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Technology industry overview

Julia Sinclair-Jones

With tech, anything is possible… it’s an industry where the world is your oyster.
Technology Industry

Tech? Boom. 

As a technology graduate, the world is your oyster and you are the pearl - so grab opportunities where they lie. Will you kick off your career at a hot new NZ startup, with one of the world’s most recognisable companies, or in a prime grad position in a tech-first government department? That all depends on what you want most out of your first role in the industry.

Working behind the scenes on developing and training machine learning algorithms to identify patterns in consumer habits. Improving the user experience on an innovative healthcare app. Developing a new accountancy software that will revolutionise the way businesses work. Love variety? Tech is one industry where if you make the right choices you’ll never get bored. 

The median starting salary for a Computer Science graduate is $60,000NZD. Once you get some experience and start specialising then your salary can skyrocket.

Sub industries in tech

The tech industry is incredibly broad, so we’ve broken it down for you here. Major industry verticals within technology include software, eCommerce, data science, AI and machine learning, cybersecurity, manufacturing, and IoT. Outside of the tech industry itself, these industries employ the majority of tech graduates: professional services, agriculture, finance, construction, transport, and mining.

Typical roles in the industry

Try these popular titles on for size: software engineer, systems analyst, network engineer, systems administrator, or data analyst.

Major and emerging employers in the industry

Major employers within the tech space are Microsoft, IBM, Datacom, Cognizant and Honeywell. Emerging employers and new leaders include Delivereasy, AskYourTeam, Dovetail, Shuttlerock, and PushPay.

Remember: it’s not only technology companies that have excellent career prospects for tech graduates. Employers like Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, and the New Zealand Government all have big tech departments with grad roles to match - so don’t overlook them.

Freelance/digital nomad market

While there’s a growing trend towards remote work, particularly in tech, it’s recommended you get an on-site role first, before transitioning into freelance and/or remote opportunities. Don’t be afraid of relocating to get your foot in the door, even if it means making the move across the ditch. It can be a great life experience and will hold you in good stead to transition to a digital nomad lifestyle - if that’s your plan.

Job market outlook

No surprises here! The job market outlook in technology is strong for the foreseeable future, as software and systems is a major driving force in Industry 4.0. If you want a headstart for future opportunities, then look at roles as a software engineer, data scientist, systems analyst, or cybersecurity professional.

A career in tech not only has strong job prospects within New Zealand but means that (after relevant experience) you can walk into a job in another country if you want. Always wanted to travel? Tech is the perfect industry to help you do it.

How to get hired

Getting hired isn’t as simple as just having a tech degree and submitting a complete application on time. For the best possible chance at getting your dream grad role: 

  • Do work experience in a tech position and/or with a tech company
  • Attend networking events and extra-curricular workshops or weekend projects like hackathons or rapid startups
  • Have a public projects portfolio
  • Practice tech skills and interviewing skills
  • Clean up and tailor your public social media profiles and resume (including graphic design and keywording)

Key skills you need

Adaptability

The rate of change of tech is fast-paced, which means you have to be adaptable and open to change to keep up. Entering a new role with a new employer will almost always mean getting up to speed quickly with a different tech stack and project management practices than you are used to. Keep on top of industry advances and the latest tech products to be able to bring value not only to your team and employer but to your career and future opportunities, too.

An investigative nature

Working in tech, you’ll find that many paths lead to the same outcome in your work. However, getting to the bottom of why X is the best path to take within a project (and quickly) will make you an asset and help you to achieve work goals faster. In practice, this means learning which tools and approaches work best in different situations, questioning existing processes, and researching to find optimal solutions in the problem-space.

Personability

The most successful IT projects are often the ones where team communication and tooling is instant, effective, and seamless. Despite the image of a tech job as sitting in front of a screen all day, this isn’t the case out there in the industry. You’ll need to be able to ask for help as needed, provide useful ideas and information to your team, and get along with people from all walks of life - both in person, as well as online.