The EdTech sector is making all kinds of noise lately…

…here’s an intro

Close up of coding on a screen.

 

Article written and provided by KidSmart 

EdTech has been making all kinds of noise in recent times for several reasons:

Firstly, the education sector is one of the largest and fastest-growing parts of the global economy. It is an industry concerned primarily with imparting information and relevant skills.

Secondly, EdTech alone is predicted to flourish at a rate of 17% per annum, which amounts to a whopping 252 billion dollars (roughly 203 billion pounds) by 2020. Pretty crazy right?

Yet many students still don’t fully understand what EdTech is and the opportunities that exist within the sector.

What is EdTech? What jobs are available? What experience do I need?

These are just a few questions that people ask about the sector. So, let’s start with the definition of EdTech:

What is EdTech?

 EdTech (Or Educational Technology) is the process of learning through technology. In recent years this has taken many forms; apps, websites, e-learning platforms, virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence.

Today’s learning no longer revolves around lectures and textbooks alone but also uses a variety of resources and interaction methods, including video materials, online interactive exercises, eBooks, and an array of other nifty innovations.

Elbow in front of computer screen with notepad and pen.

What are the job opportunities in the EdTech sector?

As attractive as the EdTech sector is, there is still a big knowledge gap for students around how to get into the industry. Many students believe that they need a deep understanding of tech to successfully enter the sector, but this is simply not true. With all the buzz around EdTech comes a whole range of EdTech jobs:

Graphic Design

When we produced our EdTech app, UX designers were key when creating the product. Design is at the forefront of good user experience, and designers are vital for ensuring a slick customer journey.

Most products on the market will require designers to make regular updates and changes to the design. A lot of companies have in-house design teams.

Software Developer

It will come as no surprise that EdTech companies require great technology, within the education space there are different types of companies that require different skill sets.

For example, if we were to take a mobile app, the skills required to create an app would differ massively on IOS and Android. For students, I would recommend looking into the specific area that you want to work on and learn the associated programming languages.

Social Media Marketing

Social media is a key component of our modern lives, so it should come as no surprise that social is a key channel in spreading the message about EdTech. In our business, we use a variety of channels such as Facebook, paid advertising and SEO.

EdTech may be a good fit for students with marketing degrees or a keen interest in education. Our  recommendation is that students who want to learn more about marketing take on internships and try to gain practical experience which is aligned with their course.

Content Writers

You may have heard people say that content is king, and in 2019 this could not be truer.

In terms of EdTech, great copywriting is extremely important. Writers are used for creating materials for the various software, creating copy for social media content, blog posts, sales copy, and so on.

There is a lot of synergy with university and the world of content, similar to dissertations and coursework, writers must research content thoroughly before writing a piece. To improve your writing skills, nothing replaces regular writing.

Cybersecurity

It seems like we can’t go a week without hearing of a breach in a major tech company – as a result ‘Cybersecurity’ is on everyone’s lips at the moment and as our world becomes more digital, it’s a useful skill to any organisation.

Technical skills and programming skills at a base level are important for cybersecurity. For students keen to get into the space it’s recommended that they have a basic grasp of some technical languages and programming skills.

Teaching

Teachers are at the forefront of many of the leading apps in the world. Having a sound knowledge of the education system is very useful when working in EdTech.

When we created our app, we consulted with many teachers to help in the build process. Ultimately having a deep knowledge of education is useful for a career in EdTech.

What experience do you need?

As with anything experience always helps, a good understanding of the education system is useful, although not essential. When it comes to working with software, the more experience you have the better.

Our  recommendation for students interested in an EdTech career is to get as much experience as you can from a range of sources. Companies like when a student is well rounded and versatile. Here are some quick ideas that students can adopt to become more employable:

  • You can take an internship at a local startup and learn everything from the ground up.
  • Develop a skill while you’re at university (Learn a skill that employers will like, for example, photoshop, a programming language, communication skills, social media skills, etc).
  • Start a side project of your own, a blog, an app, a website. (As most students don’t have big budgets, this will teach you how to problem solve, create new ideas and be resourceful).
  • Volunteer at local organisations

Why? A lot of businesses hire based on values, if you show commitment to learning and self-development, organisations will like this.

Try to gain experience in the real world, engage with the world, take part in what the University has to offer. At this stage, everything is about learning as much as possible.

What is my advice for students?

Don’t worry if you are unsure about what you want to do right now, at this point try different things and find out what you enjoy.

At the same time, try to develop skills, EdTech is a fiercely competitive market and developing the skills you will need early, coupled with lots of experience will give you a massive head start.