Sogeti graduate scheme encourages non-techical candidates into sector

Services provider Sogeti is encouraging students from non-technical backgrounds by offering training with a job at the end with the supplier

More awareness of the wide range of roles in the technology industry could boost recruitment in the sector, according to a university graduate who has just joined the graduate recruitment programme at technology services supplier Sogeti.

History graduate Jenny Higgins heard about Sogeti through a friend of the family. She said she would never have considered a job in the sector, assuming a technical background was required.

Higgins explained: “Due to a shortage of jobs out there it can be discouraging when you leave university, so you find yourself having to be a little more pragmatic and more open-minded. 

"When I heard about the Sogeti programme, I was a little concerned as I didn’t have a technical background and there is a certain stigma that comes attached to working in technology – you have to be a geek.

“However, when I started the course I realised I had nothing to worry about, as it was very comprehensive and supportive.”

Higgins now works as a test consultant at Sogeti after completing the six-week classroom and work placement scheme, in addition to a six-month probationary period with the company.

Application process

For Higgins to be accepted on to the scheme she had to undergo an assessment day, a personal interview, technical interview, a practical paper and take part in group exercises.

Higgins said: “If the day had been just technical-based I probably would have been put off, however it included several other aspects where I could show a full range of skills. 

"If the technology sector were to recruit more graduates from backgrounds that do not always include computer science, such as arts and humanities, then there would be more of a mix of individuals and a career in technology might seem more appealing to non-techies.”

“There are so many different areas within technology and so many sections needed to test and launch just one web page. More people would be interested in a role in technology if they knew the wide range of jobs available to them and were offered the relevant training, so they didn’t feel too out of their depth.”

Many of Sogeti’s graduates do have a background in computer science, however it is not required. Like Higgins, many have degrees in english, history and geography. 

The scheme is comprised of compulsory ISEB software test training and certification, assessment days, mentoring, exams and on-site shadowing.

Higgins revealed that she felt confident in her role by the time her training and two-week placement, shadowing a Sogeti member of staff, were completed.

The Sogeti graduate recruitment programme was officially launched in September 2011 with 18 graduates. In July 2011 the company took on 7 more graduates and a further 11 in September. For 2012 Sogeti has recruited 27 graduates so far.

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