CAREER PATHWAYS

EXPLORE YOUR

TECH CAREER

PATHWAY

A career in tech has many, many different faces and, with tech being integrated across loads of different areas, there are almost endless career path possibilities. Below, you can explore some career pathways, tech job roles, find out how tech works across different industries, and discover some real-life examples of women killing it in their tech careers.  

Click on the quick-links below to jump to the different sections.

CAREER PATHS

SOFTWARE ENGINEERING

Software engineering encapsulates a wide range of roles, languages, and industries. Software engineers typically learn core languages and libraries, and then are able to work inside a company’s tech stack to deploy software or systems. It is a hugely in-demand career choice as tech continues to build and evolve. 

WHAT DOES THIS ROLE DO?

Software engineerings typically use engineering principles and programming languages (i.e. code) to build software products, develop computer games, and run network control systems.

HOW DO COMPANIES USE THIS AREA?

There are loads of streams inside software engineering (like AI Developers, DevOps, QA, and more – see below). Software engineering is in nearly every industry – from health, to finance, to manufacturing, gaming and services.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THIS CAREER PATH?

If you like problem-solving and developing creative tech solutions, this could be a great area for you. A huge plus is that there are so many career streams (as mentioned) so you can continue to grow and pivot with this pathway.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Learning a language is a great place to get started. Languages like Python and JavaScript are common tech stack languages. To get a taster, we recommend attending some of our MOOCs. If you like what you see, you could progress to our Python Classes, followed by our Software Engineering Nanodegree.

WHAT SORT OF ROLES ARE LINKED TO THIS CAREER PATHWAY?

To start though, you would look to get into a Junior Developer role and figure of what interests you as you build on your skills and knowledge. as mentioned, there are loads of options and career pivots available- software engineer, full-stack developer, AI engineer, Machine Learning, QA, Agile / Scrum, DevOps, Solutions Architect to name a few. 

DATA

Data is everywhere and used in every business. Much like software, a data career pathway opens up a range of roles across different industries. With so many data touch points as technology progresses, a career in data can help streamline processes, help solve global issues, and ultimately it drives business decision-making.

WHAT DOES THIS ROLE DO?

Essentially, you’ll take mountains of data and probe it to spot trends, make forecasts, and extract information to help your employer make better-informed business decisions or in the case of machine learning, improve things like predictions and processes. 

HOW DO COMPANIES USE THIS AREA?

It would be fair to say that each industry uses data for different purposes. In finance you may use data to look at patterns and develop predictions for investment, in health, you may be looking at test data for a new drug, or in the tech giants like Google or Facebook, big data analysis drives things like user profiles and advertising.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THIS CAREER PATH?

If you like finding patterns in data or discovering insights that can help steer decision-making, then this could be a career to explore. Data analysts usually have a pretty dynamic skill set  –  they are good with numbers and details, but also confident and organised in managing multiple tasks.  You’ll also need to be able to present the data and insights on a regular basis to key business stakeholders.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Our MOOCs can provide you with some great taster sessions into how different companies use data and data programming. If this piques your interest, our Class in Data & SQL will give a great base-level understanding and skill set which can be great for business analyst roles. Taking it to the next level, we have our Nanodegree for those who wish to pursue a career in data.

WHAT SORT OF ROLES ARE LINKED TO THIS CAREER PATHWAY?

Most grads will go into business / data analyst roles and can progress into areas like machine learning, database engineer or administrator or data science.

FULL-STACK DEVELOPER

Full Stack Developers are computer programmers who are proficient in both front and back end coding. Their primary responsibilities include designing user interactions on websites, developing servers, and databases for website functionality, and coding for mobile platforms.

WHAT DOES THIS ROLE DO?

As a full stack developer you have the expertise to see a project from end to end, including things like design, database management, and constant reiteration.

HOW DO COMPANIES USE THIS AREA?

Companies love full stack developers because they’re proficient in front and back end programming and can ensure that a website, app, or any other product will work for users and clients.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THIS CAREER PATH?

If you’re fascinated by all parts of coding and don’t want to make a decision between front or back end, I have good news. You don’t have to! Become a full stack developer.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Start out with either a front end skill set like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript and build from there. You’ll also want to develop your Python skills and database knowledge.

WHAT SORT OF ROLES ARE LINKED TO THIS CAREER PATHWAY?

Because the requirements are quite broad, full stack developers are often in a league of their own but the breadth of awareness is useful for Project Management or Product Management too!

PRODUCT & DESIGN

Product designers use their design skills and coding knowledge to improve the way that existing products work and look and they can also be involved in designing entirely new products like apps, websites, or other digital tools.

WHAT DOES THIS ROLE DO?

A product designer’s role is largely quite flexible; a multidisciplinary ‘jack of all trades’ designer who does UX, UI, coding, project management and (perhaps most importantly) problem-solving. In short, a product designer designs solutions to the problems that might arise.

HOW DO COMPANIES USE THIS AREA?

Product designers assemble teams to facilitate solutions, create multiple test plans, produce wireframes, and go through rounds of A/B testing. A product designer will also support developers through the launch process, and work alongside the marketing teams to ensure synergy between the brand and the product. They are, in short, the guardians of the product.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THIS CAREER PATH?

If you love the aesthetics of the apps and websites that you use every day, and have creative ideas about how they could have better functionality or design, product & design is for you!

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

As well as basic knowledge of front end development skills (HTML, CSS, JavaScript) it would be useful to know tools like Figma or Adobe Sketch.

WHAT SORT OF ROLES ARE LINKED TO THIS CAREER PATHWAY?

Similar roles to “product designer” include UX/UI design or product manager, and can develop into being a product owner in time and experience!

PROJECT MANAGEMENT

At the end of the day, making any new tech product or improving an existing one is a project. It has to bring together designers, developers, managers, marketers, and sales people, and someone has to manage all those people to make sure that they build the perfect solution. That’s where project managers come in! 

WHAT DOES THIS ROLE DO?

A project manager, with the help of her team, is charged with multiple responsibilities that span the five project phases of a project life cycle initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and closing. They are the conductor of the symphony and facilitator of the team’s success.

HOW DO COMPANIES USE THIS AREA?

Project managers are essential members of the team. They watch over the whole product development process and ensure that it gets to a great conclusion using skills and frameworks like Agile and Scrum.

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THIS CAREER PATH?

Unlike some other roles in tech, project managers are very people-oriented and have to balance that with technical competency. No day will be the same and there is a lot of problem solving involved! Creativity and resilience is key!

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

Generally speaking, project managers have a wide range of backgrounds. Many project managers worked as developers focusing on software requirements and business process before transitioning into project management. It’s worth building your knowledge of Scrum or Agile through one of our MOOCs!

WHAT SORT OF ROLES ARE LINKED TO THIS CAREER PATHWAY?

Project management jobs aren’t always referenced with consistent titles. You will likely see any of the following used: Agile Project Manager, Technical Project Manager, Technical Program Manager, Project Manager, and probably more, so it’s worth reading the job description for details!

SALES & CUSTOMERS

A sales job focuses on communicating effectively with customers to sell the value of tech products and services. It’s about understanding the customers’ needs and pain points and being able to effectively articulate why and how a piece of technology could add value to their business. 

WHAT DOES THIS ROLE DO?

Sales is all about connecting clients with the solution to their problem, even if they don’t know what their problem is, and the solution is tech! 

HOW DO COMPANIES USE THIS AREA?

No matter how good the technical benefits of a product are, it’s worth nothing if those benefits can’t be communicated to a client leading to a sale. Salespeople are super important in the tech sector, particularly in growing sectors like SAAS. 

WHY SHOULD I CHOOSE THIS CAREER PATH?

Sales in tech is the most obviously people-oriented career path in tech. If you love communicating with people then this could be the job for you. The growth opportunities are massive, and companies are always looking for great salespeople.

HOW DO I GET STARTED?

The first step is building an awareness of the tech sector. Take a coding class with us and work out the core reasons why you love the apps that you use every day. What are the pain points in your life that the tools fix? Entry level jobs in sales can be linked to customer success, so look at those too!

WHAT SORT OF ROLES ARE LINKED TO THIS CAREER PATHWAY?

There are all sorts of roles linked to sales. Great salespeople come from technical roles like software developer, they can come from product management backgrounds, or they could be marketers. As long as you have the people skills and technical knowledge to communicate the value of a product, you can have a brilliant career in sales!

TYPES OF

ROLES

There are loads of tech roles out there. To help you get up-to-speed, we’ve put together a quick round-up of the most common roles titles out there and what they entail / what they do. Hopefully it will give you a good start in understanding the wide variety of cool tech jobs out there! 

SOFTWARE ENGINEER

They design, develop, install, test, and maintain software systems (games, AI, apps, websites, etc.) using coding and working with multiple programming languages.

DATA ANALYST

Data analysts who turn data-driven insights into actionable business recommendations. They use tools like Excel, Tableau, and SQL.

CYBER SECURITY

This role includes things like installing firewall and encryption tools, reporting breaches, researching trends, and simulating security attacks to find potential vulnerabilities.

FRONT END DEVELOPER

Builder of all visible parts of a website that users see & interact with, using languages like HTML, CSS and JavaScript, with a focus on accessibility, security, usability & performance.

MOBILE APP DEVELOPER

You guessed it - they build apps for companies! If you’ve ever used an Android or iOS device, then you’ve directly interacted with a mobile developer’s work.

FULL-STACK DEVELOPER

Work with both the front & back ends of a website or application, tackling projects that involve databases, building user-facing websites, or even work with clients to plan projects.

DATA SCIENTIST

An investigator and problem solver to help businesses solve problems through the processing of data, using data points to look for patterns and derive insights from them.

DEVOPS ENGINEER

A mixed developer and operations role that oversees coding, scripting, testing, and process development to drive efficiencies. A focus on faster code deployment with fewer deployment failures.

AI DEVELOPER

Develop AI software and applications pulling from both Machine Learning and Deep Learning, to broaden the knowledge of the software /application. GPS is an example of AI.

PROJECT / PRODUCT MANAGER

Specific manager of a project or product across teams and disciplines who lines up all the pieces so that the final product has everything it needs in the timeline provided.

UX / UI DESIGNER

Create user-friendly interfaces and experiences that enable users to understand how to use complex technical products - working across apps, websites and applications.

SYSTEMS ANALYST

Responsible for analysing IT systems and design techniques help solve business problems, investigating issues and fixing them efficiently and in a cost-effective manner.

QA Engineer

Plan and implement strategies for quality management and testing, looking for things like bugs or design issues, giving feedback prior to deployment.

SOLUTIONS ARCHITECT

They deploy, migrate, manage, and support cloud applications or systems. They understand multiple operating systems and have networking, programming, and security skills.

BACK END DEVELOPER

The back end the element of a website is all the things users don't see or interact with, but they help it all function. Back end programming languages include: PHP, Ruby, and Python.

DATABASE ADMINISTRATOR

Design new databases based on business needs like data storage and user access numbers. They'll monitor performance, trouble-shoot, and be involved in data back-up & recovery.

MACHINE LEARNING DEVELOPER

An expert on using data to training models. These are then used to automate processes like image classification, speech recognition, and market forecasting.

CUSTOMER SUCCESS

They support clients in using the software or service provided by a company. They are able to provide the technical product support and training necessary for clients.

AGILE / SCRUM MASTER

A facilitator for an agile development or sprint team and, information exchange, using methodology to get a team to self-organize and make changes quickly (with agile principles).

TECH / SAAS SALES

You'll be promoting and selling a company's product or service by demonstrating the advanced technical functions of the product as well as its uses and benefits.

INDUSTRY EXPLORER

Tech is across every industry out there, in some shape or form. The great thing about learning to code or getting stuck into data means your skill set is pretty agnostic across all of these industries, not to mention across countries and locations. Below are some examples to give you a quick taster of how tech is used in each of these industries (there are loads and loads of more examples out there so make sure your search online for more!).

FINANCE & FINTECH
Market forecasts, customer data, building apps and websites for secure interactions or to help people be better with their money.

EDUCATION
Online lessons, language apps, virtual field trips, making education more accessible.

HEALTH & FITNESS
Pharmaceuticals, vaccine development, tracking research, medical & fitness tech equipment and improving global health.

FOOD
Tracking from farm to fork – manufacturing, distribution and sales efficiencies – plus apps for things like food delivery services.

BIG TECH / ONLINE
Everything from Google to Facebook, TikTok to Twitch, and all the tech roles you can imagine inside these businesses! 

COMMUNICATIONS
Making the world more connected through better and more efficient communication tools, networks, and devices.

RETAIL & SERVICES
Brand websites, shopping apps, loyalty programmes, all things e-commerce and tracking customer data and buying patterns.

ENTERTAINMENT
Gaming development software engineers to music / tv streaming machine learning and AI using user data. 

MANUFACTURING
From driverless cars to rocket engines, plus automation, AI and machine learning to improve performance and efficiencies.

INSURANCE
Insurance is becoming sexier by the day with new apps, big data insights, and ways of making insurance easy for everyone to understand and access.

TECHNOLOGY 
A huge rabbit hole of cool sh*t. Wearable tech, virtual reality, robots, Alexa’s and a load of other stuff that we probably haven’t even thought of yet.

SERVICES
A big, big general area. This can include anything like, booking travel, SaaS products,  professional services and more! Each using data, sales, and developers galore.

OUR CFG ALUMNI

in TECH ROLES

Our CFG members are a great resource for info on roles, their experiences, and general networking! We have such a range of women in tech – from software engineers, to devOps, data analysts and more – for you to get to know.

Explore our Alumni page, our blog, connect with some of our CFG members or watch some of our content to help give you an idea of tech career pathways.

 

EXAMPLE: QUICKBOOKS & CFG

Meet Cat – a Front-End Developer @ QuickBooks – who led the charge to introduce Code First Girls to the QuickBooks community and host our Code First Girls Web Development classes at their offices. 

BECOME A CODE FIRST GIRLS MEMBER