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Arts graduate? Your next job should still be in technology

You may think with a degree in a traditional arts or humanities subject, the doors to tech companies are closed for you

The world of technology is one of the biggest boom areas in recruitment, but it’s not just computer scientists who can join in the hunt for the best jobs. Increasingly, tech companies are looking to other sectors to recruit from, to ensure they are dipping into a diverse talent pool.

You may think that, with a degree in a traditional arts or humanities subject, the doors to tech companies are firmly closed for you. That’s happily no longer the case. Even if you don’t know your Drupal from your Joomla!, or you’re more at home using emoticons than JavaScript, there are career paths available to you.

The range of jobs coming under the tech banner has mushroomed in the past decade. There are now roles in sales, business development, marketing, telecommunications and writing, not to mention more exotic jobs in renewable energy, social media and star mapping, to name just a few. Many of these jobs need the range of talents possessed by many humanities graduates, such as interpersonal skills, organisational ability and being an excellent communicator.

Tech firms range from the smallest start-ups to global names, such as Amazon, Google and Facebook. Sometimes, small is beautiful. Start-ups often offer great opportunities for career progression, and, as everyone mucks in across a tightknit group of staff, you could find yourself rapidly acquiring new skills.

Big companies are worth considering too. Many have the funds available to offer new joiners training across a variety of tech subjects, and can offer more in the form of pensions and other perks. They will also put a prestige name at the top of your CV.

Regardless of the size of the recruiter, there are more and more jobs to be found in tech firms. The California-based software provider, Apttus, doubled in size every year for its first seven years after launching in 2006, and that meant a massive increase in headcount. It employed about 1,400 people by the end of last year, four times the headcount in 2013. In 2014, the US-based ‘fact tank’, Pew Research Centre, reported that about 4 million Americans were employed in tech jobs by 2012, nearly double the amount in 1997. Tech is becoming the world’s dominant industry.

If you’re used to dealing with ‘real’ words rather than code, do not fear. Many aspects of tech are easy to learn, and, as it rapidly becomes the language of the future, it’s sensible to get on board now, even if the job seems a world away from the ICT lessons that you had at school.

The geek era is over. Tech is officially cool and many employers take a less traditional approach than in conventional sectors, which can mean flexibility over hours, location and even dress code. That’s useful if wearing a suit and high heels are beginning to take their toll. More than seven in 10 tech jobs are in London, but there are other tech-tastic cities in the UK, if you don’t want the hassle of the capital, including Manchester, Brighton and Glasgow.

With traditional jobs increasingly at risk from digital development in the form of, in a word, robots, there has never been a better time to dip your toes into tech.

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