What you need to know to work in IT
Information Technology, or IT, is an expansive and diverse career path. There are so many roles within IT, and there are some roles which are expanding and others declining as technology shifts. IT can cover careers in cloud software, web development, cyber security, automation, machine learning, and much more. However, for those who want to pursue a career in IT, you need to know these facts when it comes to finding your first role in IT.
Focus your specialism
Although some employers may want a broader skill set, most will want good or excellent knowledge of certain software and processes. You may be inclined to keep your studies broad at university, but try to find what you excel at and focus your studies on this. For example, if you want to go into website development, than be sure to study this as much as possible, join the relevant societies, and if there isn’t one - create one! There are so many jobs out there, as well as enthusiastic graduates, so you need to make yourself stand out amongst the competition.
Do your research
The technology market is changing rapidly, some technology is on it’s way out. Do research into technology that is on the decline or may be out of date when you leave university. Equally research technology on the rise where the future careers could be, and really look to the future when it comes to deciding what topics to study at university. Keep up to date. A good example is robotic process automation is in demand currently, so employers are looking for graduates with this skill-set. Think about your career after university strategically and do everything you can to get there.
Learn from the best
Many employers are looking for graduates from the top universities. If you have attended a university which doesn’t rank highly in league tables, make sure you make the most of the experience, network extraneously and get the best grade possible. That's not to say you will not get a job at all, but, it may be more difficult for you or simply take longer. Some employers will only consider those from the Russell Group universities for example, so selecting your university and course couldn’t be more important. If you have attended a university which has a poorer reputation, make sure you take advantage of the career fairs and mentors to secure you the best and most relevant job after university. Moreover, placement years can be really useful in getting your foot in the door and building on those essential skills for work.
Technology is an ever-changing market, and there is a real chance what you studied can be out of date or less prominent when you graduate. Try to keep learning in your particular field, the more exposure and knowledge you have the better. There is a proliferation of online courses in particular subjects, some may take weeks, others months to do, but it shows you have a genuine interest in the topic and a determination for a career in this. Again, pick from reputable providers and continue to study. Although graduate employers will often provide training and development opportunities, having a good knowledge of software and systems beforehand will work in your favour.
Internships and Work Experience Matters
Really strive to get an internship at the top companies as this reflects great on your CV, and it can get that all important foot in the door at some companies. Working at these companies will again build on your skill set and will make you more desirable to employers. Work experience is very important as it will provide you with skills and knowledge in your particular career path. One very important skill, communication, is extremely valuable in the world of IT and work experiences that develop this are very beneficial.