YEUK’s Top Ten tips for getting in to IT
By Jordan Davison
Last year, more than 1.5m people were working in the UK’s IT industry, it is predicted that half a million more will be required to fill professional roles over the next five years. The average starting salary for a graduate is around £26,000. (e-skills.com)
So you’ve decided the IT industry is for you? What do you need to be doing to get yourself into it?
- Make a plan: Spend some time looking into the areas, decide which you prefer. It’s best not to be too specific, the industry is ever-changing and the job you decide on may have completely changed by the time you are ready to apply.
- Be passionate: Ensure the area you have chosen is something you are interested in, even if you’re dedicated to it, it will be much more difficult to get the job over a genuinely passionate candidate. Interviewers will prefer an interested applicant as they tend to make better employees.
- Know your stuff: Now you’ve got your sector and it’s something you are interested in, it’s time to get used to the systems and devices that you’re most likely to use on the job. The different systems you’ll be using can be very obvious in some cases, eg. If you want to work for Microsoft, you’ll have to be familiar with Windows. Other times the answer can be more obscure, you can usually find out what you need to know by searching the requirements in job advertisements. If that doesn’t help, try contacting the HR department of companies in your chosen IT sector. Contact Information can usually be found in the “About Us” section of a website.
- Get Qualified: Whilst you are looking at Job advertisements you can find out what qualifications you’ll need to be considered for the job. You can also find what experience is required, if any. Even if it isn’t stated, getting experience in the field can give you that edge over the other candidates, so it is always recommendable.
- Get Experience: At this point you’ll have to use all the resources available to you to find out which route will be the best for you to take to get to your end goal.
- The general options are; going to a University and gaining a degree; Doing an apprenticeship and working your way up the career ladder; and gaining experience through a contractor, and then going into your ideal job.
- Each route has its pros and cons and which one will be best for you depends on many factors. The information you’ll need to make this decision may be gained from;
- Career Advisers, if you don’t have direct access to one in your place of education, see if your local council has one available.
- Your Local Library will have many books on careers and the many options available to you.
- Company events, these are held regularly by businesses to give potential future employees the information they may need to be prepared when applying for a job with them. Look on sites like Eventbrite or advertisements posted by us or other youth organisations.