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Where Can A Career In IT Take You?

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Overview

The vast majority of companies, and even public services, rely on technology to keep them up and running. Working in IT, your inside-out knowledge of computers and technology will make sure that everyone can keep doing their work and go about their day-to-day life.

The roles are so vast within this industry it’d be impossible to cover them all. The technology sector has grown and developed at breakneck speed, and as a result more specialist areas have emerged, which is great news for those tech-junkies who have a very specific interest. Specialist areas in technology that didn’t exist a few decades ago, for example, include: video gaming, social networks, apps, mobile technology or ethical hacking.

Having technical skills in IT, such as coding or network systems, will boost your employability in the industry. You’ll find these skills are highly transferable and will enable you to move between companies and jobs if you wish.

IT can have a bad rep for being boring, and repetitive, but that simply isn’t the case. There is more variety in the industry than ever before and it is one of the most important sectors for driving innovation forward. Also, with a projected growth of 1.62% every year between now and 2020, it is a perfect time for a young person to enter the industry.

Skills & interests required

Of course, IT is going to require you to be proficient with computers. There are also an array of technical skills that most IT professionals will have a foundation in, including:

  • Coding

  • UX

  • Software development

  • Database building

  • Programming


Then some jobs will also have a specialisation alongside these skills. You’ll also need to be committed to your own development and learning - as technology is constantly developing, there is always new things to learn and this is what will keep you at the top of your game.

Other soft skills that will benefit you within IT include:

  • Logic

  • Problem solving

  • Time management

- Coding
- Computer Programming
- Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
- User Experience Design

Typical Career Progression Routes for Graduates in IT

There are numerous opportunities for career progression within the IT industry, but it is likely to differ between companies. The most common route will be to start as an assistant or junior position, before moving to a technician or executive, and eventually gaining a senior title as you work on more complicated and prestigious projects.

Earning potential

Because IT skills are in such high demand, they can often command relatively high salaries – especially as you move further along in your career. Here are the average salaries for some jobs in IT, according to Payscale:

  • Software engineer: £34,142

  • IT support specialist: £23,759

  • Senior network engineer: £43,287

  • Web developer: £24,872

  • Senior web developer: £36,622

Qualification requirements & subjects to study

With a degree in IT, you’re definitely on the right track for a career in this industry as you’ll have a solid foundation in all the key areas of computing. However, if your degree is in another subject there are still plenty of apprenticeship opportunities that will allow you to earn money as you learn the ropes.

An apprenticeship is a great way to get into this industry, particularly if you have a good idea of what area of IT you’d like to go into. Apprenticeships can be found in cyber security, web development, hardware development, digital technology or even just technology in general if you haven’t quite decided what you’d like to do.

If your degree is slightly more specialist, for example in software engineering or web development, you may be able to enter the job market at a slightly higher level because you are an expert in a specific field.

With a career in IT your learning will be lifelong. The qualifications that you seek out within the industry, such as professional courses and training, will completely depend on the specific area that you wish to work in within the sector.

Useful resources

techUK
Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)
Soctim
UK Web Design Association
Women in Technology
ISACA
CompTIA (Information Technology Industry & Association)
Tech Partnership
Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP)

Industry bodies

Institute of Analysts and Programmers (IAP)
UKITA (UK IT Association)
BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT