My data training with Sparta Global  

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Despite an interest in Computer Science at school, Ola Ajayi studied Chemical Engineering at University. When he graduated in 2020 with First Class Honours, it should have been plain sailing for Ola to find an entry level role in his preferred industry, but the pandemic’s impact on graduate employability was still significant. In May 2021, however, Ola was accepted onto our Data Engineering course and has since discovered a new-found passion for technology.  

 

In May 2021 you joined our Data Engineering course. Did you study a STEM degree? 

Before joining the Academy, I studied Chemical Engineering at Heriot-Watt University. I really enjoyed the problem-solving aspects relating to the course, as it allowed me to apply different engineering calculations to real life problems.  

However, when I was in secondary school, I particularly enjoyed my Computer Science classes, as this allowed me to apply my problem-solving skills to coding projects. This is where my passion for technology originally stemmed from. 

 

Because of the pandemic, you unfortunately faced graduating into one of the toughest graduate job markets ever. How did you find job hunting during this time?  

Job hunting was really hard during the pandemic, especially for me being a new graduate entering into an uncertain job market with very little work experience.  

Some of the biggest challenges I faced were when applying for jobs. A lot of the companies I applied for didn’t ever respond back and their job applications were incredibly time consuming. This made my job hunt much more difficult. 

 

What led to you joining Sparta Global? 

This pandemic taught me not to limit my job search to just one type of industry. When I saw the job advertisement from Sparta Global to study Data Engineering, I decided to take a chance and apply based on my passion for technology and learning new things. 

I really liked how all the training could be done remotely, as this would mean I wouldn’t have to commute to the Birmingham campus. Since I live in Scotland, it would have been more challenging for me to complete the training in person! 

 

So, you had always been keen to work in technology?  

I have always been keen on working in the technology industry; however, I didn’t think I would have the opportunity to transition. This was due to my University degree being so different to what is typically required from employers of the tech industry.  

What led me to Sparta Global, was the fact that that I was incredibly passionate about technology and very eager to branch into the tech industry. I was seeking a company that would enable me to do so.  

During my application process, I started to do extensive research into what a Data Engineering job role entails. The idea of helping to make data more accessible to organisations that needed it, seemed like a very interesting job. 

As I progressed through the Academy, my love for Data Engineering grew and I knew that I had made the right decision as to what career path I now wanted to take.   

I will always be grateful to Sparta Global for believing in my technical ability and for investing their time and effort to provide me with the necessary skills to thrive within the tech industry.   

 

What do you think are the most important traits for an individual working in data?  

  • Problem Solver 

  • Analytical / Detail Oriented 

  • Team Player 

  • Quality Focused 

  • Curious / Asks “Why?” 

 

How have you found the training? 

I found the training incredibly challenging yet rewarding at the same time. Coming from a chemical engineering background, I found it quite difficult to change my way of thinking in order to answer coding related problems.  

All of the trainers were very supportive throughout my time on the course and their feedback was exceptional. I learnt more in these 3 months of training than my entire university degree! All my course mates were all so supportive and that definitely helped me to stay positive throughout the course.  

 

What are you looking forward to doing in the future with your new knowledge?  

I look forward to working more on improving my coding skills and learning more about what a data engineering role entails. I cannot wait to start working on client site!  

 

How has Sparta Global supported your tech journey so far?  

Sparta Global has been incredibly supportive during my tech journey so far. All of my trainers were very approachable whenever I had any questions, and they always went above and beyond to ensure that I fully understood what I was being taught. 

I particularly liked how I was given the opportunity to hear presentations from students in other technical courses within Sparta Global, such as: Business, DevOps, SDET and Java Development. This allowed me to broaden my tech knowledge. 

 

Finally, the technology industry is not the most diverse – largely dominated by white males who come from traditional STEM backgrounds. What would you say to people from underrepresented groups looking to kickstart careers in tech? 

It is a known fact there is a lack of diversity in the tech industry. As someone that is part of the ethnic minority group, it has got me thinking what role I could play to increase the representation of underrepresented groups in the tech industry and STEM field. 

The tech industry is booming, and I seized the opportunity to work in the sector through participating in the Data Engineering training programme at Sparta Global. I received a great deal of support and mentoring from extremely experienced individuals who recognised my potential, passion, and determination. My experiences have been positive and extremely rewarding and I aim to raise awareness to encourage other underrepresented groups to join the tech industry and help to bridge the gap. 

 

Would you recommend Sparta Global as a gateway into a technology career? 

I would highly recommend Sparta Global to anyone that has recently graduated or is early on in their career, that is wanting to transition to the technology sector.  

Not only do you get a lot of support from trainers and course mates during your time in the Academy, but you learn so much valuable tech knowledge in a relatively short amount of time.