Turning to Tech from Teaching…
November 30, 2018
By Andrew Churchill (the one on the left in the photograph!)
Technology has always been a passion of mine; its possibilities are virtually limitless, and the opportunities it can offer continue to expand as it advances year upon year. I therefore made the tough decision in December 2017 to pursue a new career in IT and leave the teaching world behind, and I haven’t looked back since.
I was initially apprehensive about joining a career in technology after leaving teaching – the thought of having to learn a new ‘business language’, a new organisation structure (much larger than I was used to), and a completely new role worried me. Doris gave me the confidence and opportunity to launch my Tech career as a Data Governance Analyst; through learning on the job, with support from Doris when I felt I needed it, I was brought up to speed with the business world, and have turned into a professional in the industry very quickly.
As I transitioned from Secondary School Science Teacher to Data Governance Analyst, I asked myself a simple question: what is the purpose of data? Before joining Doris, and beginning my first assignment at the Co-op, and my answer to this would have been; safeguarding, improving outcomes for students, but mostly evidence of impact – to ‘tick a box’. I never truly understood the usefulness and importance of data. In an educational context, the majority of data seems void when considering the main impact of teaching should be focused on changing the lives of young people. Due to this, and a distance grew between my initial passion for the vocation and the job I was employed to do – ironic considering the role of Data Governance Analyst I now hold.
My knowledge of the importance of data has grown significantly over the past 8 months; not only does it add value to business and enable personalised customer care and satisfaction, but it is also crucial to achieving an environment of clarity and transparency. Maintaining these core principles, and protecting the rights of individuals’ data, whether that be safeguarding in schools or governance in business, it is something that has begun to fascinate me.
As a result of my experience in teaching, I feel that I am in an extremely advantageous position; teaching laid a fantastic foundation of core and soft skills that I am now building upon in my Tech role. The ability to communicate effectively is a vital skill in business, but a skill which is difficult to harness unless exposed to situations where it can be developed and practised. It’s this disparity between the public sector and private sector that I am now interested in; a future vision and goal of mine is certainly to explore this – how can society and the education system equip individuals with effective communication skills in order to thrive in business?
“I know that the skills I developed as a teacher made my transition into the business world far smoother than if I had entered this position without the invaluable experience and practice gained during my teaching years.”
Doris works to give people their breaks into the IT industry and supports them through a two year development programme and beyond. They have also recently given me the opportunity to attend a Friends of Doris networking event, at which I was able to discuss and present how teaching has helped me develop within the business world. I received lots of fantastic feedback, and one thing that struck me was how much the transferable skills of teaching, particularly communicating with a room full of people, were praised and appreciated.
If, like me, you have become disenfranchised with teaching, or in fact any profession, I would thoroughly recommend taking the plunge and making a fresh start in a whole new career path with endless variety and increasing rewards – Technology.
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