someone interested in IT?

I would say be enthusiastic, and open to any opportunities. For me I was always open to new experiences and opportunities and it has opened a lot of doors for me. If I had never of said yes to the programming club, I may never have wound up here today!

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Business Analyst @ Version 1 working on Digital Transformation projects | Shadow Board Member

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Tanya Matthews

Business Analyst @ Version 1 working on Digital Transformation projects | Shadow Board Member