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Careers in Information Technology

What is Information Technology?

Information Technology is the bedrock of today’s society. IT has many branches including hardware, software, coding and data which form this digital entity. Computers, smartphones and other devices are used to store, study, retrieve, transmit and manipulate data both in a professional and personal context. It is estimated that digital consumers own four connected devices each, with mobile devices overtaking traditional desktop.

The term 'information technology' was established by the Havard Business Review, in order to make a distinction between purpose-built machines designed to perform a limited amount of functions with general-purpose computing machines that can be programmed for various tasks.

IT includes both hardware and software. Hardware is focused on the physical elements involved with IT, whereas software is concerned with automation tools, operating systems and applications for example.

Opportunities in Information Technology

There are many different roles available in IT, so if you’re looking to start a career there are sure to be a number of opportunities to suit your skills, personal characteristics and lifestyle. The most common job roles include:

IT Consultant
An IT Consultant is responsible for dealing directly with clients and advising them on how to use IT to meet the business objective and resolve problems effectively with efficiency.
Applications Developer
The role of an Applications Developer is to translate software requirements into workable code, combined with the maintenance and development of programs for organisational use.
Network Engineer
A Network Engineer’s role focuses on the communication network through the implementation, maintenance, support and development of a communication network within an organisation.
IT Trainer
An IT Trainer is responsible for designing, delivering and implementing training programmes related to information technology.
IT Sales Professional
An IT Sales Professional may be part of three components of the sale process; pre-sales, sales and post-sales support of hardware and software. IT Sales Professionals are in direct contact with clients, providing information about technical specifications, the ways in which IT can meet their needs and any potential IT solutions that can resolve any problems.
Business Analyst
A Business Analyst is responsible for helping to manage change and plan for the long-term goals of an organisation.
Games Developer
A Games Developer is responsible for the creation and developments of games for computers, consoles, mobile and tablet devices and arcades. There are two distinguishing components of games development: design and programming. As a Games Developer you will be involved with either of these areas.
Web Developer
A Web Developer’s role focuses on building and maintaining websites and web applications. Web development responsibilities can be broken down into front-end development or back-end development.
IT Technical Support Officer
IT Technical Support Officers monitor and maintain the computer systems and networks of an organisation, and depending on the size of the company, your role may span one or more areas of expertise.

How to start a career in Information Technology

There are many routes in Information Technology, from undergraduate degrees to graduate schemes, IT apprenticeships, IT internships and information technology diplomas - there is an educational style to suit everyone with a passion for IT.

If you’re looking to complete a degree in information technology, there are many degrees to be found online at UCAS. Each university will have different entry requirements, therefore it is recommended to check with the course provider before you apply.

Graduate schemes are also available with major companies as well as small to medium enterprises. Graduate schemes are only available to individuals who have graduated from an undergraduate degree to provide a stepping-stone into employment.

IT apprenticeships are another route into the IT industry. An apprenticeship is an ideal route for individuals looking to gain an IT qualification without going to university and earn a salary at the same time. Apprenticeships will teach you hands-on experience in the industry as well as gaining the essential knowledge you need to succeed in the sector. Some apprenticeships can also lead to direct employment within the organisation the apprentice is training at. There are four levels of apprenticeship:

  • Intermediate: equivalent to five GCSEs at grades A* to C.
  • Higher – equivalent to a foundation degree or above
  • Advanced: equivalent to two A-Level passes.
  • Degree apprenticeships - equivalent to a Bachelors or Masters Degree.

Other alternative routes include gaining a relevant diploma or qualification by an accredited awarding body. Not only can accredited qualification or diplomas provide an entry route into the information technology industry, they can also equip professionals with advanced skills and validate their level of ability and competency.

Information Technology Courses

e-Careers offer accredited qualifications and diplomas by certified awarding bodies, institutions and organisations in Information Technology. Accredited qualifications and diplomas are an ideal route for individuals who haven’t completed A Levels or do not want to go on to study at university. e-Careers' online Information Technology courses allow individuals to learn at their own pace, whether fast-environment increases their productivity or a self-paced speed is better suited, learners are in control of their study. Information Technology courses available at e-Careers include:

CompTIA A+, Network+ & Security+ Package
Cisco CCNA Routing & Switching
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