SHIFT to a Career in Tech

Tech is NZ’s fastest growing sector and it’s importance has been highlighted for us all during the Covid-19 crisis.

In just the last few weeks, NZ has made a massive shift to online shopping, working from home, digital schooling and family and work meetings via video conferencing.

Tech is now more than ever a part of all of our lives, and the career opportunities are huge.

Since 2017, SIGNAL’s innovative industry-driven SHIFT programme has helped many people from different degree or career backgrounds move into new careers in tech, even without previous tech experience, and is offered in both Dunedin and Christchurch.

SHIFT graduates have come from diverse backgrounds such as medicine, business, philosophy, sociology, commerce, geography, marketing, engineering and humanities.

And if you already have a tech related degree, you can expand your expertise by focusing on a new area and gaining valuable industry skills and connections.

Not all tech careers are about coding. During SHIFT you can choose to focus on software design, digital marketing, app and website development, business analysis, data science, project management, user experience design, technical writing, service delivery, systems administration, geographic information services, artificial intelligence and more. 

Photo: Supplied
Photo: Supplied
SHIFT fast-tracks your tech learning with an industry-focused one-year programme, that not only boosts your skills, but gives you practical industry experience and an industry network to help you move into tech. SHIFT is also available part-time in Dunedin.

SHIFT enables you to meet and work with local tech professionals. You will complete group projects with tech mentors, and also gain experience via a 200-hour placement within industry. This allows you to add value to your host and to showcase your capabilities.

Diversity is important in the tech sector. The best designed products incorporate many viewpoints to meet customer requirements. Tech firms will often actively recruit to increase gender, cultural and thought diversity among their teams, and many have for a number of years offered flexible hours and remote working opportunities.

  • Find out more at the Online Tech Careers session

SIGNAL is holding free Online Tech Careers sessions in May and June, where you can hear more about what opportunities exist, and how your existing skills may be utilised in a career change. 

You can register for one of these at or phone 0800 99 00 24 for more info.

  • Extra SHIFT Scholarships for July 2020

SIGNAL has increased their scholarship offering for SHIFT part-time and full-time students commencing July 2020, in Dunedin and Christchurch. 

Call SIGNAL today on 0800 990 024 or click here to find out more and start your SHIFT into New Zealand’s fastest-growing sector.

  • Christine – SHIFT Graduate

“I would never have expected to get a job within the tech sector straight out of university!”

Christine was in her final year of a Bachelor of Science, majoring in Genetics, when it dawned on her that she needed to either start looking for a job, or look into further studies to enhance her degree.

Completing the data science pathway of SHIFT in 2019, Christine was immersed in hands-on, practical tech training, including developing an online survey platform for widespread data collection, and a 200-hour data science project for local health research company, Airmed.

The projects helped Christine develop new skills which led to her new role within the Group Technology Team within New Zealand’s largest general insurer, immediately after SHIFT.

You can read more about Christine’s SHIFT experience here.

  • Julia – Brewery Manager to Business Analyst

Chemical Engineering graduate and mum of two, Julia Pye worked in the food and beverage manufacturing industry for over twenty years.

Looking for a change in direction in 2018, she could see how her substantial management skills would be enhanced by adding tech knowledge, and the practical project-based aspects of SHIFT appealed.

Julia was offered a role straight after her industry placement finished. She is now employed as an IT Business Analyst, utilising both her operational management experience and her new tech skills, to develop tech based business solutions for a variety of projects. 

You can read more about Julia’s SHIFT to a tech career here.

  • Harry – Software Developer

Having studied global changes in cultures, communities and workplaces as part of his Masters degree, Harry was well aware of the role technology is set to play in our future.

Determined to be a part of that, he embarked on SHIFT in 2017, using it as a gateway into the tech sector.

Today, Harry is a full-stack software developer, providing IT solutions for the education sector in Christchurch, where he has recently been joined on staff by another SHIFT Graduate Carl.

Read more about Harry’s SHIFT journey here.

  • Online Tech Careers sessions

Signal is holding free Online Tech Careers sessions in May, where you can hear more about what opportunities exist, and how your existing skills may be utilised in a career change.

You can register for one of these at or phone 0800 99 00 24 for more info.

  • The next SHIFT intake starts July 2020 in both Christchurch and Dunedin, and partial scholarships are available. 
  • Call SIGNAL today on 0800 990 024 or click here or email here to find out how you can start your SHIFT into New Zealand’s fastest-growing sector.

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