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Career tips

You can pursue a career in tech without knowing how to code!

You can pursue a career in tech without knowing how to code!

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technology and software

It is common knowledge that technology is one of the fastest growing sectors in the job market. There is so much emphasis on technology and software. And this is why tech companies around the world are gradually becoming the most valued by the stock market and investors.

The idea that to work in tech, you must sit behind screens writing code all day, is still pervasive among people outside the discipline. Do you ever see people do fabulous things with tech and wish to do exactly the same, but when you see a line of code, you tell yourself this is definitely not for you? I hear this a lot and yes, it is definitely possible to work in the tech industry without necessarily knowing the intricacies of coding.

READ: African tech startups raise over $700 million in 2020 despite pandemic

Clearly, technology is shaping the future. And while this is a good development, there is infinite literature describing how a lack of diversity in tech diminishes the quality of teams and subsequently the products they develop. Our lives are not defined by the perspective of only a few subsets of people. Therefore, the technology shaping our lives should not either.

There are so many things you can do in tech that will not require you to touch a line of code. Here are some of them:

  1. Project Manager

Everything in technology is a project. From the proposal stage, to documenting the scope of work, planning and gathering requirements, to creating the software, attaching it to a hardware, implementing it, monitoring, controlling, fixing, and updating. These are all parts of the software life cycle. And Project Managers are needed to manage these various stages.

Read Also: MTN Nigeria’s revenue has hit the N1 trillion mark

You don’t need to know how to code to be a Project Manager. A PMP certificate will put you ahead when applying for project management roles.

  1. Product Manager/Product Owner

You are in charge of anything that has to do with a product. From the idea to how it’s made, to who it is sold to, how it is marketed and portrayed, etc. It’s a very lucrative career where you might need some sufficient technical knowledge to understand some things but won’t necessarily code to do the actual work.

Instead, what you basically do is you take the vision or an idea and shape it into a real product by talking to software engineers and customers. You are at the intersection of business, customers, and engineering. You do it by making sure the product is a money maker and strategically aligned with the company, and ends up being implemented as close as possible to what customer wants.

If you currently work in an IT firm, note that product manager role is the fastest track into senior leadership. If you can come up with a money-maker idea and bring it to the market, then that’s a great way to be promoted. Most of the VPs and C-level execs come from the PM background.

  1. User Interface/User Experience Designer

User Interface Designers establish the look and feel of a software’s interface. UI designers are often responsible for:

Read Also: Preparing for a blockchain led future

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  • Visual design through each stage from brainstorming to engineering
  • Clear communication of ideas and instructions to users through well-designed wireframes, storyboards, user flows, and sitemaps
  • Making the interface a cohesive whole by intentionally designing each element of the site or web app to ensure they all work together.

User Experience Designer

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User experience designers (UX) create products with the end user in mind. Basically, their primary goal is increasing user satisfaction.

A few key responsibilities include:

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  • User research: understanding users through interviews or other methods like card sorting
  • Information architecture: knowing the most effective ways to structure content on a site or app
  • Data-driven design: making design choices based on data analysis
  • Wireframing and prototyping: building test versions of websites/web apps

User experience (UX) and user interface (UI) positions are different, but they work closely together. Sometimes you will see them combined into one job. Their overall goal is to create a website or mobile app that is intuitive and pleasurable for the user. UX/UI specialists make their product stand out for user-friendliness and aesthetics.

READ: Why Ethereum is becoming more attractive than Bitcoin

  1.  Software Quality Tester

Software Quality Testers (SQTs) test the quality of software products prior to public launch to ensure they are working properly.

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The field is related to, but separate from, quality assurance (QA). SQTs run various functional, stress, and scalability tests across numerous customer scenarios in efforts to “break” the software with a goal of eliminating bugs and improve the quality improvement of the final product.

Read Also: MTN loses 178,000 internet subscribers over ‘data concerns’

  1.  Data Analyst

The bigger the tech world gets, the more data there is to sort through and understand. The goal of data analysts is to inspect data in order to discover useful information, draw conclusions about things like website clicks and sales, and help with decision-making by making suggestions of how to best use what the data presents.

Data analysts take large sums of data and break it down into usable form using graphs, charts, lists, reports, and more. They play an integral role in figuring out the best opportunities for progress and growth for a company.

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Data analytics jobs are perfect for those possessing an affinity for data set analysis, trend spotting, and strength in conveying the findings in layman’s terms.

Strong mathematical and analytical skills are key to the role data analysts play, notably knowledge of statistics – collection and organisation of large sets of data are central to the job description.

READ: NCC to tackle fast data depletion and wrong deductions by networks

6. Technical Writing

Someone has to document everything that goes into developing a website, app, or product. Alongside all of that code and technical jargon is someone who’s writing reports to make everything comprehensible for non-techies.

Technical writers focus on using clear, concise language/content to communicate with readers. They create things like user manuals, press releases, disclaimers, technical reports, specification reports, scripts for help and tutorial videos, and more.

You may be right for a technical writing position if you have a solid grasp of a language and can break complicated topics down to their most basic components. Programmes, websites, scripts, and nearly every other type of product need extensive documentation. It can be instructions for users, requirements for developers, press releases, technical reports, specifications, or a wide range of other types of documents.

To be an effective technical writer, it’s instructive to have an understanding of the sort of thing that you’re writing about, whether it’s an app or a set of mechanical engineering blueprints. Being concise, descriptive, and well-organised are also very useful writing skills to have in this field. Many technical writers get their start in the field that they work in, but others begin as freelancers or writers of other kinds.

  1. Business Analysts

From the outside, it might seem like the software development cycle is pretty simple: a customer (within or outside of a company) tells the developers what they need, the developers create it, and that’s that. But it’s a lot more complicated. The requirements that the customer has rarely translate to technical requirements smoothly — there’s a lot of interpretation and translation that has to take place before everyone understands each other.

This is where the business analyst comes in. Their job is to bridge the gap between customers and developers by gaining a solid understanding of what the customer wants the software or product to do.  This understanding is then turned into a series of tasks that the developers can deal with, one at a time. After going through all of these tasks, the developers will have created a product that satisfies the customer. (That’s the idea, anyway!)

[Read Also: Google made a whooping $4.7 billion from news content in 2018]

  1. Marketing/Sales

When it comes down to it, almost every tech company’s goal — like companies in any other field — is to make money. This means that they need to sell products. And that means that people who have the skills to market and sell those products are in high demand.

What sets marketing and sales in the tech world apart from many other fields is that companies are often in tune with up-and-coming methods of marketing and advertising. This can be appealing to many people who want to work in tech without programming.

For example, search engine optimisation, search engine marketing, pay-per-click advertising, content marketing, web production, and social media marketing are all important fields that are relatively new within marketing and advertising that tech companies are likely to be hiring for. Some of them require more technical knowledge than others. But they all benefit from having a good understanding of the technology that the company is selling.

Marketing and sales positions in tech range in requirements and skill levels. Yet, the main goal is to get your company’s name into a large audience’s brains. Once content has been produced, you have to market it.

9. Legal, Compliance, Risk, Audit, and Strategy

For these types of roles, tech companies  hire managers and candidates with real experience dealing with current regulations.

Those are always changing, but they do want to hire people with risk and regulatory experience. They are the middlemen between the developers and the business, not individuals producing revenue, but rather supporting the front-, middle- and back-office.

Technology strategy roles are typically for professionals who have worked at management consulting or Big Four professional services firms. Fintech firms are looking for people with business transformation experience to build out their internal strategy groups with the IT or operations department.

Other roles include and are not limited to accountants, Human resource personnel, graphics designers and a ton of others!

Educate yourself more, polish your resume and get a job in tech!

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Career tips

7 key ways women can effectively build a professional career while running a family

Juggling between work and family life has been one challenge faced by many women.

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7 key ways women can effectively build a professional career while running a family

According to the World Bank collection of development indicators, compiled from officially recognized sources, women make up 44.94% of labour force in Nigeria as at 2019. It can be estimated that more than half of this number of working women are wives and mothers. This is quite impressive and shows an appreciable increase in the number of working women and working mothers to compared to what was seen two decades ago.  However. The rise in the number of working women and mothers also increased some of the problems working wives/mothers faced both at home and at work. In fact, some of these problems remain largely unattended to in the Nigerian society.

In our world today, especially in the corporate world, where competitive nature is prevalent, a lot of women have risen career-wise and have carved a niche for themselves. Some of the career choices they made has put so many of them in a state of dilemma. i.e. juggling between their work as well as their family life, thereby making it difficult for them to strike a balance.

READ: 10 side businesses to sustain your professional career

In addition, many husbands, especially in Nigeria where patriarchy is strong do not support the idea of their wives working. A few who buy the idea, do so grudgingly, thereby, not offering their full support and cooperation to their wives.  This, however, has made a lot of relationships suffer.

Contrary to the above, many men give their wives full consent to work, pursue their dreams and professions. In Nigeria, there is an indication that most working mothers/wives are working not just for self-fulfilment but also to supplement their husband’s income in the face of persistent inflation and to assist their spouse financially.

A lot of people find it difficult balancing the strike i.e. their career and family, leading to some having to quit their jobs. Nevertheless, there are some women who, over the years were able to balance their professional careers with that of their family, and these women have become source of inspiration to so many women finding it difficult to strike the balance. And they are the likes of Oby Ezekwesili, Folorunso Alakija, Aisha Ahmed, Ibukun Awosika, Toyin Sanni, Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu and so many other women striving in their area of specialization.

READ: President Buhari approves N13.3 billion for Community Policing in Nigeria

According to Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu (MD/CEO, NSIA Insurance Company Limited) in an exclusive interview with the Amazons Watch Magazine editorial team, she said that “balancing work with family life is quiet challenging to achieve but is very achievable. I think women more than men need to realize that it is essential to start early to focus on a desired career and we need to stay the course when marriage and children come. We do not have time to play around or to waste, and we must stay motivated and not burn out. Women, by starting early would already have set a pace, before family life comes in. Even when you don’t start early; women must realize that many times, we need to do more. We must stay the course”

According to Ibukun Awosika (Chairman Firstbank Nigeria) “In life, you decide on those things that are important to you, because as a woman I have all my visions and dreams and I want to achieve them. I want to also be a successful mother to my children and I want to be a successful wife to my husband; once I am able to balance it up, it will make a successful home. All we need is understanding. And we need a balanced home to have the right atmosphere. I also apply wisdom most of the time because the day my children matter most to me, I create time for them. The day it is my husband that matters, I create the time. The same goes for my work. If not, everything will crumble and that is why I need to measure the percentage of attention I give to them and that is why I can’t advise another woman on how to run her family because it is your circumstances that determine your kind of action; my home is different from any other home. I am happy to be married to the best man.”

READ: Women and unemployment in Nigeria: How government and stakeholders can bridge the gap

Here are the 7 ways to help make sure both your career and your family flourish:

Having a supportive spouse is key to balance

Having a supportive spouse is key to balancing your career and family because he will assist in the responsibilities of taking care of the family. Having a supportive spouse will enable you reach your career height. They go as far as being supportive of their pursuits to seek higher education thereby supporting them financially, morally, emotionally and otherwise.

Though at times some when overwhelmed might grumble about a woman’s dedication to her job, however, as a woman the best way to resolve this concern is by being diplomatic. Nevertheless, when your spouse is being supportive, it is still imperative to give them top priority and also tend to their needs.

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Planning and time management is crucial

Good planning and time management are crucial to balancing career and family. A lot of people are faced with the challenges of taking care of their young children/ pursuing their careers. Some will plan it in a way that they will pursue postgraduate degrees or career advancement when their children are older.

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Also, when planning and managing time, figure out your family’s priorities. Have a calendar that includes dates when bills are due, a list of school and family events, extracurricular activities, birthdays, and more. It is always recommended to use a Google calendar, which can be easily shared and synced on smartphones. Set aside 15 minutes each Sunday to review and prepare for the upcoming week’s schedule. This helps eliminate surprises during the week. Also, have a time put in place to take care of yourself by going to a spa and exercising (like a yoga class). Remember to eat well and get enough rest. These are simple things a lot of working mothers/wives’ neglect.

Be focus and work hard

This is specifically true for women who want to compete for leadership positions and elevate higher in their careers. For you to get to that position you have to be focused and work so hard to avoid your gender being a hindrance to your success. There is often pressure from employers on women to convince them that their loyalties lie at work and not at home, since working mothers might not be able to afford to spend extra hours doing overtime or other work-related activities which can jeopardize their family. The best way to meet up with all the expectations is to be focused and work super hard. Multitasking will aid you to achieve your goals. Avoid time-wasting, casual internet browsing, gossiping, and long lunches. All these things cause distractions and make you less productive.

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Hire a good house help/nanny  

When trying to balance a professional career with family, it is advisable to hire someone that will take care of your children. You may decide to employ a house help/nanny or even invite a family member, like your mother/mother-in-law to come around and take care of your kid(s).

When hiring a help/nanny it is always imperative to do a background check of the person you are bringing inside your home so you wouldn’t end up creating a problem for yourself and for your family. Go for someone that has excellent experience and is adaptable to kids of various age range; caring for newborns and older children who need homework help.

The house help could cover the necessary functions, such as cooking, laundry, cleaning, and taking care of the children while both parents are at work. It is imperative to show your house help love so they can reciprocate and take good care of your children when you are at work.

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Find quality creche for you kids

Using a Creche (for toddlers) is a good way of balancing your work and family for those that do not want to hire a nanny/house-help. There are some inexpensive schools you can enroll your kids, where they will receive proper care. Having them enroll in Creche will give you ample time to focus on your job and grow your career. You and your spouse can reshuffle on how you both can go for school runs. Choosing a Creche is not something you carelessly pick out and move on, the reason being that leaving your child in the care of others is a major act and needs your utmost attention. Before choosing a Creche it is important to take note of their services and leave room for evaluation to be sure they are in good hands.

Go for online courses

Getting an education is very important to a lot of women as it enables them to achieve higher leadership positions. Having a successful career has to do with furthering your education, whether through degrees or certifications.

For this to be feasible, since you are trying to balance your career and that of your family, it is advisable to venture into online professional courses/online Master/PHD courses. Going into online courses will give you sufficient time to take care of your family and also aid in self-development which is a good ladder to enable you climb faster in your career.

Create a family time

Making time for your kids is crucial, both during the week and on the weekends, to nurture your family dynamic and allow everyone to bond. Always create family time, like having a family breakfast and family weekend. The family weekend covers going to the movies/amusement parks.  When you are having family time, avoid talking about work or checking your phone. Instead, focus on your kids’ interests by asking questions about their friends, classes, and hobbies. With older children, ask for their activity suggestions and try to meet their needs.

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Get relevant economic and financial data on Nairalytics

In conclusion, being a full-time working mother can lead to feelings of guilt and stress because of divided attention between work and family. The key is to be focus on a plan, get organized, and find the right balance between profession and parenthood.

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Career tips

Great tips for landing a job during this lockdown

The coronavirus pandemic has had its impact on job opportunities, but here are some tips for landing jobs.

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Some tips for landing a job during this lockdown

The economic lockdown and movement restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on job opportunities. Some of them could be in the form of job losses, getting new jobs, or even changing the way we work.

Given the unemployment numbers especially in these challenging times, it might be hard not to be apprehensive.

According to a report from Bloomberg, Mark Hamrick, senior economic analyst for personal finance website Bankrate.com, said, “It’s important to remember that there is hiring happening. There’s always attrition and individuals leaving for other jobs.”

Robin Ryan, a career counsellor, said that just a few unemployed people are job hunting at the moment. Most believe that there are no jobs, they can’t be hired, or that only lower-level jobs are available.

Here are some tips for landing jobs during this lockdown.

Beat the system: Make a list of your recent jobs and your top accomplishments at each of them. Those are the items that should be on your résumé. To get past automated applicant vetting systems, enter your work tasks—budgeting, project management, graphic design, team leadership, etc.—in the first bullet point under each job. Don’t include extraneous formatting, such as text boxes, tables, footers, or headers, because application software can’t recognize it.

(READ MORE:Skills Africa needs for sustainable development)

Assess your prospects: You have to find out if the opportunities in your industry are shrinking. According to Hamrick, “many people fail to see that their skills might apply to a variety of settings.” Consider some of the sectors that have stayed open in the lockdown—finance, real estate, food and other consumer goods, technology, and retail, plus suppliers and distributors for each. If that exercise doesn’t yield much, think about how your skills might help companies sharpen their online business. “There’s a need for people to help facilitate digital transformation,” Hamrick says.

Some tips for landing a job during this lockdown

Hit up recruiters (Recruiting agency firms): Let them help you with your resume and offer suggestions about things you might do to stand out.

Use your resources: Companies are filling positions needed to support virtual workers as part of their pandemic strategies. Many company websites might not yet reflect these changes, so try popular online job search websites, type in a company and your city, and you’ll get a better sense of what kind of hiring is going on.

Network: That friend-of-a-friend who previously ignored you. He’s home now and might be up for a quick Zoom coffee date. Connect with everyone you know in your field. (LinkedIn is good for this.). Those connections build on each other. You can ask mutual acquaintances to introduce you to people who can help and once that happens, you can fix a virtual coffee date. If that goes well, ask for an introduction to a hiring manager or supervisor. You’ve got nothing to lose.

 

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