Moving into the tech sector: A guide

As the tech sector snowballs, with new innovations constantly being brought to market, and technology increasingly playing a role in daily life, it’s no surprise professionals are keen to work in IT. And new research shows this desire isn’t limited to graduates, or employees already operating within the sector. 

Indeed, Michael Page’s new ‘Career Changes’ report found 26% of workers are considering a career change in the not-too-distant future, while 44% have already made the leap to something new. Of this cohort, IT was the third most popular sector to transfer into - only beaten by healthcare and education - with 6% opting for this industry. 

Furthermore, thirty-one was the age at which most workers were considering changing career path - after roughly a decade in the workplace. 

Yet 23% reported a lack of confidence was a significant hurdle to making a move, while 20% were unsure if they had the right skills to make it happen. Indeed, to move into a highly skilled sector like tech, new qualifications are often required; 25% of those surveyed completed online courses in order to switch career paths, while 14% returned to university. 

One in three professionals looking to switch sectors said they wanted to pursue a career which offered better opportunities to increase their earnings, while 32% wanted a role they felt more passionate about. With this in mind, it’s not surprising employees are keen to put in the time and effort it takes to move into an exciting and fast-growing industry. 

If you’re considering moving into a role in tech, read on to find out about the benefits, different career paths, and the transferable skills you may already have. 

Benefits of working in tech

An essential and rapidly-growing sector, there’s security and seemingly endless opportunities for people with tech skills.


While tech salaries can vary significantly depending on job function, location, and seniority, there is a lot of money to be made for dedicated tech professionals. Indeed, Michael Page’s 2023 tech salary guide revealed the top leadership salaries in the sector in London sit at around £500,000. Meanwhile, machine learning experts were earning up to £150,000, while tech professionals in business transformation had salaries of up to approximately £120,000. 

Of course, it can take years of experience and upskilling to achieve such lofty positions, but even entry level roles tend to be well paid in tech compared to other sectors.


Whether you’re working at a fast-evolving tech start-up or a FTSE 100 company, tech firms tend to offer a progressive package of benefits for employees, from flexible working and paid leave to retirement packages and private health insurance. 


Almost every business needs employees with tech skills, and this demand is only growing with the emergence of new technologies, from AI and the blockchain, to the Internet of Things and Augmented Reality. Once on the career ladder in tech, the opportunities are seemingly endless, with a vast variety of specialisms - and new ones coming to the fore every month. 


By its very nature, tech is an incredibly fast-moving sector, which means tech bosses must frequently upskill employees to ensure they stay at the cutting edge of the industry. In some cases, employees will be expected to work with emerging technology - making them experts on hot new hardware and software. Employers will also often pay for external qualifications, or bring training in-house, ensuring staff are constantly upskilling, and making them more attractive to hiring managers and primed for promotion. 


Tech companies typically reject the shackles of traditional working life. As forward-thinking employers looking to the future, such organisations typically offer a very high level of agility, with the end product a lot more important than how, when, or where their employees created it. 

As well as allowing for a more flexible lifestyle, this also means tech professionals are often able to apply for roles outside their country, boosting job opportunities. 

Career paths in technology

There are a huge variety of career paths in tech, with IT now integrated into almost all facets of business and daily life. Here are some of the most popular - and what you need to do to move into them.

Software engineer

A software engineer is a computer science professional who builds software products - from apps to computer games - using knowledge of programming languages and engineering principles.

To become a software engineer, you must first complete either a technical degree or a software engineering course and become certified in the discipline. Then, practice your coding skills and build a portfolio showing examples of your work before applying for software engineer roles

Web developer

Web developers construct and programme websites and apps. They write the code that makes a website function and create or implement designs.

There is no must-have qualification to become a web developer, but it’s essential you can showcase your practical skills, such as proficiency in several coding languages, and have a solid portfolio of web development work to show to potential employers.

Web designer

A web designer creates everything an end user will see on a website or app. This includes typography, interactive elements, layouts, and colour palettes - essentially all the visual elements. They may collaborate with clients to develop a design, or as part of a team. 

Web designers can acquire a degree or certificate in the discipline. They must have basic knowledge of web programming and scripting languages, have a thorough understanding of user experience, be proficient in the use of web design applications, and have studied both the technical and creative side of web design.

Network engineer

Network engineers oversee an organisation’s computer networks, from designing and maintaining the network to troubleshooting and implementing new innovations. They are tasked with configuring and maintaining both hardware and software on the network, ensuring network security, and monitoring its performance.

Most network engineer jobs require a university degree in a related discipline. Graduates should start in an entry level role, learning and upskilling on the job, and working their way up the career ladder.

Data scientist

Data scientists analyse data to extract business insights. They must be able to analyse large quantities of data, drawing from expertise in the fields of mathematics, statistics, AI, and computer engineering.

To become a data scientist, typically a degree in a mathematical, computing, or science-based subject is required. There are also many data science qualifications that can boost your CV. Generally speaking, a very strong mathematical and computer science background is necessary, while statistical modelling and machine learning experience will also be advantageous. 

IT support

IT support roles are all about assisting employees and the wider business when it comes to any issues related to tech. The role typically involves a large amount of troubleshooting and problem solving, and IT support workers must often help with the set-up, installation, and configuration of any tech equipment. 

A degree is not always necessary to secure a role in IT support, although any computer-related qualifications will make candidates more attractive to hiring managers. It is more important, however, to gain experience in the industry and to build problem solving and communication skills.

Machine learning engineer 

Machine learning engineers specialise in the design and development of machine learning systems. The role typically encompasses creating, developing, and maintaining self-learning applications to boost efficiency. Experience and expertise in statistics, programming, and data science are vital for machine learning engineers.

A bachelor’s degree in computer science or a related field is the first step to becoming a machine learning engineer, and an advanced degree in a field related to machine learning will be hugely helpful to securing a role in this emerging sector. The next step is to gain entry-level work experience, before building a portfolio and applying for roles.

Cloud computing engineer

It is the role of a cloud computing engineer to oversee any tech duties related to cloud computing. This includes planning, design, maintenance, and support. Roles within this discipline include cloud architect and cloud software engineer. 

Aspiring cloud computing engineers should secure a bachelor’s degree in a related field, and learn programming languages. Then it’s time to gain work experience, and consider an advanced degree. There are also plenty of certifications in this area that will make hiring managers sit up and take notice.

Cybersecurity engineer

Cybersecurity engineers - sometimes called information security engineers - are tasked with identifying any threats or vulnerabilities in the systems and software a business uses. They must develop and implement tech solutions to defend against cybercrime, from hacking, malware, and ransomware, to phishing and insider threats.

A degree in computer science, IT, systems engineering, or a similar field is usually necessary for a career as a cybersecurity engineer. Around two years of work experience in a cybersecurity-related role is also desirable, such as forensics, or incident detection and response.

The UK tech job market is already candidate-led, but looking at specific tech careers that are particularly future-proof can help you plan for a role at the forefront of the field. Here are some more tech roles and fields that are likely to be among the best for jobs for the future.

Transferable IT skills 

If you’re considering making the switch to a career in tech, you may be surprised how many transferable skills you have on your CV that will help you to secure a role in your new chosen sector.

Unsurprisingly, IT skills will be among the most helpful when it comes to securing a tech job - and there are many you may have picked up in your current role or daily life without realising.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office
  • Proficiency in G Suite
  • Proficiency in collaboration apps such as Slack and Asana
  • Experiencing using video conferencing apps like Zoom and Skype
  • Data handling
  • Data analysis 
  • Data insights 

Transferable soft skills

Many of the general skills required for a tech role align with those you will likely have gained in previous jobs.

  • Leadership
  • Teamwork
  • Project management 
  • Problem solving
  • Critical thinking 
  • Communication
  • Adaptability
  • Creativity
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Time management 

What’s next?

The tech industry is growing rapidly, and job seekers in the sector have a plethora of opportunities to choose from. However, finding the right job can be overwhelming, especially when considering all the factors which could influence your decision. 

Michael Page Technology is a leading provider of permanent and contract recruitment for IT professionals, with 300 consultants globally specialising in placing talented candidates in a variety of technology roles. 

For more advice on finding the right tech role for you, take a look through our helpful guide. Alternatively, submit your CV today and one of our consultants will be in touch to discuss your career options. 

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