Mark Zuckerberg

Do you have the right personality for a career in technology?

Are you a risk-taker like Facebook's Zuckerberg or a no-nonsense workaholic like YouTube's Wojcicki? Find out what personality types excel in the technology sector.

When IT recruiter Randstad Technologies undertook research earlier this year into personality types found in the technology sector in the UK, it revealed that there are more Mark Zuckerberg types that Lord Sugars. More than a third of IT workers across the UK (37 per cent) share key personality traits with the Facebook founder while just five per cent act like the tech supremo Alan Sugar.

The recruitment firm created an interactive quiz that matches tech professionals’ personalities to those of famous entrepreneurs in the sector, who also included Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, and YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki. The split was: Zuckerberg 37 per cent; Gates 24 per cent; Wojcicki 18 per cent; Jobs 11 per cent; and Mayer and Sugar five per cent. The highest proportion of Zuckerberg personality types are found in the area of analysis, intelligence and data.

Ruth Jacobs, managing director of Randstad Business Support, Randstad Technologies, thinks it’s good news the UK tech sector is dominated by Zuckerberg personality types.

“Our booming tech sector needs leaders who are able to combine technical brilliance and emotional intelligence to provide relevant and useful products for both industry and the consumer,” she says. “The findings suggest people working in the UK’s core tech hubs possess the imagination, drive and leadership qualities that are required to develop disruptive new technologies.”

Even if he may not have known it at the time, Zuckerberg began building the perfect CV for the technology industry early on. Aged 12, he used an Atari computer to create his own messaging programme in BASIC, which he dubbed Zucknet, and developed software for fellow students while studying at Harvard. Clearly his inquisitive and inventive mind and willingness to take a risk have also made him a good fit for the tech sector. Jacobs singles out other characteristics that have helped him succeed, principally his leadership qualities and his ability to take a step back and allow people to work through problems themselves.

While Lord Sugar was one of the least represented personality types, Jacobs says it is difficult to argue with his success.

“He might not be a tech purist like Steve Jobs but Lord Sugar is an outstanding businessman,” she says, adding; “If you’re following in Mayer’s footsteps you are probably a borderline workaholic, with a no-nonsense approach to getting things done, even if it means telling some home truths.”

The survey also identified where in the UK the types are most prevalent. It found that the Zuckerberg personality type is predominant across core tech hubs such as Silicon Gorge in Southwest Britain, Silicon Roundabout in London and the eastern end of the M4 corridor, but the highest proportion was found in Yorkshire.

“Given calls from industry leaders to make Yorkshire more attractive to tech start-ups and the fact it is set for a tech boom as the government renews plans for a Northern Powerhouse, this bodes well for the sector,” says Jacobs.

Meanwhile, the highest proportion of Bill Gates personality types was in Silicon Gorge (30 per cent) compared to only 18 per cent in Silicon Roundabout. The most Lord Sugar personality types were found in the East Midlands.

Whatever your personality leanings though, the technology sector has no shortage of role models for those who want to break into it. Chris Sheard, sales manager of Randstad UK – Technologies, says tech companies are increasingly looking for candidates with “passion, intelligence and personality”.

“Technical proficiency is important, of course, but beyond that our clients want well rounded individuals with a mix of both knowledge and curiosity in their field.
“These days, the ideal IT candidate needs to live and breathe the tech community but also have a personable approach and the ability to be client facing.”

To increase your chances of getting a job in an exciting tech company, Sheard encourages young candidates to think about their employee branding.

“A good CV is the cornerstone of any application, but employers want to see a real thirst for technology that should come across in their wider activities such as their portfolio, their networking activity and LinkedIn profile.

“At the junior level, there often isn’t a huge gulf between candidates’ skill sets; the big players in the tech space want to see prospective employees immersing themselves in the sector with a good personal brand to stand out from the crowd.”

Find out who you are most like in the tech sector with Randstad Technologies’ quiz.

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