There was a time not so long ago when computer geeks had only limited choices if they wanted to pursue their passion into the world of work. Programmers, analysts, coders and… Yes, that was about it. It led to every geek in the world being perceived as some sort of potential extra for TV’s The IT Crowd. Fun though that might sound for an hour or two, you might not want to devote the next 40 or so years of your life to it.
Thankfully, today’s careers market looks very different. Here, we will take a broad-brush look at three very different industries and the career opportunities that are just waiting to be discovered therein.
Gone are the days when working in finance meant a degree in mathematics and another three to five years studying accountancy. Fintech is a sector that is booming like no other, and the opportunities for computer geeks are limitless.
This is an area in which start-ups have been upstarts. They have basically transformed the way people make payments, invest their money or take out a loan. The establishment has been on a furious mission to catch up ever since, either building its own internal fintech teams from scratch or entering into strategic partnerships that have seen these new start-ups grow exponentially.
Either or both paths present exciting opportunities in financial technology if you’ve got the drive and the skills. Yes, of course mathematical proficiency is advantageous, but more important is solid programming skills, fluency in at least a couple of programming languages and a logical and analytical mind.
Peter Tuvey is the co-founder of Fleximize, a revenue-based finance provider and the first organization of its kind in the UK. He says, “Fintech is altering our core understanding of what it means to receive a financial service and is disrupting areas once monopolised by financial and banking institutions.”
Back in the 20th century, the manufacturing sector was the last place an IT geek would be looking for a job. The sector was seen as one for traditionalists who liked to build tangible things with their hands and would avoid sitting in front of a screen at all costs. How times have changed.
Technology lies at the heart of any successful manufacturing business. It is core to managing output, optimizing efficiency, ensuring quality and keeping those at the coalface safe. If it is areas like software engineering, computer science, software development and network engineering that float your boat, a career path in manufacturing technology is one you need to strongly consider.
Employers are typically looking for recruits with strong skills in software engineering and related disciplines, but the needs of any company will vary dramatically according to the sector and the exact job role. To really stand out, however, you need more than just technical skills. In manufacturing, every project needs to be firmly focused on the bottom line, so if you have some commercial awareness, it will stand you in good stead.
Nobody will think the worse of you if you saw iGaming and assumed we were saving the best for last. The bad news is that we are not simply suggesting you spend the rest of your life playing games for a living (although you are welcome to give that a try if you think you have what it takes).
Here’s the thing about iGaming. It’s a sector that is experiencing colossal growth, and in which there never seem to be enough talented people. We spoke to Tim Osborne of Casinoblox and here’s what he had to say on the subject: “Because of the taboo around iGaming, the industry has always had difficulties attracting enough tech talent. Which brings advantages of very favourable benefits like flexible work hours, working from home (even from a different country), high salaries and good bonus structures. Outside of that, there are many opportunities for climbing the ladder fast because of the high turnover.”
Mr Osborne certainly paints an attractive picture. So what are the specific areas that are open to today’s IT geeks in iGaming? There are two main types of employer in the sector, the major developers dedicated to casino games, like NetEnt or Microgaming and the platforms like Royal Vegas, PokerStars and the like.
The obvious roles that spring to mind are in areas like game development and design. For sure, the world is your oyster here, and with a handful of new slot games being released every single week, you will never be short of projects to work on. However, that is only the beginning.
iGaming also serves up roles in areas such as copywriting, social media management, customer relationship management, database admin, front-end support, mobile development, graphic design and SEO. The diverse nature of the career opportunities makes this a sector in which sideways steps are not just possible, they are almost inevitable. You can certainly see why Mr Osborne talked about climbing career ladders at record speed.
More opportunities than ever
Technology underpins everything we do in the 21st century. From a careers perspective, that is extremely good news for IT geeks. The three industries we discussed above are just an illustration of the possibilities that are out there. Look at areas as diverse as automotive, insurance or healthcare and you will see the same story. There’s simply no excuse anymore – you’ll just have to go out there and get yourself a job!