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A Career Guide to IT 

Published: Friday 7th February 2020

IT has always been a sound career choice for the thousands of people who enter the profession every year. One million people are currently employed in the industry in a wide range of specialisms that include app development, cyber security, hardware engineering, software engineering, consultancy, technical support and programming, among others, but the IT jobs market is expanding all the time. The UK tech sector is currently growing at 2.5 times the rate of the rest of the economy. As well as tech, IT professionals are employed in every sector including manufacturing, financial, public and retail. 

Business person working on computer against technology background

A digital skills shortage means plenty of IT Jobs in London and nationwide 

Of course, new technologies are being developed all the time, which means new IT jobs are always arising for those with the right skill set. This has also created a major digital skills shortageThe question for those looking to get into IT is how do you acquire an in-demand skill set? 

The answer to that is that there are a variety of routes into IT at every level, but it’s useful to have some idea of what niche you want to work in before looking at which qualifications suit your needs best.  

Male IT Specialist Holds Laptop and Discusses Work with Female Server Technician.

The Information Technology skills shortage means there are plenty of apprenticeships and entry level roles. Five GCSE’s is all that’s needed for some of these on-the-job training programmes, although A-levels are preferredespecially mathsMany school leavers start in apprenticeships, before going on to train into more specialised roles. 

Graduates are in demand 

Higher apprenticeships and degree apprenticeships exist for those who have completed their A-levels.  With a degree apprenticeship, your employer will pay you a wage (typically ranging from £15-20,000) and cover your course costs. You’ll also gain several years of valuable experience while studying. Three A-levels, including one or two in a science/maths/technology subjects, will be needed to secure one of these places. Some large employers, such as Unilever, Virgin, BAE Systems and IBM offer higher apprenticeships. Again two or three A-levels at C are above are needed for these. 

Books and cap on the keyboard of a latop, 3d rendering,conceptual image. online education and learning concepts.

For IT graduates, there are many more senior openings. A computer science degree, along with good knowledge of computing languages such as JavaScript, C++, Linux, Oracle or .NET could secure a role as a Junior Software Engineer. Taking a one year IT conversion course after completing a non-IT related degree is another way into the industry, especially if your degree is in engineering, science or maths. But, generally, the less technical your degree is, the more competition you’ll face. 

IT jobs come with above average salaries 

A career in Information Technology can offer a lot in terms of variety, a relaxed work environment and above average salaries. IT jobs London offer some of the highest wages in the UK. Starting salaries for graduate IT jobs UK wide average £31,500. However, shifts can be long and some projects need to be carried out at night and weekends when other staff aren’t using IT systems, so you may need to work some unsociable hours.  

General manager presenting an envelope with premium or bonus cash to male company official. Boss congratulating happy employee with career promotion, thanking for good job and giving financial reward

Continued growth and expansion in the industry should guarantee excellent prospects and good financial packages well into the future as long as you upgrade your skills to keep up to date with innovation and developments in your chosen niche. 

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