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Employment Opportunities within the IT & Technology Sector

ManpreetDhesi16 October 2014

There are a wide variety of opportunities in the IT & Technology sector. Check these out …

Industries that fall under the IT umbrella include:

  • computer programming;
  • computer consultancy;
  • computer gaming;
  • computer networking activities;
  • computing facilities management;
  • data processing;
  • data hosting activities;
  • internet service provision;
  • telecommunications;
  • web portals.

Within these industries, there are many spheres of work available to graduates, including:

  • art and design;
  • design and development engineering;
  • electrical and electronic engineering;
  • financial management;
  • human resources management;
  • information technologies;
  • marketing and PR;
  • operational management;
  • project management;
  • production management;
  • strategy and planning.

The IT and computing sector is forecast to continue to expand, and to be a key element of business growth. Employment in the sector over the next decade is projected to grow nearly five times faster than the UK average.

Who are the main graduate employers?

Many of the largest companies in this sector are organisations that play multiple roles. The sector varies immensely in occupational scope and breadth, and so do employers.

In the private sector, big employers are typically international companies such as Accenture; Capgemini; Cisco; Cognizant; IBM; Infosys; Logica; Microsoft; Tata Consultancy.

In addition, however, over half of IT professionals find roles outside of the IT industry. Other industries that are big employers of IT professionals include:

  • financial services
  • major retailers
  • telecommunications
  • public sector
  • manufacturing
  • games development

Many small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the industry provide a range of specialist services, particularly in consultancy and technical roles. Common jobs for graduates are software designers and engineers; web developers and producers; computer analysts and programmers; web designers, IT consultants; help desk technicians.

What are the key issues in the IT sector?

With the current situation in the global economy, business is operating in a climate of uncertainty, and this makes companies reluctant to make major decisions. Infrastructure and technology upgrades are not always a priority. This is considered by far the biggest pressing issue for UK IT firms.

The sector is highly innovative, but also subject to constant technological development. This can present a significant challenge in ensuring businesses and staff are able to adapt to constantly changing technological requirements.

The fast-moving nature of parts of the industry, and the continuing growth of the sector means that many employers are experiencing significant skills demand. Recruiters reported difficulties recruiting software developers and programmers and web designers, and found the following skills most likely to be in short supply: .NET, ASP.NET, Dynamics, SharePoint, Visual Basic, Visual Studio, C# and PHP. The sector also reported gaps in sales skills, business skills, higher level technical skills and sector knowledge.

Data security, privacy and intellectual property issues are all important in the sector and businesses spend significant resources to deal with current requirements and to be prepared to adapt to a changing legislative landscape.

Source: Prospects

The UCL IT & Technology Fair on Thursday 16th October 2014 is kindly sponsored by Cisco

“But I’m not studying computer science – can I still work in IT & Technology?”

ManpreetDhesi15 October 2014

The answer is YES!

IT & Technology is a broad sector which encompasses a multitude of roles and types of companies. In addition to the programming and developer roles typically associated with the sector there are also a wide range of other positions: project managers, business analysts, consultants, salespeople. For these roles, employers state that deep technical knowledge is often not initially required; what is important is an interest in technology, a desire to learn and possessing business-orientated skills such as communication and project management.

Melanie Baldo graduated from UCL in Italian and Management Studies and is now a Project Manager at Bloomberg. Melanie states: “I never for one minute imagined when I graduated with a degree in languages that I would be working for a financial data company running some of their most complicated and important projects with high profile clients.”  Whilst in the Technology sector, Melanie’s role focuses on client relationships and project management and she encourages students from non-technical backgrounds to apply. Many technology based roles do not require a technology background and companies often provide training for these positions.

The UCL IT & Technology Fair gives you the opportunity to discover how IT & Technology underpins business and the diversity of opportunities available.

The UCL IT & Technology Fair on Thursday 16th October 2014 is kindly sponsored by Cisco

IT and computing: Employment trends

ManpreetDhesi15 October 2014

The IT industry is continuing to expand rapidly. Employment opportunities are continuing to increase at all levels and in different industry sectors.  Employment in the IT sector is expected to grow at 2.19% a year, almost 5 times faster than the predicted average growth for the UK.

The IT sector is looking very positive for the future;

  • Increase in use of personal devices – this means a greater need for IT and telecoms professionals who are able to understand the vulnerabilities of underlying architecture and infrastructure and to develop new security solutions.
  • Development of sustainable IT to minimise the environmental impact of technology.
  • Growth is predicted to be strongest in highly skilled areas – software professionals, ICT managers, IT strategy and planning professionals.

What skills are needed?

Employers do recruit graduates with non-IT degrees into consultancy and business analysis roles, where they can apply a broad technical knowledge to commercial environments. More technical roles such as network engineers, software developers and programmers do require graduates with relevant technical degrees such as computer science, information systems and software engineering.

The ‘soft’ skills required are:

  • Communication (written and verbal) and interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork
  • Organisation and planning
  • Problem solving
  • Commercial awareness and customer focus
  • Enthusiasm and motivation
  • Adaptability, flexibility, willingness
  • An ability to learn new skills quickly

There is a skills shortage in this sector. The skills that graduates often lack are;

  • Business skills
  • Higher level technical skills
  • Sector knowledge/experience
  • Technical skills: programming languages, operations systems knowledge, network and infrastructure understanding and development skills.

Research shows that employers want to attract high quality recruits to IT and computing, which means postgraduates, and specifically doctoral graduates, are very well placed to take advantage of this skills shortage. Doctoral study is not essential although it can provide an edge in an increasingly competitive job marketplace. A doctorate degree still needs to be supplemented by continuous personal skills development.

It is predicted that the skills shift that is already taking place in the IT and computing sector from the UK to lower cost countries will continue to create challenges in terms of career paths and skills development.

Source: CRAC

The UCL IT & Technology Fair on Thursday 16th October 2014 is kindly sponsored by Cisco