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A Career In Tech: Why It Became The Obvious Choice For Me

Shea Murphy, a current _nology student, explains why he’s gone from wanting to study a PHD in biology to a career in tech...

I studied biology and chemistry at University in Bristol and after a stint teaching English in China, the plan was always to move back to the UK and carry on with my academic research. That plan has now massively changed – for a number of reasons and I’m very happy about it. As I was looking through PhD courses, I realized there weren’t many I wanted to do. It’s a personal choice but I knew I didn’t want to work for a pharmaceutical company involved with animal testing for instance, so that was narrowing down my options. I then branched out from looking at courses and jobs in biology to looking at courses and jobs in science and tech and found a few different graduate schemes – but again, none of them felt right for me.

More flexible

One of the things that attracted me to _nology is that it’s more flexible than most graduate schemes – you’re less contractually obliged. Some company schemes might give you a year’s training but then you’d be expected to work for them for three years after you finish the course – which is a big commitment. Particularly when you’re trying something completely different and don’t know if you’re going to like it! _nology is only twelve weeks long and you’re not contractually obliged to work anywhere or for any length of time afterwards. Having said that you might meet people you do want to work with and even if you don’t, once the course has finished, Opus will do everything they can to help you find a job – and obviously as a recruitment firm are well placed to do this.

_nology has been a great networking opportunity

After just six weeks of the course, I now know I want to work for a small, tech startup when I’ve finished. I know the way they work would suit me and I’ll also have the skills after this course to join one. Ideally, I’d like a few years startup experience under my belt and then I really think can do anything. There are so many roles in tech out there and such a skills shortage that whether you want to be freelance or join a big company, there’s something for you. I was even looking at Shanghai where I used to teach and there are loads of tech roles there. I 100% wouldn’t have had the seed put in my brain about working for a startup unless I’d heard about some of the companies we’ve come into contact with during the _nology course. And I certainly wouldn’t have had got the confidence to think I could join them. I’d never touched a piece of coding before this and now I can pretty much design the look, feel and behavior of any website. It’s a genuinely tangible change in my skill set. I even find myself working out of the 9-5pm hours of the course because I want to, taking work home isn’t a burden, its enjoyable. Particularly as you’re working on creating things that will ultimately help you out, like the interactive CV’s we’ve just built.

I honestly didn’t give coding a second thought before this course, I don’t think many people do. And if I saw people of a certain age working for a startup I’d assume they must have a computer science degree. Now after just six weeks I can read code and create my own websites and also pitch and present them to clients, which is something we do every week. Being a web developer is as much about demonstrating what you create as it is about building it – and I can do that now.  Because of _nology I know the jobs are out there, that I can do them and most importantly, that I want to do them too.

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