Careers Service Occupations

Technology & Data

Technology & Data

Research careers and find opportunities in technology and data

Monitor screen showing coding

These pages are aimed at students and graduates looking to get into the technology and data sector, from technical roles such as software engineering, cyber security and data analyis, to non-technical roles including IT consultancy and sales.

Insights into the sector

According to Tech Nation's UK tech in 2020 review, just under three million people were employed in the UK's digital tech economy, an increase of 40% from 2017.

25% of Europe’s top 20 highest investment tech cities in 2019 were in the UK: Manchester, London, Bristol, Oxford and Cambridge.

Emerging trends in technology include an increase in areas such as edtech, healthtech and also climate and agricultural tech, according to a recent BCS report. Organisations are also prioritising cyber security, cloud, automation and IT governance.

Read on to find out about the different roles available in technology and data and how to research the industry.

To find opportunities in technology and data, see Finding jobs & work experience.

1. What do graduates in technology and data do?

The range of companies and sectors you can work in is huge and can suit graduates with a variety of skills. You can find opportunities in various roles, including software engineering, machine learning, automation and AI, data analysis and data science. Other roles include systems support and management, cyber security and forensics, and business consultancy and sales.

There are also opportunities for graduates without a computer science degree.

Prospects’ What can I do with my degree can help you explore your career options and get ideas on where your degree could take you. Discover the typical skills you can gain from a Computer Science degree.

Click on Job Profiles below for examples of the types of roles available within technology and data. To find out what other graduates are doing, click on the section Get inspiration from people working in the industry below. 

Woman using VR headset

2. Industry and sector insights

Researching the industry is essential, whether it’s to help you decide which area to work in, identify who to apply to, tailor your application or impress an interviewer with your knowledge of the sector.

Here are some tips to help you get started.

Read career guides for this sector, such as:

Keep up to date with industry news

Use online magazines and journals to keep up with industry news, trends and developments – useful for applications and interviews.

Examples include:

For North East technology and data sector insights, visit:

Attend events

Sunderland Software City hold regular networking and insight events, where you can meet technology companies and recruiters. There are also regular meetups across the region, eg Frontend NE - a free, monthly meetup about frontend web development and North East Data Scientists, both based in Newcastle.

For a list of tech events in the North East, see Tech Diary

See also our recruitment events and employer & sector insights

Join IT-specific student societies

Computing & Technology Society (NUCATS) often organises and promotes events such as hackathons or invites guest speakers to talk about their careers.

Use social media to find industry insights

Join sector-specific groups on LinkedIn to keep up to date. Posts often include news, events and opportunities. You can also find useful insights on careers on Twitter and TikTok (though treat with caution, as not all the content may be accurate).

Find out more about how to use social media for your career and subscribe to our IT sector Twitter list.

Consider joining a relevant professional body/industry network

Professional bodies often run networking events and may have specialist groups that you could join. They may also post vacancies on behalf of their members and can have member directories, useful for speculative applications.

Key organisations include:

Find professional bodies outside the UK on GoinGlobal by selecting ‘Professional and Personal Networking’ on each of the individual country guides.

Finding work experience & jobs

Many large recruiters, such as Waterstons, Accenture, IBM and P&G, advertise summer internships, year-long placements and graduate training programmes in technology and data.

Opportunities are available across every sector, from finance and law to healthcare and energy. Have a look at our other Explore Occupations pages to find additional sources of vacancies.

You can also find opportunities within government agencies and public bodies, such as NHS Digital, GCHQ and the Civil Service.

In this section:

How to find opportunities 

There are various ways to find internships, placements and graduate opportunities. We’ve added some tips below to help you get started. 

  • search for advertised vacancies using the vacancy sites listed below
  • look at the careers sections on company websites to see what opportunities they offer to students and graduates. Use Researching Employers to help you gain insights into companies
  • attend events such as recruitment fairs and employer and sector insights to hear about the roles on offer
  • contact employers speculatively – see Finding companies to help you find organisations to approach
  • follow companies on social media, particularly LinkedIn and Twitter, for latest news and updates
  • consider registering with a recruitment agency for graduate jobs
  • register with EmployAbility if you have a neurodivergent condition, mental health condition or another disability. They can offer advice and support on applications to Newcastle students, and run first year, internship and graduate programmes with inclusive employer partners.
  • ask family and friends if they have any useful contacts who may be able to offer you work experience
  • consider alternative ways to find relevant experience and develop your skills
  • create your own opportunity by starting your own business or working freelance – see Work for Yourself

When to apply

Advertised internships / placements / graduate training schemes

Apply as early as possible - in the UK, applications typically open early in the academic year, from around September or October, with some closing as early as November-December. Many employers don’t wait until the closing date and can close applications as soon as their places are filled.

The Careers Service manages NCL internships with both local employers and on campus, often related to IT. You can find flexible term-time ones throughout the academic year; full-time summer NCL internships are advertised from around March.

If you miss any deadlines, don’t worry – there are still lots of ways to find work experience and graduate opportunities throughout the year.

Advertised graduate jobs

As well as graduate training schemes above, you can find lots of graduate jobs available all year round. These can be with large or small to medium-sized companies - see targetjobs: A graduate's guide to starting your IT career with a small employer. Graduate jobs tend to be immediate start positions, so you are more likely to apply for these towards the end of your studies.

Finding ‘hidden’ opportunities

In the technology sector, a speculative approach is common for finding both internships and placements and graduate jobs. This is where you approach a company directly to ask if they have any opportunities available. Research companies that interest you and contact them directly with a well-tailored CV and covering letter, highlighting relevant skills. Express your enthusiasm for the field and show you have researched the company. See Finding Companies below to help you get started.

Advertised vacancies

Click on the headings below to find vacancy sites for internships, placements and graduate vacancies.

A student looks at a tablet while working alongside an employer during work experience.

Other ways to gain relevant experience

We've added some suggestions to help you develop your skills and gain relevant experience.

  • complete a free virtual internship. For example, with Forage, you can filter by career interest to find virtual internships in software engineering, cyber security and data science/analytics
  • sign up for free online courses to develop new skills such as learning basic coding or a new programming language. It can also demonstrate your interest in the field, eg in software engineering, data science and AI. Try Udacity, FutureLearn, ALISON and Codecademy. IBM have free online courses to help you prepare for an entry-level job in tech, including in cyber security, data analysis and project management. See their SkillsBuild website for more details
  • build a portfolio of work to demonstrate your skills and interest. For example, you can use GitHub for software development and data science projects, or create your own games on Unity, Unreal or CryEngine. ScreenSkills has a useful article on how to build a games portfolio.
  • attend events and network to make contacts and connections, eg through hackathons and game jams. For tech events and meetups in the North East, see Tech Diary. Animex, international festival of animation and computer games, runs annually at Teesside University
  • enter an IT-related competition - prizes can often include internships. For example, Kaggle run a range of data science and machine learning competitions, some with prizes
  • volunteer for Code Club, a nationwide network of volunteer-led after-school coding clubs for children aged 9-11. See Volunteering for more opportunities
general picture of laptops

Specialist recruitment agencies

Recruitment agencies can be useful for finding graduate jobs in technology and data. These tend to be for immediate start positions, so it's worth registering with one or two agencies towards the end of your course. 

We've listed a few specialist agencies below - see Recruitment Agencies to find more agencies by specialism and/or location.

Finding companies

Not all work experience and graduate opportunities are advertised. You can also approach organisations speculatively or find opportunities through networking in the industry.

Find companies that interest you and get in touch, always with a named contact where possible. Be specific about why you are writing to them and what you’re looking for.

Show your enthusiasm for the sector and highlight any relevant skills. Don’t give up if you don’t get a reply – follow up with a polite phone call or email to show that you’re keen.

Click on the headings below to find organisations in the North East, UK and worldwide.

Work for Yourself

Working as self-employed or freelance is common in the technology and data sector.

For information on self-employment and to find out about the support you can get from our START UP team, visit Work for Yourself or click on the button below to book a START UP appointment.

The following may also be useful: