If you’re inspired by the seemingly unending growth of the tech sector, you’re probably searching for your way in, but with all the courses, certificates, and degrees around, it can be hard to know where to start. With university degrees becoming more expensive and less valuable, candidates are searching for other ways into the field. The average salary in Tech is £62,500, so it’s an attractive field to break into, which is why we’re here to help.
As we enter a “candidate-driven market”, we are seeing a shift in employer behaviour – values are changing, and with this comes a greater respect for experience, rather than formal education.
In this article we will break down the pros and cons of achieving qualifications (both formal and informal) vs going straight into the workforce.
The Value of Qualifications:
So, you’ve decided to pursue a qualification in technology, you now need to decide on the type of qualification, such as a degree or a bootcamp. A degree is a widely recognised achievement and an employer will always appreciate it, but with high tuition fees and requiring three years of dedicated study, this may not appeal to you.
There’s a lot of value to pursuing a Computer Science degree, including learning a wide range of skills that will provide plenty of opportunities, a formal education path, and teachers who will be able to answer any questions you have. Plus, this will provide the opportunity to meet others in a similar position to you and network with others in the field.
Having said that, the major downsides are the rising tuition costs and the three to four-year commitment. For some people, spending three years studying and paying thousands of pounds is not an economically sound decision to make. These people may choose to invest in a course or bootcamp which will generally teach a specific skill or skills in a few months, while also providing opportunities to use the skills. However, we’d recommend being careful with which course you go with, as they can vary in quality and content. It’s important to make sure the course is high quality, and you can do this by seeing what experts are saying and reading the reviews.
The Value of Experience:
A simple fact of the tech industry: experience is key, so even if you have a degree, you still need to gain some practical experience. As someone without a formal education, you may be disadvantaged against someone with a degree, but you can help even the odds by leaning into the skills and experiences you’ve gained by not following a formal education path, such as self-sufficiency and resilience.
Additionally, the further in your career you go, the less relevant qualifications become, as you will have evidence of your skill and employers will expect you to have developed further skills since beginning your career.
Recruitment consultants can support you regardless, so long as you’re sufficiently skilled, and can help you tailor your CV to the employer. We’d suggest applying for a role that requires a degree if you could realistically compete with someone who has degree.
For employers, we’d recommend keeping an open mind for candidates who have the skills but a non-standard history. As experts in the field, our consultants are great at evaluating candidates’ skills and aptitude for a role; if you’re interested in learning more about how our consultants can support you, check out this article.