If you’d told me a year ago I’d be working in Technology, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. I studied Maths and Statistics at University and besides a little experience of statistical programming, I had no background in tech. I have since come to realise that working in Technology means much more than programming.
It started when I began my final year statistics project at University. I realised that I was able to think creatively and harness data to create innovative solutions to various real-world issues. This small taster of the possibilities that exist within Technology led me to decide I wanted to enter into the world of Analytics, and embark on a career transforming data into insight.
I applied for the inaugural Deloitte Analytics Training Academy, a graduate recruitment scheme run in partnership with the Department of Employment and Learning and Belfast Metropolitan College. It offered the chance of a job at Deloitte’s Insight Studio in Belfast where analytics solutions are built for a wide range of clients.
What struck me most about this particular programme was that it targeted graduates from any discipline. Indeed, together we made up an incredibly diverse bunch coming from a wide variety of backgrounds including English, IT, History, Finance and Fine Art to name a few. We all had in common that we were keen to make a go of it in the fast-paced, cutting-edge world of Technology.
Training was nine weeks of classroom based learning and a second phase of five weeks working onsite in the Belfast office, all designed to equip us with the skills and knowledge required for a career in Analytics.
The broad syllabus covered technical aspects such as SQL (a programming language designed for managing data) and fun exercises, such as finding innovative ways of displaying data to make it easily digestible and understandable for others - a crucial part of working in Analytics.
On completing the nine weeks it was clear that there are numerous areas in Technology that I could specialise in, and in that short space of time I had developed skills in many. I graduated from the first stage of the Academy, received a certificate from Minister Farry, the Minister for Employment, and was invited to join the second phase of the programme. We were asked to work on an exciting upcoming project and undertook a project simulation which tested everything that we had learned and more. The experience I gained was invaluable. Not only did I learn the basics of what elements make up a Technology project, but also how they work together to be able to produce a successful outcome.
Following a Partner interview, 10 Academy participants were offered a job in the Insight Studio, including me. Having started work I can now see how the skills I gained are invaluable and have already seen a number projects that I would love the opportunity to get involved with. This, however, is only the beginning and I know there will be a lot of learning and tough challenges ahead -especially given that the world of technology is ever changing.
I’ll keep you updated.
Sarah is an Analyst Developer in Deloitte Analytics