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What Experience Do You Need For A Career In Information Technology

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All you need to know about the Information Technology industry

IT is a booming industry and is responsible for the transformation of many businesses. It is at the heart of our society, and is increasingly becoming more important to our day-to-day lives as our healthcare, banking, retail and even education organisations are switching to digital methods.

This industry is growing much more quickly than others as technology is developing all the time. Most sectors are now investing in their technology, which has opened up a lot of new opportunities. There are now IT sectors within fashion, banking, finance and many other industries.

Of course, you will need to have the technical skills in areas such as coding or IT systems, or at least be willing to learn them in your work placements.

The starting salaries for qualified IT professionals tend to be high – around £30,000. If you’re looking for an apprenticeship the wages will be significantly lower, but you will have the advantage of learning practical skills alongside getting paid for the work that you do.

There is an expected skills shortage in IT because of how quickly the industry is developing, which means there are numerous development programmes and apprenticeships available throughout the country, particularly if you are young.

A degree isn’t always necessary, but entry-level roles that don’t require a highly specialised skillset will be paid significantly lower than those who are already proficient in the area of IT that they are going to be working in.

You will also have a lot of flexibility as you further your career and become more specialised. Many IT professionals choose to go freelance in IT and work on projects for different clients as and when they are needed.

Skills & interests needed for Information Technology

Attending industry events such as talks or lectures are a good way to keep up to date and also great to reference in interviews, particularly if you have reflected on the content and formulated opinions of your own.

You could also attend hackathons, which tend to be day-long events focused on building something in a team according to a brief. Hackathons can take many shapes and forms, but they challenge you to be quick-thinking, utilise your technical skills and also work as part of a team. All of these are skills that employers will be looking for in a potential candidate.

If you’re worried that your technical skills are not yet strong enough, try seeking out youth versions of these events.

An interest in technology and a basic understanding of how it works is essential, and there are many areas of specialisation within IT. Some of the technical skills you might need are:

- Adaptability
- Coding
- Communication
- Computer Programming
- Creativity
- Database building
- Flexibility
- Information Technology
- Teamwork
- Technical skills
- Time Management
- User Experience Design
- Web Applications
- Web Development

Types of jobs in Information Technology

What work experience do you need for a career in Information Technology

A lot of your success in getting an IT placement will be dependent upon your experience. However, this does not necessarily have to be ‘work’ experience and can be projects that you do in your own time. Activities such as building your own app or website can be included in your CV as experience. It also shows that you are committed to the industry and to your own professional development.

You could also try advertising your services on freelance websites to begin building up a portfolio of work, and practice working towards client briefs and deadlines.

Email your local IT companies, or any local company that has an IT department, and ask for some work experience. Shadowing an employee will help you to get an idea of the expected workload of an IT professional, alongside the kind of projects that they work on within the company.

Related Companies

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Useful resources
BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT
Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP)
UK Web Design Association
Women in Technology
Institute of Analysts and Programmers (IAP)
UKITA (UK IT Association)
CompTIA (Information Technology Industry & Association)
Tech Partnership
Institute of Information Security Professionals (IISP)