Durham alumni launch website to help graduates “Break Into Tech”

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Two Durham alumni, and Alok Kumar, have recently launched the website breakintotech.co.uk. The site aims to help non-CompSci graduates break into the tech industry by offering simple explanations of all the major areas of technology, advice on choosing a direction in the industry, as well as guidance on training, certifications, and interviews.

Dan studied natural sciences at Collingwood and after graduating, decided to spend two years travelling and working short-term jobs abroad. It was during this time that his interest in technology really began to develop. “In my final year, I tried building a website from scratch. It took forever and was absolutely terrible! But when I decided I wanted to use some of my free, post-university time productively, I looked to tech again” explains Dan. “Despite the time and effort spent learning the technical skills required to build a website, the whole process of creation was immensely satisfying.” After then completing a course on machine learning fundamentals, he decided to begin pursuing a career in tech.

For someone who hasn’t studied computer science or worked in a technology role before, there can be a lot of uncertainty as to what skills and knowledge are required to join a technology graduate programme or entry level job. Despite the lack of dedicated resources to address these concerns, thousands of graduates still make the leap into the world of tech.

One such graduate was Alok, who studied engineering at Hatfield college. Dan and Alok met on the HSBC Technology Graduate programme. It was here that they began planning a website designed specifically for “people that are interested in technology but haven’t had the formal training”. Alok explains, “we want to show people how they can use their alternative studies or experience as an asset rather than a barrier to the industry.”

During university, Alok spent some of his spare time learning to be a web developer. He created websites for several clients, including Hatfield JCR, and used this side-hustle experience as his door into the technology graduate programme. “You don’t need to be a programmer or have spent years training to get an excellent job in technology. The key is being genuinely enthusiastic about some part of tech, whether that is artificial intelligence, web design, or cyber security.”

The website, Break Into Tech, supports graduates that have this potential interest in technology in exploring their options and beginning up-skilling. There are ‘Learning Paths’ for each of the main areas of technology, tailored to anyone without a technical background, which guide you through the core concepts and training options. The ‘News’ sections also provides blog posts from others that have made this journey into tech, covering such diverse topics as women in tech, technological ethics, and even the defence technology industry. And if you have no idea where to get started, you can even try the tech personality quiz for some pointers.

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