Accessibility statement

Step into Tech

Step into Tech. Your launch pad for tech careers

Are you interested in a career in the tech industry but think that you’re not techie enough? Find out more about the range of roles in tech

The University is running a free part-time online ‘Step into Tech’ programme for students and graduates from diverse backgrounds who have studied any degree outside of computer science. 

What is the programme?

This programme aims to provide an introduction to different elements of tech for students and graduates from diverse backgrounds who did not study Computer Science, but who want to explore these in a safe environment.

As well as developing beginner level tech capabilities and understanding, a strong aim of the programme is to provide:

  • an insight and understanding of the tech industry
  • awareness of the breadth and depth of career areas in tech
  • to support you to understand which areas of tech might meet your interests, skills, strengths and personality
  • towards the end of the programme there will be support to help you understand what the best next steps will be for you through employer input, careers advice and professional coaches

You will be introduced to a new technical area every week and the curriculum will be designed in the context of a tech industry project/requirement to enable you to see how different tech functions and teams and roles work together. This will then help you understand which areas might fit best for you. The technical areas you will cover include User Interface (design and implementation), coding, data analysis and design and development process. Read more in the programme outline.

You will have access to personal development weekly sessions delivered by tech professionals and tech coaches to support your understanding and preparation for working in a tech professional working environment.

Every week we will also focus on a particular tech career role which aligns with that week’s curriculum, where you will hear from a professional in that role to gain a better understanding of what that role entails and how they got into that role. Finally, there will be careers sessions to support you to prepare for your next steps after the programme.

What is the structure and time commitment of the programme?

The programme is designed to be maximum 12 hours per week including self study time. There will be weeks when this time commitment is lower than 12 hours.

This roughly breaks down per week to a maximum requirement of 4 hours pre-recorded teaching, 2 hours live seminars/support, 4 hours self study, up to 2 hours personal development and careers support. 

We ask that you are available for the live elements of this programme to best support your learning and professional development.

When does the programme run?

The programme begins on Monday 10 June 2024 and will finish on Sunday 4 August 2024.

Please make sure you are available for the welcome session on Monday 10 June from 6 to 7.30pm AND at least one of the following days and times every week throughout the programme for practicals:

  • Wednesdays 12 to 2pm; or
  • Wednesdays 4 to 6pm; or
  • Wednesdays 6 to 8 pm

Please also note that office hours will be available:

  • Tuesday 4 to 6pm
  • Thursday 6 to 8pm
  • Friday 12 to 2pm

What will I gain from this programme?

  • An introduction to technical skills and knowledge to understand what you like and what you do not like across a number of technical areas
  • A good understanding of the tech industry; what tech career areas there are and what they entail; a good overview of technical roles, what they entail and the skills they require; and time and guidance to reflect on which might best fit you and your skills, interests and personality 
  • Personal development tips and advice from professionals in the tech space, tech coaches and careers professionals 
  • A certificate on completion of the full 8 weeks to add to your CV and LinkedIn profile 
  • Access to professional networks in the tech space

Who will be delivering this programme?

This programme has been designed and created by academics in Computer Science and Interactive Media at the University of York, with contributions, advice and guidance from a number of employers in the tech industry.

The programme has specifically been designed with graduates from non technical degree backgrounds with little or no knowledge and experience of tech. 

There will be a number of employer and professionals who will be delivering personal development, careers support and some technical content every week.

What do I need to complete this programme?

A laptop, reliable internet connection and time to progress through the content every week.

Am I eligible to apply?

The Step into Tech programme aims to support students and graduates not studying Computer Science at the University of York, who are from backgrounds which are underrepresented within the UK Tech market and in higher education, to access a safe space to explore beginner level tech skills and increase awareness of the depth and breadth of tech careers.

Applicants who meet one or more of the following criteria are prioritised for places: 

  • care leaver (meeting the student finance definition)
  • care experienced (not meeting the student finance definition of being a care leaver)
  • estranged from family
  • student finance maintenance loan allowance indicates household income less than £35,000
  • home students who were eligible for free school meals in high school and/or sixth form/college (does not include universal infant free school meals)
  • students/graduates with unpaid caring responsibilities for a parent, family member, partner or friend
  • student parents 
  • seeking asylum in the UK
  • refugee status in the UK
  • home postcode falls within IMD (Index of Multiple Deprivation) 1 or 2 areas (UK home students only)
  • first generation in their family to go to higher education, (including if a parent went to university as a mature student)
  • students/graduates with disabilities and long term health conditions - including students with a diagnosed neurodiverse condition, such as Autistic Spectrum Condition, ADHD, ADD, Dyslexia, Dyscalculia and Dyspraxia. 
  • students/graduates who identify as LGBTQ+
  • students/graduates whose gender identity different to that assigned at birth 
  • students/graduates who identify as female
  • mature students (those aged 21 or over on the first day of undergraduate study at York).
  • students/graduates  from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds (including from Gypsy, Roma or Traveller backgrounds).
  • students/graduates from military families

*We assess applicants based on eligibility score and how well they have reflected and communicated their motivation for the programme given the 8 week commitment, via the application form. 

**Where there is no separation between candidates in terms of scoring, final years and recent grads will receive priority for places. Recent grads are defined as up to 3 years out of graduation. 

***If places remain on the programme once students meeting one or more of the above criteria have applied and been allocated, then applications will be opened up to all students and graduates regardless of background at the discretion of the careers and placements team.

Please refer to the Step into Tech Privacy Statement.

How do I apply?

Applications for the 2024 Step into Tech programme open on Monday 8 April at 9am and close on Friday 3 May at 4pm.

Complete the application form to apply.