Are you wondering what a technology culture is like for people working in IT careers? If you like emerging technology, are ready for a challenge and enjoy learning the latest technologies then a career in IT could be for you.
One of the best things about IT careers is the sheer number of them. You just have to identify the right one for you and make a plan to acquire the experience and/or training you need to market yourself to hiring managers.
Bring IT On takes a look at what it is like to pursue a career in the IT sector especially if you are moving from a different career or you are just getting started.
What Exactly Is An IT Job?
A job in the IT sector more often than not involves working with computers of some description. Where that is writing code, programming software or analysing data. The job titles for IT jobs, for example, range from the following Desktop Support Engineer, Computer Consultant, Programmer Analyst, LAN Engineer, WAN Engineer, Network Security Consultant, Database Programmer, CIO (chief information officer), Systems Administrator, Microsoft Administrator, Unix Systems Administrator. This list goes on.
What Job Sectors Cover IT?
IT professionals are employed to work in many other job sectors, including:
- Financial services – recruiters such as Barclays, Citigroup, Deloitte, J.P. Morgan and Morgan Stanley are looking for skills in IT to work with the latest technologies. These include jobs with a focus on artificial intelligence (AI), cloud services, virtual reality software development, robotics process automation, user experience (UX) or analytics.
- Manufacturing – multinational engineering companies in the oil, pharmaceuticals, automotive and energy industries need IT specialists, to work on the processes and technologies that underpin their operations. For instance, aerospace and defence innovator MBDA requires software engineers with programming language skills.
- Public sector – local authorities, central government and the NHS recruit IT professionals to keep their systems running, deliver projects and analyse data so it can be used to make major decisions.
- Retail – major online and high street retailers such as Amazon, Tesco, TJX Europe and John Lewis look to technology professionals to develop new systems and apps while rolling out technological solutions geared towards customer service and distribution.
What Is It Like Working In IT?
Those entering the IT industry in the UK can expect:
- An average starting salary – according to High Fliers’ The Graduate Market in 2022 report, starting salaries for technology jobs with organisations featuring in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers are the same as the recently increased national median of £32,000.
- Long working hours – employers tend to emphasise completing a task or project over maintaining standard 9am-5pm office hours and many jobs can now be worked remotely from home.
- Opportunities to work abroad – Some larger IT companies have branches or subsidiaries in other countries if you are interested in relocation opportunities.
- A constantly changing industry – as new technologies and software are developed, it’s important to up-skill to remain at the top of your profession.
What Should You Consider When Moving Into A Career In IT?
- Pick An IT Job Role That Aligns With What You Want To Achieve
This can involve some research, reviewing IT job descriptions, viewing YouTube videos and watching online webinars.
Finding someone with the job you want can be key. Scan your LinkedIn network and find someone to reach out to. See if they would be willing to meet up for an informational interview. This will help you figure out how they got the job you desire and help you start thinking about how you can replicate the steps they took to successfully secure the position.
- Consider The Training You Will Need
You may be able to self-study in your spare time at home and pick up necessary skills using resources online.
Michael Sage is a former student of Belfast Met who now works for Allsop attributes his success to the Metropolitan College and Bring IT On programme;
“The sky’s the limit when it comes to the tech sector, there are so many fantastic opportunities in Belfast and in Northern Ireland as a whole. Going to Belfast Met and getting involved with Bring IT On enabled me to do so many things before I would have even finished a full-time degree!”
- Identify The Skills Gap
Assess which skills you’ve acquired and compare them to the skills listed in IT job postings. The skills required for a cyber security professional may differ from data analysis to software engineering. If you’re still lacking in any areas, find additional educational resources to help you fill gaps.