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it career overview

IT Information Technology

Our day to day lives are, and have been for the last few years, becoming increasingly dependent on computers and information communication technology (ICT). So many things we use contain computer chips and our free time is spent on computers gaming or on the internet. With all these facets of technology in our lives, there are numerous career paths available in this expanding industry.

IT covers a broad spectrum of professions. This includes designers (websites or Hollywood special effects), software developers or engineers and systems analysis. But, why do people pursue a career in IT? How do people enter into the IT profession? What exactly do IT jobs (like those mentioned here) entail?

With the ever expanding technological requirement, all roles in IT will continue to grow and present new avenues to IT specialists. Couple this with a certain amount of technophobia, and there is a huge area of industry requiring people with IT skills and imagination. Overall, it is an interesting career with a lot of potential for new and exciting ventures.

The world of IT professions is vast. There are many potential employers (from public services to banking and accountancy firms). The numerous jobs out there, along with the variety, make IT an attractive industry to enter into. Here is an outline of the role of three IT professions:

Software engineers

After identifying a need, a software engineer will be brought in to analyse what precisely isrequired. The engineer will then develop new software to compensate and fix all problems which arise. Being a software engineer therefore requires a good understanding of programming, coding and people’s needs.

Website designers

People in this profession are able to design and create a website. This is a creative job requiring technical skills for writing web programming. As with software engineers, website designers need to be able to identify exactly what a client wants and deliver a finished product.

Computer systems analyst

A computer systems analyst solves IT problems. Roles can vary from systems maintenance to developing new hardware; this variety arises between different employers.

How to get into IT:

There are undergraduate degrees in computer science, computing, information systems and information technology. Certain IT careers do require a bachelors degree e.g. computer systems analyst. However, a degree is not essential. Many people work in the IT industry having learnt the necessary skills by other means. It is imperative, however, to have the appropriate skills and to effectively demonstrate this to potential employers.

Qualifications and experience:

To enter a computer science undergraduate degree, you will need a GCSE in maths (at grade B or above) and an A-Level in maths, computer science, electronics or physics. Grade requirements will vary between individual universities. The degree can be heavily based on mathematics, so a sound understanding is essential.

Salary expectations:

Starting salaries vary widely depending on profession. Check out the sector you might be interested in and investigate incomes.

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