You may be an absolute whizz when it comes to IT, with a strong knowledge of networks, enterprise or IT asset management, data, hosting and much more. However, whilst having a strong knowledge of your sector can really help when searching for a job in the industry, there are other things to consider too. Here’s a quick quick to starting a career in IT.
Types of work on offer
The opportunities within the IT sector can seem never-ending, thanks to the hundreds of different facets the sector comprises. At their most basics, these include management, design, consultancy, support, engineering and administration; however these are the broadest of terms. Within each of these areas there are different levels of work, from junior support technicians to senior managers, all the way up to chief information officers (CIOs). Everyone has to start somewhere, so don’t scoff at those entry-level support jobs. If you work hard and make yourself known within the company, you’ll have a great chance at promotion.
What is the industry like?
Three words – dynamic, innovative and fast-paced. The world of IT is ever-changing and doesn’t wait around for anyone. However, with this need to keep up comes a sense of sheer excitement and a feeling that you’re part of something that’s really making a difference in the world. You can expect to work average to long hours, though if you’re in the middle of a project, you’ll likely be happy to stay on to get it finished! Salaries for starting roles can encompass anything from £15-16,000 to £20,000 and experienced professionals can hope to earn in the region of £40-£60,000. Rates for CIOs are even higher.
Approximately 1.52 million Britons work in the IT industry, meaning that approximately one in every 18 employed UK residents are employed by this sector. This is a fairly significant figure and when added to the increased competition for jobs overall in the past few years, it can seem intimidating. However if you have the skills, experience and passion required, you’ve got just as good a chance as anyone of landing that role you’re after. Don’t be scared to go for things you think others will outwit you on. if anything, at least you’ve had another shot at an interview and a chance to see how another company works.
What skills are required?
You’ll obviously need to have a strong grapes of basic IT skills and a passion for the subject, but there are any other perhaps surprising attributes you need to display too. These include being self-motivated, able to discipline yourself, have a strong awareness of commercial factors, good attitude towards teamwork and strong organisational skills. Being adaptable and flexible is a plus too, as is the ability to pick up new processes/procedures fairly quickly.