‘Acertar o Rumo’: The Way to Break into Tech In 2022

May 3, 2022

Joining the promising tech world is more achievable than you think. The ‘Acertar o Rumo’ programme empowers all of those who are ready to change career paths and start working in the fantastic IT world.

Two employees in an office collaborating on a project

Are you ready for a change? Here's how you can get into IT — with zero experience.

‘Acertar o Rumo’ was born at the University of Coimbra. It aims to enable and empower all of those who are ready to roll up their sleeves, change career paths, and start working in the fantastic IT world. 

Many of you are curious about the wonders of the tech world. More competitive salaries, inciting perks, being on a booming industry with propitious career development programmes. 

If you're waiting for the ideal opportunity, wait no longer. Registrations for this year’s ‘Acertar o Rumo’ are now open and the first phase ends on 20th May – so get those little grey cells into action and sign up now! 

We talked to Carolina Figueirinha, Maria Guerra and Vitalino Azevedo - past participants of the requalification programme and, today, Critical Titans. Take a look at what they have to say about their own career ambitions and plans! 


1.What was the biggest motivation for you to join Acertar o Rumo? 

CF: When I finished my academic journey, I was unhappy with the job options and the working conditions I was offered. Getting another degree felt like the right move but at the same time I was ready for the job market and didn’t want to wait forever to complete it. ‘Acertar o Rumo’ allowed for a faster transition and the opportunity to intern at an IT company. 

MG: My interest was sparked after learning some basic code at university. When I finished my Master’s, I knew I wasn’t interested in pursuing a career in academia. So I decided instead to pursue my interest in programming as a vocation. 

VA: At the time, given my qualifications and experience, there were no good job prospects in Portugal. In contrast, the outlook was very good in IT. So my biggest motivation was to enjoy a career with a better future and as a result achieve better professional stability. 


2. What were you doing before you decided to change your career? 

CF: I have a Master's in Pharmaceutical Sciences. Apart from the internships, I didn’t get to practice. Although it has very little to do with programming, it helped me develop critical thinking and other soft skills which are essential to succeed in any field. 

MG: I had just finished my masters in Theoretical Chemistry. 

VA: My academic degree was in Civil Engineering, but I didn't work directly in that area. I worked on the design and installation of fibre optic networks. 


3. What would you say about the experience of joining Critical after the ‘Acertar o Rumo’? 

CF: Joining Critical Software was my main goal. I was a bit worried that the course wouldn’t be enough for me to take on the responsibilities of my role, but Critical’s training programme has allowed me to feel more prepared and to work confidently on my own. In a way, I’m still on the course and I’m still learning, and that continuity has been key. So it’s been a pleasant experience overall. 

MG: A very positive experience. Everyone was very welcoming and helpful. The informal way people approach each other in the company leaves you very at ease and promotes great communication for everyone. And in my opinion, Critical has a great work environment. 

VA: In terms of software development skills, I think I was well prepared. Of course, the IT area is very comprehensive, but at least as regards basic programming skills, I didn't realise that I was less prepared than other people with the same level of experience. Critical provides good support to the interns and that allows us to evolve faster and quickly become useful and important for the projects. 


4. If you could go back in time, would you still follow an IT career? Why? 

CF: Absolutely, I’m really happy with this decision. I love programming, every challenge is different from the one before and to solve a problem feels like playing a logic game. It’s definitely a better fit for me. 

MG: I would probably have followed it sooner! I have a passion for knowing how things work, so IT has been a perfect fit for me. Also, the way people get together to create solutions and not problems is my preferred way of working.  

VA: Yes. Before joining Acertar o Rumo, and considering how little I knew about the sector, I had only an idea that I would like IT. Furthermore, IT's prospects for the future continue to be very good. 



5. What are you doing now? 

CF: At the moment, I’m working as an outsourcer for Critical TechWorks, in partnership with BMW. I work mostly as a front-end developer on an Angular project, but I sometimes take on back-end tasks, writing code in Java. 

MG: I am currently a Junior Engineer at Critical Software. 

VA: At the moment my main activities while working at Critical are backend development and maintenance of an integrated testing tool for smart meters and other support/infrastructure services in the UK market. 


A career in technology means working in a changing, demanding and fast-growing industry. It calls for innovation and creativity but demands accuracy and incredible attention to detail. 

In ‘Acertar o Rumo’ is a transformative learning opportunity, organised across three 3-month periods comprising several modules like Java Programming, Operating Systems, Databases and Computer Networks and Internet Technologies.   

After successfully completing these, you will receive a degree-level diploma from the University of Coimbra, followed by a paid internship at a company like Critical Software for a period of 12 months. 

Up for the challenge? Sign up here