Tech job: Ronan Fitzpatrick, PwC
Ronan Fitzpatrick, director of digital, PwC. Image: Connor McKenna

Want to work in digital? You need to be adaptable

13 Feb 2017

They say the only constant in life is change. That is twice as relevant when it comes to working in the technology sector.

The tech sector is changing all the time. Almost every day, there is new software, new hacks, new innovations and new processes.

If you want a tech job, you better be able to keep up. You’ll need to stay on top of your industry, even before you’ve gotten your first job in tech.

As the director of digital advisory practice of consultancy firm PwC, Ronan Fitzpatrick understands more than most the need for change and adaptability in the tech sector.

“The biggest challenges of my career path were sometimes understanding the need to change inertia,” said Fitzpatrick. “[Also] trying to encourage people that the status quo wasn’t going to remain and that things needed to be done differently.”

Often, working in a tech job that involves clients or other organisations will require good communication skills. Just because you are able to roll with the changes that occur in technology, it doesn’t mean your client will.

Part of adapting to the changes in the tech sector is being able to explain these changes clearly to others. If you can you show them why certain changes need to happen, it might make the changes easier.

Fitzpatrick advised: “Demonstrate to them other businesses that have had to change or needed to change quickly, or what would happen [to] them if they didn’t.”

‘We resist the need to apply technology for technology’s sake’

As well as good communication skills and the ability to see and adapt to change, other skills and education outside of IT will help you in any tech job.

Fitzpatrick has a degree in applied computing, but before settling back into IT, he spent several years in commercial business. He said the mixed skills help him in his current job as director of digital advisory practice.

“I think it has stood to me and it has helped me apply what I’ve learned over the course of my career to digital,” he said. “PwC has got a great platform for applying the knowledge that I’ve learned in my career to date.”

When you’re thinking about a career in tech solutions, Fitzpatrick advises thinking about what you’re offering as a three-pronged approach: business, experience and technology.

“We resist the need to apply technology for technology’s sake,” he said. “Solving problems that are worth solving is the first part of it.”

Updated, 9.23am, 14 February 2017: This article originally had Ronan Fitzpatrick’s title as director of digital. It has been amended to include his full title as director of digital advisory practice at PwC.

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Jenny Darmody
By Jenny Darmody

Jenny Darmody became the editor of Silicon Republic in 2023, having worked as the deputy editor since February 2020. When she’s not writing about the science and tech industry, she’s writing short stories and attempting novels. She continuously buys more books than she can read in a lifetime and pretty stationery is her kryptonite. She also believes seagulls to be the root of all evil and her baking is the stuff of legends.

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