During lockdown we launched a series of Careers Inspiration webinars which allow young people to find out, first-hand, about some of the different opportunities available in computing.
We have been speaking with guests including app designers, cyber security apprentices and virtual reality games designers to find out what is involved in their jobs, hear about some of the exciting projects they are working on, what they love most about their jobs and any advice they would give to young people interested in a similar career.
As well as people in different jobs we’ve also showcased different routes into technology including apprenticeships, graduate schemes and fast-track training, and our speakers come from a range of organisations including BT, Microsoft, John Lewis and IBM.
We have recently launched a Careers Inspiration web page where you can view previous sessions. We have more content to upload to this page and will continue to create resources for the project so look out for updates on further developments.
Here’s a summary of the key themes which emerged from the interviews we have done so far:
Do what you enjoy
Don’t worry about what other people will think, or where it might lead in the future. Grace Blake, Junior Management Consultant from IBM comments: “Do what interests you and what excites you.” You’ll be happier and more fulfilled if you focus on what you truly enjoy doing rather than what you (or others) think you ‘should’ do.
Don’t worry about having it all planned out
If you do know where you want to go in the future that’s great, but if you’re in the majority who aren’t sure, don’t worry because there’s plenty of time to figure it out! Ruby Bedford, Field Engineer from Microsoft says: “Don’t try to decide what you want to do with your career too early on in life, I was pretty set that I wanted to be a physiotherapist from when I was 14 or 15 and because I didn’t think about anything else I had such a set mindset that was what I wanted to do, I potentially restricted myself and didn’t look at the options into IT for example earlier on in life.”
Any chance to gain work experience or to find out more about a company or job is an opportunity to gain insight which will be useful when making decisions: Natasha Ah-Fat, Delivery Lead and Agile Coach from John Lewis says: “Really be into experiences and trying stuff out. Keep in touch with people, connect in with people that inspire you.”
You don’t have to know it all
Nobody expects you to know everything. Have confidence in yourself and if you don’t know something, be open about it, try to find a solution or ask someone for help. Laura Flood, Digital Store Marketing Assistant from Microsoft says: “Remember there’s no expectation to know everything, it’s all about the learning and how to implement it”.
Passion and interest for learning is more valuable than already having all the answers, learning spans far beyond the classroom. Connor Butcher, Software Development Apprentice from Aston Martin Red Bull Racing advises “even in your own time if you can go online and do some courses or watch some videos, just learning small pieces that fit into the puzzle – different websites like Codecademy have loads of different courses – even if you were to just pick a programming language you’ve heard about to boost your own learning”.